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Heavy Seas Winter Storm

Where Spotted: Rodman’s, 4301 Randolph Road, Wheaton

Price: $9.99/six-pack

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Be Bitter at Christmas: Christmas beer is more than just Belgian bottles with fancy trees on them. Winter Storm is a rich, malty ale in the English tradition of the “extra special bitter,” or ESB. It’s a by-the-fireside beer that makes you wish you lived in a hamlet and had a sheepdog named Russell. And it’s perfect for Christmas.

Drinkle Bell: Imagery aside, Heavy Seas is based in Baltimore, which means the offerings of this hop-focused brewery taste even fresher. For a more subdued, English experience, try ESBs by Fuller’s (London) and Hook Norton (Oxfordshire). Whereas Heavy Seas’ version has a typically American dose of hops, these Brits exemplify the English way—subtle flavors, best enjoyed in the form of caramel and butter.

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