For Christmas drinking, I have chosen five distinctive, five-star brews, available through specialty beer outlets.
Zierholz Pils 5-litre keg $40
Zierholz Brewery's keg delivers pure, rich, malty flavours and lovely, clean lingering bitterness (for those who like hops).
Hacker Pschorr-Munchen Gold 500ml $8
This full-bodied, light coloured beer, from Germany, features a seductive malty, hoppy aroma, opulent palate and bitter finish.
Schneider Weisse Hefeweizen 500ml $7.50
This is a Bavarian classic: a fine example of wheat ale, with distinctive banana-like fruity esters and a gentle, bitter bite.
Fullers Golden Pride Superior Strength Ale 500ml $8.40
Fullers sumptuous ale carries its 8.5 per cent alcohol with grace and style, its plush maltiness balanced by northdown, challenger and harvest hops.
Samuel Smith Old Brewery Tadcaster Taddy Porter 550ml $8.55
Smith's robust, smooth porter balances seductive chocolatey, roasted-grain flavours against a lingering, dry, bitter finish.