Best Winter Beers

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The days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are dropping, which can only mean one thing: winter is coming. And with winter comes the need for some good, hearty beers to keep you warm. This detailed guide lists the best winter beers to enjoy on a cold day.
Two winter beers

What Are Winter Beers?

It is vital to keep altering your beers depending on the season. Summer beers are light with a refreshing feel to combat hot days. Winter beers are typically darker and heavier than other styles of beer, with a higher alcohol content to help keep you warm. They often have flavors of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

How Are Winter Beers Brewed?

Winter beers are typically brewed with darker roasted malts, which give them their characteristic color and flavor. Hops are often added for balance, and some brewers will add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to give the beer an extra kick.

Types Of Winter Beers

There are many types of winter beer, from stouts and porters to brown ales and barley wines. Keep reading to find out more detail about the kinds of winter beers to include on your bar’s menu:

  1. Stouts are dark, bitter, and roasty-enhanced beers that will make any guest feel warm and cozy. The flavor and color tone in stouts is what makes them so unique. They have a black color and taste like chocolate, licorice, or even coffee. Their texture is rich and creamy, making them ideal for beating those chilly days.
  2. Porters have a deep, reddish brown color with a creamy head. They contain a bitter, roast-y chocolate flavor that is heavy enough to keep you warm. With the variety of porters out there, there is one to please any customer.
  3. Bourbons have a winter brewing technique that ages beer in a used liquor barrel for months. The effect of this method creates an oaky flavor to the beer. It works best on beers that are highly concentrated with alcohol.
  4. Imperials are known to be very boozy, both in flavor and in alcohol content. The volume of alcohol and its taste is what attract people to drink them during colder nights.
  5. Eggnog is a popular winter drink that is also incorporated into beer. A new addition to the beer family, heavy and dark-flavored beers mix well with eggnog's spicy and creamy flavors.
  6. Spiced ales are brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. There are hints of vanilla and dark chocolate malt, making it perfect for enjoying while having fun in the snow or snuggling up against a warm fire.
  7. Dubbels are a dark, malty-flavored beer that will warm anyone up on a chilly night. They are higher in alcohol than brown ales due to the dark sugar and syrup flavors added when brewing dubbels.
  8. Bocks are richer and maltier than stouts and porters. They are a strong, dark winter lager. They contain caramel and dark chocolate flavors.
  9. Barleywines contain a deep, rich malty flavor that has a bitter touch to balance the complex mixture. The alcohol content in barleywines is similar to wine, which is the inspiration behind their name.Winter beer food pairings

Pairing Winter Beers With Food

Winter beers are often hearty and filling, making them an excellent choice for pairing with rich, flavorful foods. Try pairing your beer with:

  • Steak or lamb
  • Chocolate desserts
  • Hearty soups and stews
  • Charcuterie and cheese plates
  • Cheesy pasta or mac and cheese

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Winter Beers

Before adding seasonal winter beers to your bar's menu, it's vital to ensure you do everything you can to provide patrons with an enjoyable drinking experience. 

Use The Correct Glassware

It is essential to be aware of the types of beer glasses when serving your best Christmas beers to patrons. To not have to constantly buy drinkware due to cracks and breaks, make sure you are purchasing high-quality products that are durable to last you a long time.

Serve At the Proper Temperature

We all know seasonal beers are served at different temperatures. During the summer, customers want to drink a beer that is ice-cold and refreshing. In the winter, patrons desire slightly warmer beers to keep them nice and cozy. When serving your winter beers, experts recommend serving them between 45-55 °F.

Provide A Self-Pouring System

Customers can be hesitant to try new kinds of beer due to the fear of not liking them and losing their money. Giving them a self-pour system allows more exposure to new seasonal flavors and increases sales.
Winter bbers in snow

Start Stocking Up

Winter beers are perfect for the colder weather. They tend to be heavier, spicier, and maltier than other types of beer. Winter beers can be enjoyed by themselves or with a rich meal to keep you warm. Just remember to serve your beverages in the proper beer glasses so that your customers have an enjoyable drinking experience.

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