When the temperature drops, you want a beer that will instantly warm you up. Historically, regions where winters are unforgiving the seasonal beers brewed are fuller with Stouts and Porters being a favorite choice. Today, some seasonal beers are made with spicy, fruity and even candied flavors while others are simply straightforward supercharged recipes with a higher Alcohol by Volume (ABV). Here are four suggestions to heat up those long frigid nights.
Yeti Imperial Stout. The Great Divide Brewing Company, located in downtown Denver, is world famous for their award winning brews and their special Belgian-style Yeti Imperial Stout has received six prizes. This toasty malt has a rich caramel and chocolate flavor (without being too sweet) to temper its 9.5% ABV. Needless to say this is not a beer for hot, sunny days.
Sleigh’r Dark Double Alt Ale. Eugene, Oregon-based Ninkasi Brewing Company has only been brewing high quality beers since 2006 but they have established a reputation for kick-ass brews. With a 7.2% ABV, there is a reason this malt ale is called “Sleigh’r.” These winter suds balance crisp grapefruit hops in a way that gives just the right fruitiness without being overpoweringly sweet.
Bell's Christmas Ale. Bell's Christmas Ale avoids the trappings of seasonal spices and relies on the smooth natural toffee flavor from the 100% Michigan-grown barley it uses at its Kalamazoo, Michigan, brewery. And chiming in at only 5.5% ABV, this is a good holiday party choice when you don’t want to get completely wasted.
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Based in Chico, California, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has won several prestigious awards for this seasonal brew. Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, which has a 6.8% ABV oomph, has been described as “pale ale on steroids” and the “best beer ever made in America.” This is another seasonal beer that avoids the holiday spices in favor of a faint pine needle aroma and slight citrus flavor.