These are the beers the pros crack open on the coldest day of the year
Beer can get a little overlooked this time of year. By January, the novelty of Christmas beers has worn off a bit. Casual beer drinkers may not necessarily think of cracking open a cold one when the windchill is below zero, and many people might opt for a hot cocktail like a hot toddy, an Irish coffee or a spiked hot chocolate to warm them up instead. A whiskey neat works pretty well, too. And with most bars across the country still limited to outdoor service with patrons shivering next to heat lamps due to the pandemic, who can blame them? But true aficionados know that it’s never too cold for a beer — especially if you choose the right one.
Of course, what that is exactly depends on your preferred style of beer. For some, it’s something extra boozy to provide a nice warming sensation. For others, it may be something dark and full-bodied that’ll stick to your bones. Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered with some recommendations from the pros.
We asked a handful of professional brewers to tell us which beers they reach for on the coldest day of the year. Some offered up a single cold-weather go-to, while others gave us a few recommendations to choose from. So grab an extra blanket and find out which beers you need to stock up on to survive the harshest part of winter below.
Victor Novak, Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing
De Dolle Brouwers Stille Nacht
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
When I think of cold weather beers, I immediately transport myself back to chilly, sometimes snowy days and nights when I lived in Philly. Yes, we get down to the 40s here in SoCal, but that’s tank-top weather back East. One of my favorite winter warmers is Stille Nacht (Silent Night) by De Dolle Brouwers from Belgium. I need a sipping beer that warms the body and soul like a great Carbonnade de Boeuf or Pozole. It comes in at a hefty 12%, has a rich malt sweetness, hints of tropical fruit, spice and funk from their incredible yeast, and a warming but not “hot” finish. Helluva beer to hang out by a fire with! [ … ]