Tired of the same old winter warmer you see on tap each year? Me too!
What many don’t realize is that there are more seasonal beers than just a winter warmer, Christmas ale and Mad Elf. This year, let’s branch out together and try a few new winter beers that are sure to become classics.
Here are few suggestions to get you started:
Some beers are made to refresh us on a summer’s day. This beer is the complete opposite. Old Man is an Old Ale or stock ale, which has been brewed for hundreds of years in England. These beers tend to be deep amber in color and are fuller bodied with flavors of malt, raisin or black currant. Old Man has a little bit of hop flavor up front but balances to deeper winter flavors of cocoa and pecan. Southern Tier releases this beer in late November each year and it is available at your local distributor.
It’s true that my first ventures into craft beer came in the form of white ale and hefeweizen, with Bell’s Winter White being no exception. I’ve seen this beer on tap already around town at The Sturges Speakeasy and Federal Taphouse so expect it to be an easy score. This beer isn’t the normal heavy winter beer you’d expect to find this time of year. Instead, you’ll find a lighter more refreshing medium-bodied wheat ale exuding clove and fruity aromas. This is perfect for the Blue Moon lover and those looking to branch out from Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat.
I really can’t say enough good things about our friends at Millbock in Linglestown. Their holiday offering is another unexpected take on the season with a 7% ABV IPA featuring 12 — yes, 12 — different hops. This year’s version includes Athanum, Belma, Cascade, Citra, Chinook, Falconers Flight, Legacy, Millennium, Nugget, Simcoe, Warrior and Zythos. When one thinks of a pile of hops like this you either expect a competition of hop flavors or just a bitter mess, but I can assure you this beer is quite the contrary. Instead, expect to find a balanced hop profile leaning towards a floral taste overall that’s crisp and satisfying. Be sure to grab one next week at the release at The Warwick Hotel: more details from Out With Sara.
How could you not drink a beer called Brrr? Widmer Brothers’ seasonal ale Brrr is yet another stray from the typical winter warmer. In this beer expect to find a deep red hue, notes of rye and a crisp citrus hoppy finish. A reviewer on Beer Advocate describes its taste as “standing on the deck of a mountain house in New Hampshire during Christmas Week wearing a winter hat, heavy peat coat and flannel lined cargos (red & black flannel lining) there’s 3 feet of snow on ground and the pine trees are cloaked in snow.”
Looking for something a little heavier? Try its brother Barrel Aged Brrrbon, the bourbon barrel aged version of Brrr with vanilla flavors and a 9.5% abv kick. This beer is part of their Reserve series and comes in a wax dipped bottle making it a great pre-wrapped gift (hint hint).
CATEGORIES: Craft Beer