Seasonal beers aren’t a gimmick—the really good ones, at least. Their aromas, flavors, and often the adjunct ingredients (flavor add-ins like vanilla beans or chocolate) shout out that yeah, it’s that time of year again. —INGRAIN, Winter 2018
CELEBRATION FRESH HOP IPA
Piney and refreshing. Sierra Nevada releases this tribute to the flowers used to create the beverage we all love, hops. The Northern California brewery has released Celebration since 1981. The woodsy and citrusy aromatics and bone-dry finish are a welcome contrast to the typical malty-sweet winter seasonal beer.
SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER
San Marcos, CA
Revved up and black as night. Start checking the shelves in late October for this Imperial Stout that takes on the whiskey and vanilla aromatics from the bourbon barrels it rested in during the warmer months. Coconut, chocolate, coffee, and molasses are front and center in this high-octane (10% ABV) winter classic.
A creamy winter warmer. If you’re still a rookie beer connoisseur (that’s why we’re here), this is one case when the color of a beer is a solid indicator of what’s about to hit your palate. Rich, creamy, and full of vanilla and caramel notes, this amber beer should be kept on the shelf when you want to be reminded of the season.
A dark beer you can drink. With mild roast on the palate from chocolate malts and balance from caramel malts, this is an approachable and rounded classic porter for winter.
DELIRIUM NOËL BELGIAN ALE
Holiday in a glass. Dark fruit like juicy pomegranates and sugarplums fill the nose, followed by bouncy fruitcake and port. Nice heat (fueled by the 10% ABV) lingers in the chest to warm hearts on cold nights.