10. Accumulation White IPA
New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo.
Admittedly, we looked at this beer slightly askance when it came out of its bottle with the cozy image of an Airstream in the snow. New Belgium warns that it's a white IPA -- just about the direct opposite of every other dark, malty holiday beer out there -- but seeing that champagne-pale color and fizz was still a bit jarring.
The flavor, however, wasn't in the least. The brewery claims there are Centennial and Target hops in here, but the Amarillo and especially the Mosaic hops used in the dry-hopping process for flavor and aroma are right out front. That's where you want them, as Mosaic hops give a beer a nice, fruity flavor without being as citric-acidic as a Citra hop or as puckeringly bitter as a Cascade. It wants to be super bitter, but that sweetness in the initial taste just carries through. It's one of those great holiday presents that you didn't ask for, but didn't know you wanted until you opened it.