Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter Beer Trinity

While deciding what I wanted to drink on a recent cold evening, my decision was essentially focused on three options. It was the same three beers that I find myself going back to over and over in the Winter months. I dubbed it my Winter Beer Trinity. (We Catholics are naturally inclined to group in sets of three. :-)

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - I picked up a case of the Brooklyn Brewery Winter release on the day it arrived at the local retailer. Black Chocolate Stout is my choice for a late evening repast. Though frequently served with a dark chocolate dessert, I most often enjoy this one from a snifter, sipping slowly as I unwind from a busy day.

Clipper City Winter Storm - This ESB from Clipper City is my usual go-to beer, with meals or by itself, during the Winter. I'll stock up on enough to be able to still enjoy it occasionally during the summer months. This beer combines sweet malt with bitter hops for a balanced treat at any time of the year.

Sierra Nevada Celebration - The brewers at Sierra Nevada take a slightly different approach to Winter beer. Neither a dark beer, nor high in alcohol (relatively speaking), Celebration is a rich, hoppy treat. The enticing hop aroma and flavor make this one easy to enjoy at anytime.

All of these beers get frequent mention on the Musings. Their frequent mention is one of the things that earned them a place in my Winter Trinity. There are numerous Winter releases that we enjoy and look forward to each year. But these three are staples in the house for as long as they are available. What is your Winter Beer Trinity? You can share your picks in the comments.


  1. This is a tough one to select but here is my take on a winter beer trinity. During the winter months the darker brews come to mind. My first would be considered a sweet treat - New Belgium Frambozen, a raspberry brown ale and is only available from late November through winter. 2nd - Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout. This is my go to brew for those long winter nights. A slow sipping stout with a kick to it. As for my 3rd, as this is not considered a winter beer but rather a year round brew it is still good anytime - North Coast's Red Seal Ale. A wonderful red ale with just the right mix of malt and hops. A nice session brew for any time of year.

    Now if you ask me this again in another month, I may have a whole new list, but these come to mind for the moment.

  2. What a great idea! Like Chipper Dave, I think Great Divide does a fantastic job with their late year brews. My favorite is The Great Divide Hibernation Ale. The name alone helps, but I had it paired with bleu cheese mini burgers and stout battered onion rings and it was delicious. I love to drink it at my favorite cozy little tavern curled up in one of their huge booths and people watch. My 2nd favorite is Southern Tier Choklat Imperial Stout. Kind of like hot chocolate, but in beer form. To round out my trinity would be Stone Smoked Porter. Smooth, smokey, comfortable. Like my favorite sweater and a fire in the fireplace.

  3. 1. Great Lakes Christmas Ale
    2. Clipper City Winter Storm
    3. Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

    All there to keep me and the wife warm during the cold winter nights!

  4. I'd go with

    1. Founders Breakfast Stout
    2. Insanely Bad Elf (ridgeway)
    3. Michelob Winters Bourbon Cask Ale (although 2007's was horrible, 2006 was great, but i haven't tried 2008 yet)

  5. Great suggestions so far. If we could get Great Divide here, Hibernation would be high on my list.

  6. It's a VERY late winter selection, but the only must have winter beer for me is Bell's Hopslam.

  7. 3. Troegs Mad Elf
    2. Bell's Best Brown
    1. Gouden Carolus Noel

  8. These are the three that I will normally grab:
    1. Celebration Ale
    2. Sam Adams Winter Lager
    3. Santa's Private Reserve

  9. 1. Sierra Nevada Celebration
    2. Anchor Our Special Ale
    3. Troegs Mad Elf


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