Seasonal Beers are the gems of the brewing world. They can come and go in a cyclical fashion, and they represent the best in creativity and passion that a brewer can deliver. Seasonal beers focus on seasonal ingredients and highlight flavors that harmonize with the fare of the moment.
Check out SeasonalBeerandFood.org for a great little search engine that lets you find out in which states various craft brands are distributed… just punch in your home state (or where you are traveling to) to find what you could be drinking with your Thanksgiving Turkey or Christmas Ham. The list is NOT exhaustive… there are lots of missing brewers, but it's a good start.
What's the best thing you can do? Go to your local beer distributor and check out the craft beer selections. Take a six-pack or two with you to wherever your holiday travels may take you and try to convert those wine drinkers to beer lovers. I personally plan on giving Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock a try this holiday weekend. Here in NY I'm going to look into the Saranac Vanilla Stout from Matt Brewing, and as I am traveling to Maine, I plan on acquiring some Shipyard Prelude (check out this amusing video)… and will probably bring some back home with me.
And my last personal recommendation for this season is Magic Hat's Jinx (review on Brian's Belly is forthcoming) a “peat-smoked whiskey malt” which I fell in love with last week and then went back and bought out the store.