A few brews we think you may enjoy
Heavy Seas Winter Storm
This is one of my go-to winter selections. An Imperial ESB (Extra Special Bitter), it’s the perfect balance of earthy hop aromas and dark, nutty malts. As we prepare for a repeat of last year’s snow storms, I will have at least a few in the fridge, ready to go!
— Tyler Mitchell, Graphic Designer
Bell’s Brewery Hopslam Ale
I am going with Bell’s Hopslam, a seasonal ale that Bell’s Brewery releases in January. The (very) big brother to their more common Two-Hearted Ale, this double IPA clocks in with an ABV of 10 percent and will definitely keep you warm. It’s deceptively drinkable, tasty but not overly bitter, brewed with honey and just plain delicious. I have a note to self that says three is too many.
— Joe del Tufo, Contributing Photographer
Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale
Although certainly not a dessert beer, this ale comes with a certain sweetness that brings to mind treats like maple walnut muffins and peanut brittle. Slightly bitter flavors of roasted nuts and coffee help provide balance and depth, resulting in a surprisingly smooth and relatively lighter winter brew that won’t weigh you down during big holiday meals.
— Jim Miller, Director of Publications
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
This is a holiday tradition for me and, in fact, I got so overzealous last year that I still have some around. “It’s probably skunk beer by now,” says a colleague. Au contraire, I had one just weeks ago and if it was skunky then I’m a skunk-beer drinker. It is bursting with fresh hops flavor, leading many to think Sierra Nevada changes the recipe annually by adding different spices, combinations, etc. Not true, says the brewery. They’ve been using the same recipe since 1983. It’s simply the fact that the flavor of hops changes from year to year.
— Jerry duPhily, Publisher
Southern Tier Warlock
OK, I know this brew is technically a “fall” beer, but I’m advocating for its winter status as well. The Warlock – an imperial stout brewed with pumpkin and spices with an ABV of 8.6 percent – casts a velvety spell that’s rich, spicy and even a bit chocolate-ey – a warm blanket of flavor to wrap around you as the days grow colder. I’m enchanted by Southern Tier’s sorcerer!
— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer