Libation Library

Beer & Cider

What Makes A Winter Brew?
Posted on April 20, 2019 by in Beer & Cider

Winter beers are often strong and dark, but the flavor profiles vary depending on the style: from chocolatey porters and spiced ales to fruity barleywines and Belgian whites.

Winter brews are defined as much by their attitude as their taste. They’re typically big and bold, even compared to their autumnal counterparts—made to withstand cold temperatures and bring people together. Holiday beers, also known as winter warmers, are like the comfort food of alcohol, featuring malty aromatics, sweet flavors and rich textures evocative of Christmas.

Walk into our winter wonderland of seasonal craft brews with our 5 holiday must-haves:

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale – Bold and intense, this groundbreaking craft brew features fresh citrus and pine aromas. Introduced in 1981, Celebration Ale was one of the earliest examples of an American-style IPA and one of the few hop-forward holiday beers—featuring Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops.

21st Amendment Fireside Chat – Offering a twist on the traditional winter brew, they begin with dark English-style ale and improvise with seasonal spices. It’s brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices and cocoa nibs for the right amount of festive flair(available in California and Washington only).

Porter Brewing Santa’s Helper – Seriously naughty yet awfully nice, this Imperial Stout starts with an emphasis on dark cocoa and roasted coffee aromatics. The finish lends warming tones, hints of sweet crystal malt and a touch of hops—the perfect complement to your favorite holiday treats(available in California only).

Anchor Christmas Ale – This annual release is a deliciously smooth winter warmer with notes of seasonal spices and a malty backbone. Sold exclusively from early November to mid-January, this alluring ale features spicy aromas, full flavors and a velvety mouthfeel. Enjoy the smooth, rich taste of the holidays.

Stone Enjoy By 12.25.17 – This unfiltered IPA features bright flavors of peach, tropical fruit and hops. Rather than filtering out the excess yeast, sediment and proteins, Stone allows this seasonal release to take on a complex structure and hazy appearance. Get it while it’s fresh—available for a limited time!