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Hop Chatter

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The Winter Seasonals Are Coming

The Winter Seasonals Are Coming

By: Bill Ramsey | Oct 31, 2016 | Craft Beer

It's that time of year again. The leaves are falling off the trees, there is a cold chill in the air and it's getting dark earlier. The bars have switched from Sam Octoberfest to Sam Winter Lager. The stores have switched from Halloween to Christmas decor. Even Home Depot has snow blowers out front instead of lawn mowers. Winter is coming and it's the time of year when those lighter beers are replaced by darker, heavier beers.

Spring and summer beers are light and refreshing, like sunshine in a glass. Lots of citrus fruits and lower alcohol so they are easy to drink. Fall beers are maltier and all shades of amber and red, just like the leaves on the trees. Octoberfests and pumpkin beers dominate the landscape. However, winter is meant for the dark, malty beers. The days are shorter, the temperature is colder and we need something delicious to brighten up our day! Winter beers are usually big, strong beers with spices like cinnamon and ginger added for good measure. They are designed to warm you up on a cold Sunday afternoon while watching football. Beers like Russian Imperial Stouts, Belgian Dark Strong Ales, Dopplebocks, Oatmeal Stouts, and Porters are the usual go-to styles for a winter brew and some of my favorites. Nothing beats a big Belgian Dark Strong Ale clocking in at 10% ABV to warm you up after shoveling snow!

If you're not a dark beer fan, don't worry, not all winter beers are dark. White Ales are becoming popular this time of year. These wheat beers, also know as white IPA's, are a hopped up versions of Belgian Witbeir. They are lighter bodied and more refreshing than the normal winter brew and New Belgium Accumulation is an excellent example of the style. Sierra Nevada also has a winter brew thats different from the norm. Their Celebration Ale is a fresh hopped IPA that they brew in the fall with hops that were just harvested and dried to ensure the are as fresh as possible. It's hoppy and delicious! So, when the weather gets cold and you need something to warm you up,  remember there's a winter beer for everyone!
Bill Ramsey

Bill Ramsey

Bill Ramsey is a self-proclaimed beer geek and avid home brewer. He has spent countless hours scouring the Internet for information about beer and brewing and isn't afraid to share that knowledge with friends, family and the occasional stranger. As a survivor of hundreds of beer festivals, he can talk to you for hours about beer if you let him, just ask some of the women he has dated. If you ever run into him in the wild he will probably be enjoying some new style of beer while googling everything he can find out about it and trying to formulate a clone recipe for it in his head.

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