The city is full of lights. Window displays sparkle with the magic of the season and holiday music fills the air. Not only is Norfolk decked out for the holidays but Norfolk’s award winning breweries are making spirits bright by showcasing their flavorful microbrews just for the occasion!


Come by the Chelsea district of Norfolk and you’ll find Smartmouth Brewery offering many taste bud tickling flavors. But the one to notice this year is the Cowcatcher milk stout.  Because what good is a warm fire without the aroma of rich cocoa, dark-roasted coffee beans? Pair this moo brew with brownies, chocolate chip cookies or any rich, sweet treat you’ll offer friends and family this year. Oh, and see if you can catch that warm pumpernickel bread finish.  


A large scale brewery with a micro mission, O’Connor Brewing Co. presents many holiday favorites. Sweater Weather Belgian Wit, a medium bodied brew fit to warm you up all winter long. A full body semi – sweet Winter Pecan Porter infused with toasted pecans. And try Bold Man Oyster Stout that harnesses the incredible tastes of the ocean and the bay for a briney brew. These are just a few of the wide selections at OCB.


Veteran owned and approved by many, Bold Mariner Brewing Co. serves up their Night Hawk Dark Saison in the Chelsea district. Its deep black color mingles the aromas of fruit, spice and pepper and everything nice with chocolate and roasted flavors throughout. If that doesn’t do it for ya, then there are plenty of other fantastic options to choose from. But don’t be too late, these special holiday releases last as long as the keg.


Chesapeake Bay themed Rip Rap Brewing Co. in Ghent invites one to try their light, easy drinking and crowd pleasing Breakwater Cream Ale or take a wild ride down a candy cane slide and sip the Heart’s Content Peppermint Stout, a rich dark stout that will ring in those Christmas bells.


If you want to up the ante and try something uniquely different, Benchtop Brewery might be the place. Here, holidays are all about family and the brew-masters have figured out a way to bottle their very own grandmother’s sweet potato recipe in Grammy’s Famous.  


Feeling more like Caramel Apple Pie? Coelacanth Brewing Co. (see-luh-kanth) created this extraordinary brown porter with fresh Virginia apples for a malty, caramel surprise for the pallet. You can also find English pub style flavors in CBPB English Mild, Gorgon (Cask) English Barleywine, and discover Nunya; a brown ale that was fermented using cocoa and fresh raspberries.


There’s a rare place in the NEON district that offers the flavors of a s’more in their Randy Rook Red Ale, and that’s the Bearded Bird Brewery. If that sounds a bit much maybe you would like to go back in time for a Sweet 16 Sweet Potato Ale that captures the aromas of ginger, sweet potato and cloves for a lightly sweet, without being sugary, and finishes with just enough bitterness to stay out past curfew.