Light and frosty beverages thatmake cold days a little warmer
Story by Victor Lortho | Photos by Casey Hilder
Drink | December 2015
Locally available, reasonably priced, and ultimately delicious, these Winter Seasonal beers will get you through the long months of the holidays. Enjoy!
New Belgium Accumulation
Belgium IPA, ABV 6.20
From Colorado based New Belgium Brewing company comes a new seasonal IPA as smooth as a fresh snow drift. Pours pale gold with a frothy and delicate head. Light and slightly fruity on the tongue, with notes of citrus, pine, and cinnamon. A clean and refreshing finish that leaves you wanting more. Perfect for long winter nights by a fire. New Belgium also offers Snow Day, a brisk winter ale.
Magic Hat Snow Roller
American Brown Ale, ABV 6.20
Vermont brewers Magic Hat conjure forth a hoppy brown ale for the winter season. A darker beverage with the light scent of toasted breads and caramel, it has a flavor reminiscent of chocolate and cool peppermint. Very slightly sugary and medium-bodied. Available in singles and as part of the “Winterland Variety 12-pack” which includes their Winter Mingle Stout and the classic #9 Not Quite Pale Ale along with the Vinyl Amber Lager.
New Belgium Ben & Jerry’s
Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, ABV 6.30
Ben and Jerry’s, known for their wide and eclectic blend of ice-cream flavors, branches out into brewing with this tasty brown ale. An intense chocolate flavor that slowly smoothes into subtle hints of vanilla and caramel and malted milk balls. Very clean and dry finish. Hints of cherries and herbs. A fun dessert beverage for heavy winter meals which pairs well with Christmas chocolates and candy canes.
Ghost River Midnight Magic
Dark Beer, ABV 5.0
From a local brewer comes a heavy beer to get you through the hard months of Southern winter. Billed as a “dark beer for people who don’t think they like dark beer” this brew has a black color and a smooth flavor, much like a porter or stout but without quite as much bitter bite. Chocolate with notes of roasted malts, it packs sufficient punch to keep you warm on a cold evening. Goes well with grilled meats and game-day revelry.
Abita Christmas Ale
American Brown Ale, ABV 5.0
Louisiana-based brewery Abita cranks out an excellent ale for the winter season. This dark beverage pours a clear brown and smells of pine with subtle nutty undertones. It tastes quite hops-forward, with a zesty feel of burnt sugar and spruce. Would go very well with gingerbread and perhaps a sharp cheese.
Bell’s Christmas Ale
Scottish Ale, ABV 5.40
In the classic American beer country of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Bell’s Brewery continues to put out some quality beverages with their Christmas Ale. A reddish-orange beverage with strong scents of caramel, smoke, and floral bitterness, this excellent beer produces a very drinkable result with hints of ginger crackers and brown sugar. Delightfully complex and layered, it contains fine malt notes and a smooth mouthfeel with a clean finish. Perfect for the season, and with Bell’s new Winter White there is a decent variety to keep drinking straight through until March.
Lager, 8.8% ABV
Located on Broad Avenue in Memphis, Wiseacre Brewery introduces their brand new seasonal beer. Originally brewed by monks, this strong doppelback lager has a warm mahogany color and smells slightly sweet with hints of fruit and sugar. Smooth with a pleasant toasted malt flavor on the back of the tongue. “Doppel” means double and this is reflected in the alcohol content, which is more than enough to get you through the longest winter nights.