Christmas Jam! Christmas Jam! What better beer for a jam session that a session ale? That seems to be Sierra Nevada’s reasoning for their Christmas Jam Session Ale. This is a special beer brewed each year for the annual Asheville Christmas Jam concert. That concert has been held for the past 28 years and is headlined by local guitarist Warren Haynes.
In past years, Asheville Brewing Company produced Christmas Jam Ale for the concert, but Sierra Nevada took over production when they built their huge new brewery in Mills River just outside Asheville. Today, the beer is still brewed in collaboration with Asheville Brewing. This is not a traditional Christmas ale so much as it is a quaffable beer for the Christmas Jam concert. 2016 marked the first time I had ever seen it in bottles.
From the label:
Turn up the bass, plug in, and settle down for a long jam session with this hop-forward beer. Brewed for the annual Asheville Christmas Jam, this hop-driven session ale is the perfect beer for this one-of-a-kind musical marvel. This easygoing beer works its way up the scale of hop flavors with cool notes of citrus and pine alongside bright, fruity aromas. This medley balances against a toasty malt backbone for a mellow balance and jam-worthy drinkability. In previous years, our friends at Asheville Brewing Company had the pleasure of making this musical brew, but Sierra Nevada was lucky enough to get the call this year, and what a honor it is. Cheers!
Sierra Nevada Christmas Jam has an alcohol content of 5.3% by volume which really disqualifies it as a session ale. It is very reasonable at $4.49 for a unique 24-ounce bottle. Mine was packaged on 10/03/16 and I drank it on New Year’s Day.
Sierra Nevada Christmas Jam Session Ale pours to a slightly hazy orange color with a thick rocky head formation and a resounding fresh hoppy nose of citrus fruits and herbal oregano. Taking a sip, the beer has a firm maltiness for a pale ale, followed by juicy orange citrus notes and earthy, herbal grassy oregano notes. It finishes rather bitter in a green grassy way. What about it is Christmassy? There are piney notes here that remind me of a Christmas tree, so there you go.
A tasty pale ale indeed with a pleasant fresh hoppy profile, grab it while you can. Better yet, grab a couple. At this low price you could easily session a few of these bad boys.
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.