Judging by the forecasts, getting snowed in this winter is a serious possibility. Fine with us. We found you an assortment of seasonal beers you won’t mind getting stuck inside with, from bottles that bring classic chocolate and coffee flavours to the table, to winterized versions of more hop-forward styles. No matter what, they all have one thing in common—they’ll definitely warm you up. Most of these hit stores this November, so we suggest stocking up before the snow really gets out of hand.
Anchor Winter Wheat
So, just what do a bunch of brewers from the sunny West Coast know about winter? A hell of a lot, apparently. The brand-new Winter Wheat beer from Anchor Brewing sounds like the crisp summer favourite, but instead pours black as night and tastes of hearty wheat malt—coffee notes abound. However, the body stays as light as that of its warm-weather namesake.
Sierra Nevada Boomerang IPA
When it’s winter here, it’s summer in Australia. This winter seasonal takes floral and robust Southern Hemisphere hops from down under and throws them into an IPA featuring a lightly malty body. The result is an interesting departure from your typical chocolate/coffee-based seasonal. Pick it up as part of Sierra Nevada’s new Snowpack sampler alongside the brewery’s annual Coffee Stout.
Schell’s Snowstorm 2014: Grand Cru
Every year Schell’s German brewery comes up with a new style of beer for winter, and every year they don’t disappoint. The 2014 edition of Snowstorm is a Grand Cru using an experimental new malt and Belgian yeast. The brew contains notes of lemon peel, coriander and sweet and bitter orange, balanced with a dose of Turbinado sugar.
Harpoon Brewing Chocolate Stout
This classic chocolate stout hailing from the frosty climes of Windsor, Ontario has been around for a few years. It’s especially malty and full-bodied with a creamy head to match its big flavour. Thankfully, Harpoon Brewery’s brewmaster paid special attention to its balance, and ensured a balanced, not overly sweet, finish.
Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co. brewed this award-winning ale with honey, spices, ginger and cinnamon to give it its trademark festive and floral notes. A blend of Harrington, wheat, Crystal and roasted barley malts contribute to a clean mouthfeel, while Cascade hops provide a citrusy foil to the spices. Oh, and it pairs with everything you’d like to eat for Christmas dinner.
Firestone Walker Velvet Mocha Merlin
Elysian Bifröst Winter Ale
Bifrost Winter Ale from Elysian Brewing—so named after the mythical bridge that connects the mortal world to the heavens in Norse mythology—packs a punch with a beefy 7.6 per cent ABV. Magnum and Chinook hops liven up the sweet, earthy notes bestowed upon it by a combination of Pale, Munich and Crystal malts, resulting in a well-balanced winter warmer.