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!