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12 Beers to Drink in the Winter

As the frosty embrace of winter settles in, the world of craft brewing awakens with a warm and inviting array of winter beers. 

Different sorts of winter beers on wooden bar background.

These seasonal brews bring comfort and cheer to the coldest months, offering a tantalizing spectrum of flavors to explore by the fireside. From spiced ales that evoke the festive spirit to rich, dark stouts that provide solace from the chill, winter beers are a testament to the creativity of brewers. In this article, we embark on a journey through the frost-kissed landscape of winter brews, uncovering the unique ingredients and flavors that make each sip a celebration of the season.

Imperial IPA

Imperial IPA
source: voodooranger.com

Imperial IPA, often known for its bold and robust hop flavors, adds a vibrant twist to the world of winter beers. Its intense hoppy profile can bring a burst of citrus and pine notes reminiscent of a snowy forest, making it a popular choice for those seeking a winter brew with a refreshing, bitter edge. As a well-loved style among craft beer enthusiasts, Imperial IPAs provide a lively and invigorating contrast to the typically rich and malty character of traditional winter ales, offering a vibrant option to warm the hearts of winter beer connoisseurs.


Brown Ale

a glass of brown ale

Brown ales, with their hearty and malt-forward profiles, are a comforting presence in the realm of winter beers. These brews often boast caramel and nutty notes, evoking the coziness of fireside moments during the cold season. Brown ales provide a balanced and slightly sweet contrast to the colder months, making them a beloved choice for those seeking a comforting, full-bodied beer experience when winter’s chill sets in. Whether enjoyed on their own or as a complement to hearty winter dishes, brown ales offer a rich and satisfying sip that perfectly complements the season’s ambiance.

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Porter

Mugs-of-Porter-Beer-on-the-table

Porter, a timeless classic in the world of beer, finds its place among winter brews with its robust flavors and dark, chocolatey notes. This style, born in the industrial heart of England, captures the essence of winter evenings by the hearth. A sip of porter can feel like wrapping oneself in a cozy blanket, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a full-bodied and warming beer during the colder months. Its roasted malt complexity and smooth character provide a comforting companion as we embrace the winter season, inviting us to savor its depth and richness.


Red Ale

woman drinking red ale

Red ales, with their deep amber hues and toasty maltiness, offer a welcome respite in the world of winter beers. These brews often showcase flavors of caramel and dark fruits, reminiscent of festive holiday treats. Red ales bring a touch of warmth and comfort to the chill of winter, making them a beloved choice for those seeking a balanced, medium-bodied beer that pairs perfectly with seasonal gatherings and hearty meals. Their inviting character and hints of sweetness make them an ideal sip to embrace the cozy spirit of the season.


Stout

Irish Stout craft beer in a glass

Stout, the dark and robust heavyweight of the beer world, takes center stage in the realm of winter brews. These velvety ales, often laden with flavors of roasted coffee, chocolate, and hints of smokiness, provide the ideal companion for cold winter nights. As the snow falls outside, a sip of stout can be like indulging in a rich, dessert-like experience, making it a cherished choice for those seeking warmth and complexity in their winter drinks. Stout’s full-bodied, comforting character aligns perfectly with the season’s desire for deep, soul-warming flavors.


Scotch Ale

Scotch Ale
source: hopculture.com

Scotch ales, with their hearty maltiness and subtle caramel sweetness, are the quintessential winter warmers. These brews, often boasting deep amber or ruby hues, evoke images of cozy Scottish hearths during chilly winters. Scotch ales provide a comforting and full-bodied option for those seeking a rich, malt-driven beer that complements the season’s hearty fare and fireside moments. With their ability to warm both the body and soul, Scotch ales are a cherished choice for embracing the festive spirit of winter.

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Bock

Beautiful bock beer in a green scenery

Bock, a classic German lager, offers a rich and malty flavor profile that’s perfect for the colder seasons. With notes of caramel, toffee, and a hint of toasted bread, it brings a comforting sweetness to the palate. Best enjoyed in a traditional beer mug, Bock is known for its smooth and slightly robust character, making it a satisfying choice for those looking to unwind and savor the flavors of a well-crafted lager. Its balance and depth make it a personal favorite among many, as it captures the essence of cozy evenings and convivial gatherings.


Black Lager

Black Lager
source: vinepair.com

Black Lager, a hidden gem in the world of winter beers, brings a unique blend of roasted maltiness and the clean, crisp finish of a lager. Dark malts provide rich coffee and chocolate notes, while the lager yeast keeps it refreshing. This harmonious combination makes Black Lager an ideal choice for those seeking a winter brew that marries the boldness of stouts with the drinkability of lagers. Discover the enchanting world of Black Lager and savor the taste of winter like never before. Cheers!


Altbier

altbier

Altbier, hailing from Germany, brings a unique twist to the world of winter beers. Its balance between a clean, lager-like fermentation and the depth of an ale creates a harmonious, amber-hued brew. Altbier’s toasty maltiness and subtle hop bitterness offer a comforting contrast to the cold, making it a perfect companion for winter evenings. It’s a versatile choice that bridges the gap between ales and lagers, appealing to those who appreciate a well-rounded, malt-forward beer during the season’s chill.


Rauchbier

Rauchbier

Rauchbier, the famed smoked beer from Germany, adds a distinctive element to the winter beer lineup. Its unique flavor comes from drying malted barley over open flames, infusing the beer with smoky, campfire-like notes. This characteristic makes Rauchbier a winter favorite, offering a warm and comforting taste that aligns perfectly with the season’s cozy gatherings. Its popularity stems from its rich history and the intriguing complexity it brings to the world of winter brews, making it a must-try for those seeking a unique and characterful beer experience.

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Doppelbock

Doppelbock

Doppelbock, a robust German lager, shines as a winter beer with its bold malt character. It boasts a deep mahogany hue and delivers a rich, caramel sweetness with hints of toasted bread and dark fruit.  Doppelbock’s higher alcohol content provides warmth, making it a cherished choice during the colder months. Its name, “double bock,” reflects both its strength and its reputation as a hearty winter brew, perfect for sipping and savoring by the fireside as it envelops you in its comforting embrace.


Barley Wine

barley wine

Barley Wine, a formidable ale known for its high alcohol content, delights with its rich and complex flavor profile. This robust brew combines the malty sweetness of barley with the warming embrace of alcohol, offering intricate notes of caramel, dark fruit, and even hints of toffee. Its boldness and depth make it a suitable choice for celebratory occasions or as a winter warmer to fend off the chill. Raise your glass to Barley Wine, a brew that invites you to sip slowly and appreciate its intricate layers of flavor.


Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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