W hile the recent history of Christmas beers is rather marketing-driven, both in the US and around the world, the tradition of brewing special beers for this time of year draws on a number of deeper traditions.

The Scandinavian countries have, perhaps, the strongest claim in this regard. The Vikings enjoyed a strong, malty beer during their Jul—or Yule—celebrations: their December 21st festivities involved them 'drinking Jul,' with drafts offered up to Odin, Frey and the other Norse gods.

Sweden and Denmark, with their shared Viking beginnings, were equally enthusiastic about their holiday brewing and drinking, both from that early period until recent times—indeed, the Swedes were among the first Europeans to bring a Christmas beer tradition  to North America  in the 17th century.

Commercial production  of Scandinavian Christmas beers only began in earnest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the story continues today; modern Scandianvian brewers, even those that produce little beyond fairly generic lagers the rest of the year, continue to brew Julebryg and Juleøl for Christmas—or for a Jul revival.
The Scandinavian Christmas brewing phenomenon did not go unnoticed elsewhere; in 1804, an anonymous British correspondent noted Scandinavian holiday brewing traditions as outside the wider European norm: the Christmas beer, which had been brewed in October, was ' pleasing to the palate, but heady .'

If you want to celebrate like a viking this year start at midnight, December 21st, Yule officially begins, and Yule eve is celebrated as the "Mother Night." Preparations must be made to cheer on and strengthen Thor as he prepares to once again battle the frost giants to keep them from turning Midgard (the land of humans) into a land of frost and bitter cold. With our help, Thor will once gain prevent Fimbulwinter, the precursor to Ragnarok (which is not so much the end of the world as it is the beginning of a new one).

For 12 days, celebrations will be held with friends and family, with much cheer, drink, food, burning of bonfires, and quiet reflection. December 25th falls right in the middle, and New Year's will be its culmination.

Yuletide checklist:
  1. Place a evergreen tree in your house.
  2. Burn Yule log.
  3. Sacrifice a boar. Maybe just roast a ham instead.
  4. Drink some local beer or mead.
  5. Play some board games and connect with loved ones.

No matter what holiday you celebrate this December and no matter what holiday beverage you plan on enjoying, please be kind to one another, don't drink and drive and try to give more than you take.

Have a happy holiday! Skål! 

Brewery: Four Day Ray

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 6%

IBU: 26

Notes : Brown and mahogany with a tan head and ruby highlights. Toast, malty sweetness, stone fruit, caramel, and slight alcohol permeate the air space above the goodness below. The flavor is a melting pot of fruitiness, chocolate, caramel, toffee, slight roast, and warming alcohol. The finish is dry and clean. This beer won a bronze medal at the 2017 Indiana Brewers Cup. 

Brewery: McClure's Orchard

Style: Mead

ABV: 6.8%


Notes: Made with estate collected honey, flowers and bee pollen. Dry and crisp.

Brewery: New Holland

Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout

ABV: 5.9%

IBU: 0

Notes: Dragon’s Milk is a 17th century term used to describe the strong beer usually reserved for royalty. This strong ale was aged in oak for over 120 days. The aging process extracts flavors from the wood, which contribute to its complex character. Hints of bourbon flavor perfectly compliment its roasted malts to produce a beer fit for a King.

Dragons Milk is America #1 selling barrel aged stout.

8/4 12oz BOTTLES
Brewery: Scarlet Lane


ABV: 4.7%

IBU: 23

Notes: The nose is a bouquet of berry and citrus with a light biscuit taste that finishes clean and dry.


Brewery: Rhinegeist

Style: Coffee Milk Stout

ABV: 6%

IBU: 25

Notes: Slightly sweet and full-bodied with hints of complex roasted malts and chocolate, Calfé delivers a kick to the corral. This pillowy, silky and aromatic Coffee Milk Stout is infused with java roasted locally by the team at Cincinnati's Deeper Roots Coffee - a multidimensional brew that delivers on rich, smooth and delicious.

Brewery: Country Boy

Style: Wet Hopped IPA

ABV: 7%


Notes: Wet hopped with Kentucky grown hops local to Country Boy. It's named Second Crop because you never quite know what the hop farms first cash crop is.

How Clean Are Your Draft Lines?

  Without question the easiest way to improve the quality of beer that you serve your customers is consistently cleaning your draft lines. Zink is very proud to adhere to the standard of cleaning our lines every two weeks. We have been asked before about the necessity of this practice and now this standard gets a great article from none other than the Brewers Association itself. For those who are unaware, the Brewers Association is the governing body for every brewer, micro or macro, in the country. Take a look at the link below to see why cleaning every two weeks is so important to both the quality of your beer and the maintenance of your system.

Ask your Sales Representative today about how we can help you!

Contact Us!

David Mahaffa
Director of Craft Beer
           Cell: (317) 519-1778       
Office: (317) 781-5800 x684

John Beal
Craft Beer Representative
Cell: (317) 538-6061
Email: JohnBeal@zinkdistributing.com

Jen Nead
High End Brand Manager
Cell: (317) 557-7639
Email: JenniferNead@Zinkdistributing.com