“When you’re young, there’s always something special about the Christmas season — a hint of magic in the air, presents, candy and all the adults around you just seemed so damn happy.

When you grow up, you learn why all the adults were so happy – it’s because the holidays bring holiday cheer in the form of really great booze. This time of year demands that a couple of styles of beer make the top of your nice list. — winter warmers and stouts.

While there is no exact definition, winter warmers refer to an old-style, frequently English Ale with wintery spices, such as nutmeg or cloves. But, if winter warmers aren’t your thing, don’t worry, with the cold weather also comes stout season. This style is self-explanatory, but as the temperatures go down, the ABV goes up. Stout Season can and should have a barrel-aged theme.

If you feel too old for a traditional-style advent calendar with a special piece of chocolate each day, we have got a plan for you. Below you will find our 12 Colorado Beers of Christmas – guaranteed to keep you jolly through the holiday season….

4. Hibernation Ale

Where: Great Divide Brewing Company – 1812 35th St., Denver

The Style: Winter Warmer

ABV: 8.7 percent

The Lowdown: This is also an old-school English ale but it doesn’t have the hop finish. This ale is malty, almost chewy and sweet. The flavors are layered and it’s heavy but not as heavy as a stout. If you are feeling frisky you can try the barrel-aged version (12.4 percent ABV).”

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