Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Grab Me A Beer.
Winter is my favorite time of year as a beer lover. When the temperature drops, beer and food start to taste better. This is when I put away the IPAs and lighter beers and go straight for the porters and stouts. I prefer dark beers year round, but they taste even better in the colder weather. This is the time when all my favorite seasonal beers start coming out. My wife has to get on to me because I get a little too excited and start buying way too much of it. I don’t limit myself to dark beers, but for the most part, I am always on the lookout for chocolate stouts. Mmmmm, chocolate stouts!! So, before I make myself thirsty pop open a brew, here are a few of my favorites.
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 13.40% ABV
You know with that 13.4 ABV, that this beer is going to keep you very very warm. I have never had more than one in a night. Right now this beer is #2 on Beer Advocate’s overall rankings. That alone makes it worth trying. I recommend a heavy pork meal and a glass of water to go with this beer. Make sure you have a DD.
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 8.30% ABV
This is actually my all-time favorite beer. It is available fall-winter and cost about 10$ for a 4pack. It is perfect. Perfect coffee notes, perfect chocolates, perfect color, perfect ABV, perfect with some bacon… simply perfect.
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.80% ABV
They change this one up every year. Each season’s release uses a different dark roasted coffee. The consistent strong coffee taste and high ABV are what keep me coming back.
New York, United States
Russian Imperial Stout | 10.00% ABV
This beer holds a very special place in my heart. It was one of my first real adventures in trying something new with beer. I saw the 10% ABV and the word chocolate and figured, “What the heck, lets give it a whirl.” Ever sense then, I have not missed a year with out grabbing a few of these. It’s the perfect beer if you only want one.
Anchor Brewing Company Merry Christmas/ Happy New Year
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
Winter Warmer | 5.50% ABV
Another beer that changes every year. They won’t tell you anything about the recipe, so you never know what you are going to get. Maybe a little vanilla, maybe a little more pine taste, who knows what they may decide that year? I have gotten this beer for 5 years now and only one batch wasn’t as good. Overall, it’s perfect for a night by the fire. Especially if you have a real Christmas tree.
St Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Old Ale/Strong Ale | 7.0% ABV
Finally, a beer that isn’t as dark as the night sky. I told you I am not limited to dark stouts. Brewed in Houston, Tx, this is the beer I always recommend to natives and visitors for Christmas time. I have never met anyone that didn’t like it.
Winter 12 Pack Bonus:
If you need some gateway winter beers, go for the Sam Adams Winter Pack. You usually can’t go wrong with Sam Adams. For the most part, they do pretty well with all their beers. The Winter Lager is a great go-to beer if you can’t make up your mind. I have only had a couple that I will not be having again. (Chocolate Cherry Bock is the worst beer I have ever had.)
Fall Beer Bonus:
Dogfish Head Brewery
Delaware, United States
Pumpkin Ale | 7.00% ABV
Not so much a winter beer, but I like to hold on to a couple for Thanksgiving and Christmas day. You have to know the day your local beer store is going to get them in, because they usually sell out in about 48 hours and they limit how many you can buy. The Punkin Ale is my favorite pumpkin flavored thing you can get during the “Everything is pumpkin flavored” time of year. They use plenty of pumpkin and tons of brown sugar in the brewing process, so this one has an awesome bold taste.
So far, I haven’t been able to find all my favorites this year. Some of them haven’t come out yet, but I got my eye out for them. Hopefully, some of you will find and try a couple of these beers. It is always good to expand your beer pallet. I am always open to trying new beers, so feel free to suggest a few.
He was a wise man who invented beer.