As we nose dive deeper and deeper into the holiday season, we see breweries releasing more and more holiday themed beer. The usual suspects released by most breweries are ales spiced with things like nutmeg and coriander. Many breweries brew special stouts for the winter, as people prefer to drink darker and maltier beer during this time of year. Victory Brewing and Avery Brewing are doing things a bit different this year, as they have just introduced two particularly hoppy beers into our market.


Avery Brewing, who impressively manages to brew as many as 22 beers at the same time, strikes again with their release of Dugana IPA. While Avery calls Dugana an IPA, many would consider this one a double IPA due to its 8.5% ABV. We can see why Avery does in fact call this one a single IPA though, as their other double IPA, Maharaja, is close to 11% ABV. Dugana reeks of citrus and pine resins.   The taste is, you guessed it, all about the hops. Grapefruit, melon, orange, pineapple, and mango flavors are to die for, while the bitterness of Dugana is nothing short of intense. The finish is boozy and leaves a coating of hops on the palate. If you are fan of Maharaja but are perhaps looking for something a bit toned down, look no further than Dugana, which some of us now refer to as Maharaja Jr.


Victory Yakima Twilight made a splash last week, as hop heads couldnt resist a six pack of the brew, which features two vibrantly colored hops on the front. Yakima Twilight is loaded with juicy hops, but the beer is fighting an internal war with itself as its rich, dark malts jockey for position. The taste is of bitter and floral hops, but with a massive malt backbone. Caramel and toffee flavored malts lead the pack, with a hint cocoa and coffee that is all but beaten down by the four different types of whole cone hops added to this brew. Overall this beer is wonderfully balanced, and at 8.9% ABV, rides the fence between a double IPA and a barley wine.


If you are a hop head, you should look no further than Avery Dugana and Victory Yakima Twilight for your holiday drinking festivities. Both are excellent sippers, and will please any hop lover. Will you be enjoying any hoppy beers this holiday season, or sticking to the traditional holiday beers?