The sun is setting earlier, the air is colder and the mountains have that fresh powdered look to them. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for Winter Ales!
Any regular beer drinker will know that Winter Ales are the limited releases where breweries get extra creative. For this holiday season our local craft breweries have dreamed up some exciting brews to carry us through the winter months. So here are some recommended beers you should snatch up before they’re gone.
Everyone knows it, and most everyone loves it; that’s why Winter Ale makes the cut. It’s the fall back beer, the one you bring to a party because you know everyone will drink it. But don’t underestimate this beer, it won a silver medal in the World Beer Championships in 2011. Known as the “chocolate beer” this is a sweet one, and comes in at 5.5% alcohol one of the lower alcohol fueled beers on this list. You can pick this one up until March.
My taste buds start salivating even at the mention of this beer. Brewed by Vancouver Island Brewery over the last 26 years (named after one of their original brewmasters) this beer is aged for three month in cold tanks. Caramel and chocolate malt give this beer a smooth, deep body and at 9.5% alcohol this beer is approaching wine standards! Do not pass this one up, as it gets scooped up fast by savvy beer enthusiasts.
If this were a competition based on packaging, this beer would win hands down. Just look at the thing, it’s wrapped like a Christmas present! You’ll actually feel like your unwrapping a present with its dark malts and subtle spices. Again we’re talking about a beer that comes in at 9.0% alcohol, so make sure Grandpa only has one of these.
Honestly, fruit flavoured beers traditionally do not get my vote. But, that being said, this blackberry porter really impresses. Five malts and three hops are chosen from the Pacific Northwest, Europe and the US to make up this recipe with actual blackberry thrown in for flavor. This is a sweet porter that favours sipping; only 6.5% alcohol.
Sick of the sweet stuff? Then this beer is the right one for you. This bitter Christmas beer does away with the vanilla and chocolate and instead embraces a bitter hop flavour. Think an IPA but darker, and at 6.5% it’s a beer you can have a couple of.
This is a decadent ale, with a rich flavour of chocolate malt. What sets this one apart is the infusion of dark organic cocoa and curacao orange peel. This is a new offering for 2013 from Fernie Brewing and comes in at a healthy 8.0%.
Grab some of these brews, turn on the fireplace and enjoy!