Nothing says happy holidays like a casual buzz from a locally brewed beer, and area breweries are eager to make the yuletide season a rosy-cheeked, bleary-eyed affair. Stouts and porters, with their chocolaty hues, are an ideal base for seasonal flavors, and JDub’s Brewing Company, Darwin Brewing Company and Naughty Monk Brewery will be serving up their own spin on the creamy beverages. From the now-ubiquitous JDubs comes the Peppermint Milk Chocolate Porter, a lush brew that will freshen mouths as it loosens ties. Darwin Brewing will be whipping up a batch of Big Deal Cinnamon Spiced Imperial Stout, an ode to the boozy Russian beers of the 19th century, featuring a dizzying 10.4% alcohol content and a wintry aftertaste of cinnamon and spices. Encouraging beer aficionados to stay in their pajamas a little bit longer the next morning, Naughty Monk Brewing will offer their Naughty Night Out Imperial Stout, darkly roasted and dry like seasoned firewood.

Pairing perfectly with these decadent brews is an assortment of chocolates from the local chocolatiers at Chocolate Bark Company. Operating continuously since 1998, they know a thing or two about satisfying the most discerning sweet tooth. Featuring a trinity of chocolate that will inspire New Year’s resolutions for weight loss is the Peppermint Holiday, a blend of dark, milk and white chocolate with the icy mouthfeel of a candy cane. Inspired by the original edible house, the Ginger Bread Spice bark will compel kids and parents to skip the mini construction project of a ginger bread house and go straight for the candy hangover. 

JDub’s Brewing Company  1215 Mango Ave., Sarasota, 941-955-2739.  Darwin Brewing Company and Taproom  803 17th Ave. W, Bradenton, 941-747-1970. Naughty Monk Brewing Company 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton, 941-708-2966. The Chocolate Bark Company 2114 Gulf Gate Dr., Sarasota, 941-925-1111.