The Friday beer: 4 winter ales to warm your holidays (in bottles)

Dec 16, 2011

If you don't want to brave the chill winds for that walk to your favorite watering hole, here's four Pacific Northwest winter craft beers you can tote home in 22 oz bottles.

Yellow Snow IPA
Purchased at Beer Junction (West Seattle)

  • Brewery: Rouge Ales
  • Availability: Winter seasonal release 22 oz bottles and draft
  • ABV: 6.2%
  • Style: American IPA
  • Hops: Amarillo & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution
  • Malts: Cara Foam, Melanoiden, and Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dareand Risk
  • Description:  Pours a bright sunny, yet hazy color, with a large yellowish head. The smell is a mixture of pine, citrus and some biscuit aroma. This is not a typical “winter warmer” as it is more of a straight American IPA, and is much more bitter than the sweet, malty releases this time of year. However, it is very easy to drink, and at 70 IBUs the bitterness is not off the charts by any means.


Abominable Winter Ale
Purchased at Whole Foods (South Lake Union)

  • Brewery: Hopworks Urban Brewery
  • Availability: Winter seasonal release 22 oz bottles and draft
  • ABV: 7.3%
  • Style: American Amber/Red Ale
  • Hops: Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe
  • Malts: Six organic malts. 
  • Description: Pours a dark reddish-amber color with great head retention. There is a slight citrusy aroma mixed with a stronger smell of pine. The strong sweet, malty flavor is balanced well with the choice of hops for this beer.


Bifrost Winter Ale
Purchased at Albertsons (Burien)

  • Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
  • Availability: Winter seasonal release 22 oz bottles and draft
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Style: Winter Warmer
  • Hops: Centennial, Amarillo and Styrian Golding
  • Malts: Pale, with small amounts of Munich and Crystal
  • Description: The color is slightly hazy and golden-orange with a decent head. Aroma has some slight citrus notes with a sweet caramel note. There is a nice balance of hops and malt, yet a little hoppier than a traditional winter warmer, though the “warming effect” is definitely present on the back end.


Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale
Purchased at Beer Junction (West Seattle)

  • Brewery: Ninkasi Brewing Company
  • Availability: Winter seasonal release 12 oz 6-packs, 22 oz bottles and draft
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Style: Altbier
  • Hops: Nugget
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carahell, Chocolate and Roasted Barley
  • Description: The color is dark brown, with a nice ruby color with the right lighting with very little head. The nose is piney mixed with traditional holiday spices like nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. An alt-style beer is brewed with ale yeast fermented at the colder temperature traditionally used for lagers. The result here is a nice crisp flavor reminiscent of a lager with a warming alcohol finish. The chocolate malt and roasted barley are very prevalent, giving Sleigh’r a nice toasty flavor with lots of cinnamon and brown sugar flavor to follow.


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