I’ve been blessed by a bountiful winter beer season – my favorite beer-drinking season of the year. Winter brews represent a centuries-old tradition of concocting strong, full-flavored beers to offset the gloom and cold weather of winter. Dense and strong, rich and opaque, winter brews embody the blustery season. Winter seasonals are typified by the classic “winter warmer” but they don’t all fit into one style. Over the past month, at holiday gatherings with family and friends or just hanging out on the weekends watching football, I’ve sampled a wide variety of winter brew.
Here then, is my 2012 winter beer sampling in pictures:
Sierra Nevada Celebration 12 pack
(L-R) Evo Secret Spot, Peak Organic Winter Session Ale, Flying Fish Grand Cru, Bells Brewery Winter White
(L-R) Port City Tidings, Avery Old Jubilation Ale, Shlafly Christmas Ale, Southern Tier 2XMAS, Bison Gingerbread Ale
Dogfish Head Alehouse Gaithersburg – Chalkboard on December 14
Had a 75 Minute IPA before our annual visit to the Winter Lights at Seneca Creek State Park, one of our favorite winter traditions.
Close-up of Dogfish Head in a Santa Hat
The Shorty Bottle Collection
(L-R) Sierra Nevada Celebration, Anchor Christmas Ale, Lost Coast Winterbraun
(L-R) Widmer Brothers Brrr, Sam Adams Winter Lager, New Belgium Snow Day
Rock Bottom Bethesda – Six Beer Sampler
Sampled the Winter Tartan Scottish Ale and five other Rock Bottom house brews during Happy Hour on December 12
(L-R) Sam Adams Merry Mischief, Tröegs The Mad Elf, Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
(L-R) Lake Placid Nippletop, Boulder Never Summer Ale
Mad Fox Growlers of Festivus Ale
The Mad Fox brewpub in Falls Church, VA offered half-price growler fills before 3:00 p.m. in December – spent my lunch hour one day on a growler run for Festivus Ale.
Magic Hat Winterland Variety 12-Pack
Featuring Wooly, “A Coniferous Concoction” with the aroma of spruce tips
Not pictured: Goose Island Mild Winter, Harpoon Winter Warmer, Thomas Hooker Nor’easter, Cisco Brewers Winter Shredder
The final winter beer tally: 28 brews from 26 breweries.