Keep Warm with Winter Beers
The thought of a cold beer may flood your memories of sunnier days, but many beers pair perfectly with a cold winters day by offering a warming sensation similar to that of a Bourbon. Winter beers tend to be more full-bodied with rich and sweet flavours accompanied by notes of spices or seasonal fruits. These types of beers also tend to pair well with most of your favourite comfort foods. With the help from our friends at local breweries and Browns Socialhouse in Brewery District, we've created a list of go-to winter pints:
Stout | The original cold weather beer
It's officially stout weather outside, according to Another Beer Co., which is a favourite benefit to winter. Stouts are a classic example of a winter beer because they are made from roasted malt, which gives it a unique smell and taste that is strong and rich. Their flavours can be best described as similar to chocolate and coffee. One of the most famous examples of a stout is Guinness, but here are some locally brewed stouts you should try:
Flavour Country, Imperial Tobacco Stout - Another Beer Co.
Anvil Imperial Stout - Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
First Press - Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Dubbel |The only thing cozier than your wool socks
This is a darker brown Belgian beer that often has a sweet richness with aromas of dark fruit, cereal, and caramel. Dubbel's tend to be more fruity than Stouts, which is one of the main differences between these two dark beers.
Another Beer Co. describes their winter dubbel as "dry, brightly carbonated and full of traditional banana esters, cocoa, and dark fruits, this beer is a welcoming glass of cozy vibes". This is a winter must-try:
Wool Socks Winter Dubbel - Another Beer Co. x Moody Ales
Lager | Dark and stormy lagers
Lagers come in a large variety of colours and flavours, but you're most likely used to lighter and more hoppy versions of it. When looking for a winter lager, it is best to aim for one with amber or dark brown colour, as they're more likely to have those spiced, rich flavours we love so much in the cold. Here in Vancouver, this winter has brought some delicious twists to the classic flavours because lots of the local lagers have had some smoky notes added to them as well! Here are some darker lagers for you to get excited about:
Rauchbier Smoked Lager - Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Doppelbock - Steel & Oak Brewing Co
Flavour Country, Tobacco Stout - Another Brewing Co.
Ale | Layer up with ales
An ale will bring some lighter winter beer options, with a majority being a warm amber colour. Lots of amazing seasonal fruits and spices mix well with the natural nutty and wheat-like notes that are found in ales. The first notes of the beer tend to be more bitter but they quickly transition to a sweeter aftertaste. Here are some great local ales that both took advantage of oranges this season:
Layer Up - Stanley Park Brew
Nightcap - Steel & Oak Brewing Co.
Sour | May taste sour, but will make you feel sweet
Sours are beers that are very fruity and often quite tart - hence the fitting name of a 'sour.' Beers such as these are not commonly thought of as a winter beer due to their refreshing taste; however, Another Beer Co. managed to pair tart blueberry flavours with malty dough to create a beautiful winter-feeling sour.
Blueberry Cobbler - Another Beer Co.