There’s something rather delightful about opening a tall bottle of seasonally-brewed winter ale and drinking a mug of it while it’s freezing cold outside. Once the temperature starts dipping into the 30’s we think there are few things better to drink than a spiced winter ale or an extra-rich stout. Here are seven of our favorites to sip on this holiday season. To you and yours, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
1. Anchor Steam, Christmas Ale
This classic winter warmer will really get you in the mood. It’s got a deep mahogany color, with toasted aromas of fruitcake and blackstrap molasses. A roasted caramel malt makes Anchor Steam’s Christmas Ale go down extra smooth.
2. 10 Barrel, Pray for Snow
Seven different malts go into this intriguing, pine-fresh hoppy ale. You’ll be doing a snow dance outside, before you know it, if you start drinking this beer! The IBU on this one is 75 so expect bitter complexity when you crack it open.
3. Samuel Smith, Winter Welcome
It’s tough being an import when you have to compete with all those good American winter beers, but Samuel Smith of Yorkshire, England has been doing it right for more than a hundred years. They’re definitely onto something – and once you try this spicy, malty ale you’ll know.
4. Allagash, Grand Cru
This Portland, Maine brewery makes their Belgian-style ale especially for the colder winter months (so basically six months out of the year). A deep golden color, smoky, spicy, and hoppy, Grand Cru is the right beer for the season.
5. Rogue, Chipotle Ale
Surprising though it may seem, a little bit of a spicy kick can really take a winter ale over the top. Nowhere is this more apparent than Rogue’s Chipotle Ale, which has that smoky and spicy flavor of smoked jalapeno peppers to give it an edge. On the coldest night of the year, this is the beer you want to reach for.
6. Sam Adams, Winter Lager
Boston’s big craft beer company makes a lot of great seasonal brews, and their winter lager is one of their most popular. It goes down easy, and nutmeg and clove notes make it the perfect complement to a hearty roast.
7. Magic Hat, Winter Mingle Stout
Magic Hat’s Winter Mingle is a seasonal twist on their stout. A tasty vanilla accent, on the toasty coffee notes of the stout, delivers an excellent touch of sweetness, just in time for the new year.