Sampling the Winter Beers

I’ve been so busy sampling the winter beers that I haven’t had much time to post to the blog.  So this post will be a quick catch-up to capture and categorize all those winter releases that I’ve tried over the past couple of weeks.  I’ve got three categories: Go Buy It Today, Worth a Try, and Leave it on the Shelf:

Go Buy it Today

  • Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (CA) [pictured], an excellent IPA and my favorite winter seasonal.  I never buy beer by the case, opting instead to mix a case of different six packs for some variety.  But I just picked up a whole case of this brew, on sale at Magruder’s.  If you love the Sierra Pale Ale and Torpedo Extra IPA, you will love this beer too.  It’s drinkable enough for a session beer, but at 6.8% ABV, be careful.
  • The Mad Elf, Tröegs Brewing Company (PA) [pictured], a strong winter release from one of my favorite Pennsylvania breweries.  This is a unique beer…a ruby red ale brewed with honey and cherries that clocks in at 11% ABV.  Don’t mind the $13.99 for a six pack price tag – it’s worth it!
  • Christmas Ale, Anchor Brewing Company (CA), every year since 1975 the brewers at Anchor have brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale.  The recipe of this longtime American holiday ale is different every year.  Always excellent and suitable for cellering, though I can never resist the temptation to drink them all right away.

Worth a Try

  • Snow Cap Ale, Pyramid Breweries (WA), brewed in the spirit of British Winter Ales
  • Baltic Porter, Old Dominion Brewing Company (DE), a dark, rich, and tasty Porter
  • Winter Ale, Brooklyn Brewery (NY), an excellent Scotch Ale
  • Raspberry Brown Winter Ale, Otter Creek Brewing Company (VT), a tasty winter fruit beer
  • The Gift, Starr Hill Brewery (VA), a “WinterBock Lager”
  • Never Summer, Boulder Brewing Company (CO), an English Strong Ale
  • Cabin Fever, New Holland Brewing Company (MI), a strong Brown Ale
  • Winter Ale, Weyerbacher Brewing Company (PA), an English Strong Ale
  • Winter Warmer, Harpoon Brewing Company (MA), a spicy and delicious winter brew
  • Winter Ale, Smuttynose Brewing Company (NH), a Belgian Abbey Double
  • Winter Ale, Stoudts Brewing Company (PA), an Amber Ale
  • Imperial IPA, Mendocino Brewing Company (CA), a robust 7.5% IPA
  • Yakima Twilight Ale, Victory Brewing Company (PA), a beautiful and tasty American Strong Ale
  • Old Jubilation Ale, Avery Brewing Company (CO), an English Strong Ale, 8%
  • Hibernation Ale, Great Divide Brewing Company (CO), an English Style Old Ale

Leave it on the Shelf

  • Hell, they’re all at least worth a try!

I picked up many of these beers as singles at Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits on Connecticut Avenue near Chevy Chase Circle or Total Wine in Mclean.  I love beer stores that sell singles!

2 responses to “Sampling the Winter Beers

    • That one belongs in a whole different category – worthy of inclusion in Session 13 of the Boa Beer Sampling Series (the topic of my next blog post)!

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