Pagans, Christmas, and Holiday Beer

December 25th, 2016

Tis the season to enjoy the company of friends and family over a holiday brew.

Speaking of icy, cold beverages, it may surprise you to learn that seasonal winter beers are not a new phenomenon that’s emerged from the growth of British Columbia’s hop-loving craft brewery scene.

According to pagan tradition, once a year, people would brew a special winter beer to coincide with their pagan religious celebrations, such as the Winter Solstice. Over time, Christianity adopted several pagan traditions in the hopes of converting more followers. One of these adopted elements was carrying forward the tradition of brewing darker, heartier beers around the Christmas season.

As time passed, Christian cultures continued on with the pagan brewing custom. This trend was most pronounced in Europe. Countries such as France, Germany, and Norway were well known for their festive, yuletide lagers.

So, this holiday season, after the presents are wrapped and the cellphones are put down for a long winter’s nap, take some time to relax and laugh with loved ones. And, as you’re sipping on a cold winter ale, you can share with your friends and family that we’ve been celebrating the holidays over a festive drink dating back to the pagans!

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