Whether or not you’re coming back from an extended day spent searching or snowmobiling, gathering round a bonfire, or simply cozying in on the sofa watching Netflix, winter is the time for having fun with a distinctly totally different kind of beverage from what you may usually drink in the midst of summer season.
Winter beers, in contrast to their lighter, brighter warm-weather counterparts, are typically a little bit heavier, a bit maltier and undoubtedly darker. And being a state that is aware of a factor or two about winter, Maine breweries supply up a wide selection of cold-weather beers.
“I often like one thing with a little bit extra physique and that’s a little bit extra malt ahead, and usually darker,” stated Jared Lambert, head brewer for Bangor Beer Firm, which brews a number of stouts and lagers that match that invoice. “It simply feels good with chilly climate and being outdoors.”
Seasonality is nothing new for craft breweries, which usually brew seasonal varieties along with a year-round choice. Asa Marsh-Sachs, head brewer at Orono Brewing Firm, stated that it’s not simply darkish beers that he associates with the winter — it’s additionally lighter, bitter beers.
“One of many issues I respect most about residing in Maine is the altering of the seasons and the way that influences every day life in so some ways, together with what beer we attain for within the fridge,” Marsh-Sachs stated. “I discover myself on the lookout for darker choices, with deeper malt focus and better ABVs, or bitter beers with all their complexity and selection.”
With an extended winter forward and, given pandemic restrictions, possible extra alternatives to remain house or get out in nature, there’s ample alternative to strive some new brews. We’ve put collectively an inventory of some cold-weather beers which are good entry factors for anyone seeking to strive one thing totally different. All of those beers can be found both at your native beer store, or on website at every brewery.
“Life slows down this time of yr, and it’s an ideal alternative to discover new beer types and at last take the time to open that particular bottle you’ve been holding onto,” Marsh-Sachs.
Seemingly the beer mostly related to colder climate, stouts can vary from thick and malty to easy and chocolatey, in each mouthfeel and taste profile. Stouts have additionally risen dramatically in reputation amongst beer drinkers, based on beer trade website Brewbound, which reported canned stout gross sales have risen by 28 % over the previous yr.
For a easy however deeply satisfying stout, Allagash Brewing in Portland simply this yr launched North Sky Stout (7.5 % alcohol by quantity, or ABV), a Belgian-inspired stout that’s roasty and malty with a creamy texture. Bissell Brothers Brewing, based mostly out of Portland and Milo, have a stout, Umbra (7.5. % ABV), which is the brewery’s tackle the traditional oatmeal stout that’s lengthy been a favourite of craft brewers all over the place, with the oats including creaminess and physique, on high of the malty goodness.
For a giant, highly effective, advanced Russian imperial stout, Marshall Wharf Brewing Firm in Belfast has lengthy supplied Attractive Chaos (10.7 % ABV), considered one of its signature brews, full of taste. And for individuals who need a stout that drinks like a dessert, Mast Touchdown Brewing Firm in Westbrook has Gunner’s Daughter (5.5. % ABV), a milk stout (which suggests it’s brewed with lactose, aka milk sugar) that actually does style like peanut butter and chocolate. We all know that may sound a bit off-putting, however actually, simply strive it. It’s really scrumptious.
Browns and porters
The opposite darker beers most individuals are accustomed to are browns and porters, the previous being a brown, calmly bitter kind of ale, and the latter being not too totally different from a stout, apart from it being a bit lighter in physique and total texture.
Mason’s Brewing in Brewer has for a number of years now supplied up the Cousin Eddie Baltic Porter (7.3 % ABV), brewed with smoked Irish peat malt to lend a deep espresso taste, named for the unwelcome houseguest in “Nationwide Lampoon’s Christmas Trip.” And for a brown ale, a superb Maine selection is Basis Brewing’s Burnside (5.1 % ABV), brewed out of Portland, a easy brew with a distinctly malty, caramelized sugar taste profile.
Lagers are just like the pizza of beer: they’re good with every little thing, any time of yr. That stated, not all lagers are alike, and a few are finest loved when the climate turns chilly. Bangor Beer Firm brews Victory Formation (4.8 % ABV), a dunkel — a conventional German type of darkish lager — that’s easy-drinking, darkish in coloration and with a easy, malty end. Boothbay Craft Brewing additionally makes a extra conventional lager for the winter months, that they’ve dubbed SnowmoBeer (5 % ABV), an excellent easy-drinking brew that, judging by the title, is finest drunk immediately after getting your ya-yas out on the paths.
You may affiliate a fruity beer with summer season or tropical fruits resembling berries, peaches and pineapple. However there are additionally loads of fruit-forward bitter beers brewed right here in Maine with cold-weather flavors together with citrus, pear, cranberry and plum.
Orono Brewing Firm continues its standard Fruitful sequence of kettle sours into the winter with Cranberry Blood Orange (4.9. % ABV), a newly-brewed tart and tangy concoction; simply after Christmas, it’ll get replaced with a Fruit Punch Fruitful, for toasting a not-at-all fond farewell to 2020. Sebago Brewing, out of Gorham, can also be on the cranberry practice, with Bathroom So Onerous (7.5 % ABV), a dry kettle bitter brewed for its twentieth anniversary in 2018, however is now a daily seasonal providing that pops with cranberry taste.