WINTER BEER TIPS & TRENDS
“While beer is often associated as a summer thirst quencher, there are many brews that can be enjoyed at any time of the year,” said Roger Mittag, Chill Magazine Beerologist. “Winter beers tend to be richer and heavier than your typical light ale. A nice malty winter beer is like your favourite comfort food; warming and hearty.”
To help us get through the long winter months, Chill Magazine has offered these winter beer tips and trends:
1. Dark and Malty: Winter beers tend to be darker and richer, such as Old Ales and Winter Warmers. These beers are hearty and fruity due to their strong malty richness and are the perfect social drink for sipping around the fire.
2. Spiced: Many breweries offer spiced beer during the winter months. An atypical combination of herbs and spices can add an extra kick to your beer! With everything from cinnamon, to nutmeg and ginger, there’s always something new to try when it comes to spiced beer.
3. Strength: Winter beers, such as a Strong ale or Strong Lager tend to have an alcohol percentage that ranges from 5.5-9.5. Alcohol gives an instant warming effect, so a heightened percentage in the winter will provide you with that extra bit of warmth to get you through even the toughest shoveling expedition.
4. Serving temperature: The malty richness and complexity of winter beers require that you don’t over chill. Drinking beer that’s too cold can numb the palate and cause you to miss out on all the flavours the brewer intended. As a general rule, serve winter beers at a temperature of no colder than 10 degrees Celsius (50 degree Fahrenheit).
5. Pairing: Have you ever thought about pairing beer with your favourite food? Food pairings are not just for the wine connoisseur, although the concept is comparable. Picture a dark, strong beer as similar to red wine; the more robust the beer, the heartier the meal. This is why winter beers go so well with all of your favourite comfort foods.
“The great thing about beer is that it has just as much variety and complexity as wine and fine liquors,” continued Mittag. “It’s really become something that can suit just about anyone!”