Guyville's List of the Best Seasonal Beers November 14 2013
The late fall, early winter beer season is here and like any craft beer lover I have an ever growing list of possible beers to try and sample. The winter beers are usually known for offering the flavors and aromas that accompany the winter months. Seasonal brews heavy in spice, cinnamon, pine, spruce, toffee and mocha flavors are abundant this time of year.
Here is a list of four of my favorite seasonal beers I think any guy may enjoy this time of the year. Grab yourself a nice beer glass such as the Pilsner set or maybe grab a sampler beer flight set and enjoy four tasters of the best beers currently available.
Accumulation - New Belgium Brewing
American IPA | 6.20% ABV
Most of our favorite winter seasonal beers are typically a darker, hearty style of beer, but New Belgium Brewing has released a new, lighter colored, white IPA called Accumulation this season that bucks the dark seasonal trend. The beer pours a pale golden color with impressive lacing and head retention and offers a great alternative to the dark beer styles popular this time of year.
A crisp, mildly sweet grapefruit rind taste shines through and the aroma of pine and spruce help balance the flavor. There is a decent amount of bitterness and those hop heads out there will be pleasantly surprised. While Accumulation may not be your typical winter fare, this solid IPA is quite drinkable and will get you through those chilly winter nights.
Surly Darkness - Surly Brewing Co.
Russian Imperial Stout | 10.30% ABV
This is truly one of the best of the many fantastic beers to come out of the Surly Brewery and I got a first hand look at the craze this beer creates while attending Darkness Days at the brewery. Surly has an official release party to celebrate the extremely limited release of this fine beer and it was packed with crazed fans longing to get a bottle...or six. Darkness pours pitch black underneath a dark tan foam about an inch high. A dark, roasty chocolate and toffee filled aroma instantly pleases the nose and after taking the first sip you won’t believe how smooth this Imperial Stout is to drink. A nice carbonation level with almost zero bite from the alcohol is impressive from a brew with over 10.30 ABV. Any beer drinker will appreciate the silky smooth mocha sweetness which hits the lips, followed by a backend of raisins, caramel and roasted malt. This beer is quite drinkable and a must try for any lover of stouts. Just beware as with most Surly beers they can sneak up on you in a hurry.
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
American IPA | 6.80% ABV
This beer has been a seasonal winter release for over 30 years and with good reason. Let’s start with the pour, a beautiful, dark reddish brown Amber with a nice frothy foam head and a ton of lacing. An abundance of citrus, floral and a piney hop aroma accompany the flavor. The taste is a bit bitter, with a touch of grapefruit, pine and sweet malt notes to round it out. Celebration Ale is an easy to drink seasonal while sitting in front of the fireplace and the taste does a great job at hiding the higher than average ABV. There is a reason this has been Sierra Nevada’s go to winter seasonal for over three decades.
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
American IPA | 5.90% ABV
A classic winter warmer beer and one of the most popular of the season. This spicy American winter ale just exudes the holiday season with the notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. This is balanced out well with a depth of malt toffees, caramel and roasted chocolate notes. The medium body and carbonation levels keep the beer so it’s not too heavy or strong. Samuel Adams has done a great job of bottling the season with this fantastic, drinkable beer and why many keep coming back to this offering year after year.
There you have four of our favorite seasonal brews, so head on down to your local watering hole and browse all of the craft beer taps behind the bar and try one of these offerings or find your own favorite. Better yet, cruise to the nearest liquor store and grab an assortment of the latest seasonal beers that suits your taste buds. When you get home throw a few logs on the crackling fire, watch the snow fall out the window and pour yourself a cold one in your favorite beer glass. If you need a reliable beer glass, since we all know beer is best of a glass, be sure to check out some of our favorite beer glasses below, all available on Guyville.