Merry Christmas from Columbus, Ohio! For the holidays, Columbus Brewing is offering up a tasty new winter seasonal/Christmas Ale in the form of Columbus Citra Noel Hoppy Holiday Ale. With Citra Noel, Columbus eschews the spiced ale route and instead offers up a bright and citrusy single hop IPA. Columbus does IPAs so well that this makes perfect sense to me.
Mind you, I enjoy spiced winter warmers for the holidays, but every now and again a beer like Columbus Citra Noel Hoppy Holiday Ale is a welcome change. Those wonderful citrus notes are like a beacon of warmth in the cold winter months, and recall fondly childhood Christmas mornings.
What’s that you say? No, I didn’t drink beer on Christmas morning as a kid, but you see, when my brothers and I were kids, my dad would fill our stocking with oranges, apples, nuts, candy and comic books. I think that’s what his dad did, and so he carried on the tradition. The citrus here reminds me of biting into a juicy orange on Christmas morning.
Columbus says this about Citra Noel on their website:
Welcome to a new holiday tradition. Our mahogany colored ale features tropical fruit notes from Citra® hops and has a deep rich malt character.
Columbus Citra Noel Hoppy Holiday Ale has an alcohol content of 7.3% by volume with 34 IBUs according to the website, although my taste buds tell me there are more than that. My bottle was packaged on 10/28/16 and I drank it on December 22nd.
Columbus Citra Noel Hoppy Holiday Ale pours to a bright orange color with a thick creamy head and a bold citrusy grapefruit nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a medium caramel maltiness up front followed by lots and lots of juicy citrusy grapefruit flesh, pith and peel flavor and aroma all followed up nicely by a long dry bitter rind finish.
I think I’d like this with just a bit more malt, but it’s a beautiful beer just as it is. Truly delightful, and a new Christmas treasure of a beer.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.