Where Spotted: Modern Liquors, 1200 9th St. NW
Price: $9.99 per 6-pack
The Great Concession: I’m rarely a sucker for cute holiday packaging, but I was helpless against the latest from 21st Amendment, which depicts a jolly, seemingly robust FDR sharing a snifter with an elf in front of a blazing hearth. (What on earth would they talk about? How the New Deal benefits Santa’s helpers?) Sadly, the beer itself was less endearing. The mish-mash of spices makes for an odd sourness, while the ginger rings a metallic note, a reminder that not every holiday package is worth opening.
Seasonal Healing: Want to get that taste out of your mouth? Look to the Belgians, the sages of spice. Specifically, look for Christmas offerings from Gouden Carolus and Corsendonk. Or, like me, skip the seasoning and stick with reliable American seasonals. Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve and the fresh-hopped Sierra Nevada Celebration will put a little bitterness into your holidays without any of the humbug.