Seasons Greetings, Holiday Beer!
Holidays are full of fun family get togethers, travel, great food, and of course, delicious brews. Since I'm most part of the country the weather cools off, many breweries decide to brew winter warmer beers. This style of beer is generally very malty and sweet, a favorite style for winter beer. The winter warmer is a big bodied beer with a big malt presence in moth flavor and aroma. The colors range from deep reds to an almost impenetrable pitch black. Hope aren't generally showcased in this beer style. However, before hops were a standard in beers many resorted to using spices. This particular style is great for adding spices, especially since it's consumed during the colder winter months along with the holidays. A perfect example of this is Sweetwater's Festive Ale. It's a big winter warmer spiced with mace, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The big malt presence provides a perfect foundation to accompany a bold spice presence. These beers tend to pair nicely at the Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
There are many other beer styles that go hand in hand with the holiday season. Stouts are always a go to when the weather starts cooling down. Many breweries offer a variety of stouts, spiced, aged in barrels, you name it. Local Southbound Brewing Co's winter seasonal is a beer called Moonlight Drive. They teamed up with PERC Coffee to make a Imperial Coffee Stout. This beer has chocolate, roasted and caramel malts along with a delicate hop profile making it the perfect beer to add coffee to. When selecting a coffee variety, all of those beer flavors and characteristics were taken into consideration. The resulting beer is a perfectly balanced coffee stout, paired nicely with a cold morning and a winter fire. Check out this beer at its launch event called Tamp and Tap, hosted by Southern Pine Company, Perc Coffee, and Southbound Brewing Co.