Indy had its first snow of 2016 today. It’s no secret that I hate winter and snow – give me a sunny, warm beach any day! But since I’m a big fan of beer no matter what the season is, I wanted to create a list of some winter beers that I have recently tried.

  1. New Belgium Accumulation – To be honest, I like pretty much everything from New Belgium, but this white IPA is definitely one of my new favorites. Less hoppy than a traditional IPA with a hint of citrus, an addition of wheat really balances this one out. I love hoppy beers, but this is nice for a more mild flavor. I would recommend it to someone who hasn’t quite developed the palate for the extreme hoppiness of IPAs.
  2. New Belgium + Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale – The name is quite a mouthful, and so is the flavor. This is a collaboration of two awesome companies, and Ben & Jerry’s also made an ice cream of the same flavor. Sales from both products benefit Protect Our Winters (POW), “a group that is engaging the snow sports community to fight climate change.” But let’s get back to the beer. While it wasn’t terrible, I certainly won’t buy it again. The flavors were a bit over-complicated for me – mixing cocoa, caramel, vanilla, and a hint of salt.
  3. Tin Man Brewing Cranberry Sour Ale – This is listed as a “one off” for Tin Man, but it is one to try! I am a huge fan of sours, so I checked it out recently when I was in Evansville. If you’ve ever had Tin Man’s Damascene, think of this as its cranberry cousin. The cranberry flavor is perfect for the holiday season, and it’s slightly more tart than Damascene.
  4. Tin Man Brewing Cafe Leche – A milk and coffee porter from Tin Man that I highly recommend. I list this as a winter beer, but I am sure I could drink it year-round. It’s got a fantastic coffee and malty flavor that’s really easy to drink. The hint of milk comes at the end with a slightly sweet finish. I’m not suggesting that this could replace breakfast, but I mean, it is coffee and milk, sooooo….
  5. Shock Top Twisted Pretzel Wheat  – This one reminds me of more of a fall/winter beer, but very delicious. It’s a Belgian-style wheat ale and tastes like you’re drinking a pretzel. It’s a limited edition, so grab it if you can! I prefer it from a glass, left at room temperature for a bit to bring out the most flavor.
  6. Trader Joe’s Henry Hotspur’s Hard Pressed for Cider Spiced – Okay, technically, it’s a cider and not a beer, but I still love this stuff. I have been drinking the regular style for a while but recently found the spiced variety and I like it much better. It’s got a light golden color, and a nice apple flavor without too much sweetness. The spice comes from cinnamon, allspice, and clove. It’s pretty much like drinking an apple pie. It’s only 3.6% ABV, so it’s perfect if you want something light.
  7. Redemption Alewerks RecMyPumpkin – I never thought I would like porters as much as I do. I used to be intimidated by their dark color, but they are some of the easiest beers to drink! This is an English porter with strong hints of pumpkin and spice, and tastes like a dessert and beer in one – without being overly sweet.
  8. TwoDEEP Brewing Jolly Old Milk Stout – This English-style stout is perfect for colder weather! It’s got a great coffee flavor with a hint of creamy chocolate, and just a touch of sweetness to finish. It has a low bitterness and a smooth, dark color.

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This is only a small sampling of the beers I’ve had this winter, but ones that have stood out in my mind for various reasons. Although I can’t stand cold weather, it’s nice to find the perfect beer for the snowy winter wonderland that is inevitable living in Indy. Here’s to warmer temperatures on the way! Until then, comment below and let me know what your favorite winter beers are. Also, if you’re a beer lover and you’re not already on Untappd, you should be, and add me as a friend!

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