#WinterBeer – PorchDrinking.com
Ah, ’tis season of winter beers. As the days and nights turn colder in the northern parts of the nation, the bite in the air invites us to turn from the lighter beers of summer to the bigger, bolder and richer beers designed to be sipped by the fire, enjoyed with hearty menus or served at warmer temperatures.
The three most popular winter styles, outside the realm of barrel-aging, involve stouts, porters and brown ales. While most can adequately describe stouts, the differences between porters and brown ales are often misunderstood. To better understand the styles, I asked some breweries in the St. Louis region to provide clarity on the topic.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, California’s Central Coast brewing behemoth, has become a frequent visitor to the Colorado craft beer scene. With hazy memories of tasters at past beer festivals, I eyed a can of Mocha Merlin with hesitant hope.
Sure, the hearty coffee-infused stout is a beer intended for the cold season — a great beer to warm you up as you sip from your chalice in the (Game of Thrones’) Winterfell Great Hall — but why must winter ever end? Recent posts on various “beer check-in” websites show that the beer continues to be enjoyed, even as the weather turns more summer-like each day.
At first, this seemed so easy. Just write about the best things to do, see, experience, eat and drink in Chaffee County. But here’s the problem: It’s only for 2 days and 2 nights. Being in and around Salida and Buena Vista brings on that kid-in-the-candy store feeling. Except in terms of outdoorsy adventures. I want it all! So, I’ll steer you to a few of my favorite things, then it’s up to you to see where it all leads.
ABV 9.1 | IBU 45
The sun dipped below the North Pole’s horizon long ago — not to be seen again until March. The relentless darkness creates indescribable arctic cold that marches southward all winter. But, there’s more than just frosty breezes arriving from the north, there’s Imperial Stout — Two Brothers Brewing Northwind Imperial Stout.
ABV: 14.0% | IBU: 65
Fremont Brewing delivers another liquid giant to liven up another holiday season. Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb is the awesomely adjunct-ed, cooler and even more popular older cousin of Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Ale, Fremont’s flagship bourbon barrel aged beer. It can be found lounging around the MoonTower, slicking back it’s long golden waxy locks, and murmuring phrases like: “Alright, alright, alright.”
What better way to get acquainted with Holiday beer than a December beer festival offering local, national and imported selections? For instance, BrewLights 2016 — a craft beer festival held amidst Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal family, adorned by a plethora of holiday lights and accompanied by plenty of holiday tunes. The scene at BrewLights made it tough not to get into the holiday spirit. Throw in a little nip in the air and the smell of Christmas beer, and it’s as if Santa himself has arranged the party. As you shop this year, it may be difficult to know what holiday-seasonal beers to purchase, so let’s go through the 12 beer samples of Christmas provided at BrewLights 2016.
I suppose there is a chance you live under a rock, or a chance that you’ve avoided the plethora of weather apps on your smartphone. Maybe you’ve given up completely on TV meteorologists. But, SURPRISE, it’s winter, and there is going to be snow. (I know. It comes as a shock every year).
Some of you may actually see a lot of snow this weekend; maybe even enough to keep you inside for a day or two. Instead of issuing what meteorologists jokingly call a “French Toast Warning” — that’s when everyone rushes to the store in a panic and pillages the bread, milk and egg aisles — let’s stock up on the real essentials. This is your Ultimate 6er of the best craft beer to drink while you watch the snowflakes pile up outside.
The 2015 Winter Beer Festival took over the Emerald City this last weekend with three sessions over Friday and Saturday, giving guests the opportunity to taste-test from over 50 Washington breweries as they showcased their greatest winter beers.
When I think of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, I usually think of the hop-heavy portion of their offering, from their classic IPA and Torpedo to the less traditional Flipslide Red IPA. I was both surprised and excited to see Sierra Nevada snag a bronze medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival in the Imperial Stout category. A couple days after the festival, I saw this blingtastic brew at Argonaut and I was not able to turn it down.