Posts Tagged ‘Seasonals’

Around The Corner

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

from theweeklybrew

Oktoberfest lagers and fall theamed ales are already on the shelves signaling my favorite season for beer isn’t far away. Already I’m counting down the days till winter seasonals are released. In fact I got so excited the other day I sent out a text to a non-drinking friend that said “stout seasons almost here.” Needless to say they were confused.

Seriously though, winter seasonals always excite me. I always look forward to big stouts, winter warmers, and this years batch of barlywines. Can you tell I like big beers? The funny part is that by the end of winter I will be longing for a variety of sessionable summer ales. Despite this fact though winter is still the only seasonal I get excited about.

I know there are geeks that read this blog and probably have their favorite fall/winter seasonals picked out, but there’s also non-beer geeks that read this. I know this because they give me a hard time on some of my geekier posts. So here’s a list of beers I watch out for.

Pumpkin Ales– Not the biggest fan of these, but I still find an enjoyable one occasionally. Homebrewed pumpkin beers tend to have better flavors then commercial ones. I prefer a full flavored amber or brown ale as a base. Some of the commercial ones use a lighter base to highlight the spices, but a good pumpkin beer needs a strong malt profile to work with the spices in my opinion.

Milk Stouts– Some Imperial Stouts, Chocolate Stouts, Oatmeal Stouts, and Coffee Stouts are available year around now so I don’t group them as winter beers anymore, even if there is a better selection in winter. Sweet stouts a.k.a. Milk Stouts generally tend to be restricted to winter though. My big addiction last year was Oatis from Ninkasi. Yes I’m aware it’s listed as an oatmeal stout, but it is still a fairly sweet, malty stout. Snow Plow also come to mind though as a good winter stout. I know Widhook haters will love I tossed that one out.

Winter Warmers– You can’t really peg this category solidly in my opinion. The only unifying characteristic seems to be higher alcohol. I like this style though because you find alot more experimenting with herbs, spices, and things like raisins in these beers. It can be hit and miss though since there is so much diversity.

Spruce Ales – Spruce tips seem to be more common in winter beers. I’m not sure why, but they are. Personally I like a well constructed spruce ale.