Seriously Bad Elf - Ridgeway Brewing, South Stoke
Ridgewood's Christmas theme continues, with Seriously Bad Elf, a strong (and therefore "serious") but sweet ale with a citrus kick. Other brews in the Christmas range include Very Bad Elf, Criminally Bad Elf, and Insanely Bad Elf -- with just about every increment of bad elf you can imagine, you're spoiled for choice.
Ginger Beard, Wychwood Brewery, Oxfordshire
Because the Brits love a ginger (and who doesn't love a good ginger beer-d?). Contrary to its name, this brew (thankfully) doesn't taste like a ginger bloke's facial hair -- not that we know what that tastes like -- but instead has a tangy, somewhat spicy ginger taste.
Roaring Meg - Springhead Brewery, Nottingham
From gingers to blondes, this smooth, amber beer -- dubbed the "Big Blonde" -- is a beauty, with a sweet, citrus taste. It even has its own fan following
, thanks to its popularity at beer fests. As for Meg, we've no idea who she is, so the beer's either an insult or a great accolade...
Tanglefoot - Badger’s Brewery, Dorset
Despite what the name might have you believe, this ale does not taste like feet -- tangled or otherwise. Rather, it's got a light, somewhat buttery taste with a hint of honey. Tangled toes have never sounded so appealing.
Old Hooky - Hook Norton Brewery, Oxon
We're pretty sure Old Hooky's not named after a captain lost at sea aboard a pirate ship, but let's just pretend that it is... Hooky may've been an old fellow, but this ale's a fine one to refresh the palette -- fruity, full-bodied, and with a citrus zing, Old Hooky's still got it.
Old Peculier - Theakston Brewery, Masham
The Brits love their golden oldies... At first glance it looks like a bad spelling error, but its spelling might be the only thing strange about this brew. Beer connoisseurs love the Old Peculier for its smooth texture and peppery, earthy taste -- and with a hint of licorice, this one's not for the faint-hearted.
Old Speckled Hen - Greene King/ Morland Brewery, Suffolk
Despite the off-putting name, there's nothing old about this crisp pale ale. A bright amber color when poured, with a subtle bready taste, Old Speckled Hen's a trustworthy bird -- and a failsafe order at the local.
Old Engine Oil - Harviestoun Brewery, Clackmannanshire, Scotland
Yet another unpleasant-sounding brew that's getting on a bit, Old Engine Oil's a ruddy strong porter, packed with flavor. Chocolate, malt, and coffee dominate, while the texture's far more sumptuous than the stuff leaking in your driveway.
Pigswill - Stonehenge Ale Limited (Bunces Brewery), Wiltshire
You won't find this at the bottom of a pig's trough... But with its rich, hoppy taste and full flavor, this ale's one to chug down as though you did.
Dog's Bollocks, Wychwood Brewery, Oxfordshire
You might be reluctant to order a pint of Dog's Bollocks -- just try to not make a total ass out of yourself in front of the cute barmaid/ your mates/ pub locals -- but it's worth it. "Big, Round and Fruity" is this beer's motto, and it sticks to its promise with a slightly tart plum taste and smooth, rounded finish. No one'll break your balls over a tankard of this stuff.
Bishops Finger - Shepherd Neame Brewery, Kent
Bishops abound in Britain; from Chester to Chelmsford, bishops be errrrywhere. We wonder how this beer got its bizarre, and frankly rather questionable, name -- did a bishop lose a finger during the brewing process? Regardless, it's got a fine, sharp, chocolately taste.
Tactical Nuclear Penguin, BrewDog, Ellon, Aberdeenshire
The (former) world’s strongest beer
is tactical, indeed -- we’re not so sure about nuclear. But, at a whopping 32% ABV, it’s strong enough to conceivably hallucinate penguins.Thanks to its sharp chocolate and tar taste, this brew's been likened to an ashtray, and compared to a cigar's burnt end
. If that's your deal, then this one's for you. If it's not, whatever, penguins are damn adorable
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. She spent last summer at a beer festival in England serving Granny Wouldn't Like It to drunk Irishmen. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.