Chelsie’s Winter Craft Beer Picks

Winter Craft Beer Picks 2014

I know it’s not even winter… technically. But here in the Northeast, we’ve already had a few snow storms. One being the day before Thanksgiving! So I couldn’t help take this snowy photo as well as shift gears with my beer selections. Something about the cold, crisp air and a touch of winter wonderland that makes me want to drink chocolate stouts, funky saisons, goses and the ocassional IPA.

Here are 5 selections that I’ve stocked up on but won’t last long in my beer fridge:

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
I was first introduced to this stout about 7 years ago when I commented to a friend that I wasn’t fond of dark beers. I was encouraged to try it because I’m a huge chocolate fiend. I had already tried a few chocolate stouts and found them to be bitter and just “ok”. At the very first sip of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, I was hooked. Smooth. Creamy. Chocolatey. And, I’m not talking about a subtle “chocolate”. This beer is loaded with sweet chocolate flavor. Now, that’s my kind of beer! (note: I prefer this selection on nitro) 5.2% ABV | 25 IBU

Allagash Interlude (2014)
This farmhouse ale is one of my recent discoveries after visiting Teresa’s Cafe in Wayne, PA. It’s a great balance of maltiness, funkiness and tartness. I get notes of apricot, peach and biscuit. More of a sour beer vibe than a typical Belgian ale. It’s aged in red wine barrels giving the brew a rich smell and taste. I enjoy Interlude with steamed mussels in a garlic, white wine broth with a side of fresh cut frites (aka “fries”). 9.5% ABV

Troegs Blizzard of Hops
Just released this November for the first time and is available through January. It’s part of Troegs Brewing Company’s seasonal “Hop Cycle” series. Blizzard of Hops pays homage to the end of the hop farming season. This clean tasting white IPA is loaded with lots of tropical fruit aroma and flavor with just a hint of pine. I’ve now added this brew to my top 20 IPA list. 6.4% ABV | 80 IBU

Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose (Highway 128 Session Series)
This has to be my go-to gose at the moment. When you pop the top on the can, you’re greeted with a fizzy display of bubbles. Then, it’s an in-your-face orange smell as well as upfront taste. The salt kicks in hardcore as it should, dissipating to a toasty, bread malt finish. So glad this is a year round beer but I’m really enjoying pairing it with savory, winter dishes. 4.2% ABV | 25 IBU

New Belgium Saison Harvest Ale
I’m carrying this fall selection from New Belgium Brewing Company right on through into winter. It’s the perfect blend of spice, hops and wheat beer all mixed together in this unique ale. It’s not your typical saison taste profile. I especially enjoy the light, grassy hoppiness. This would be great for a beer cheese fondue. Ok. Now, I’m hungry. 6.5% ABV | 36 IBU

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