The Best Ways to Enjoy Beer in The Winter
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How is it that the holidays can never come soon enough and always last longer than they should? 2017 is off to a fresh start, and that means new year’s resolutions. For some, a break from boozy drinks is the best way to begin the next trip around the sun. Moderation is always the best policy, but for those who enjoy the occasional barley-pop, the heart of winter offers some excellent ways to indulge.
Winter brings with it a host of seasonal and specialty beers. Everything from Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale to Sam Adams Old Fezziwig and hundreds to choose from in between. There are pumpkin beers, spiced beers and imperial stouts, all of which are best enjoyed with friends and family. Here are a few suggestions about how best to raise a glass when there’s snow on the ground.
Pair Beer With Your Favorite Dessert
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When the mercury drops, there’s nothing like a warm, melty dessert to finish off a favorite meal. Beer makes the perfect complement to sweet treats like chocolate cake. The creamy coffee stouts and chocolate porters popular this time of year make a delicious contrast when served cold, or if you’re willing to risk the brain freeze, go all-out and enjoy a craft beer float with your favorite ice cream.
Brew up Something Wintery at Home
More and more people are getting their start brewing beer at home, and January presents an opportunity to try something new. For example, pilsner is a traditional light lager brewed using Hallertau and Saaz hops. While it might not be as trendy as IPA, this traditional style is popular during holidays in Europe and is considered a challenge to brew.
Part of what makes a pilsner difficult is the lager yeast that requires cold temperatures to bottom-ferment. January is a month that sees some of the coldest temps of the year, so if you’re looking to show off your brewing chops, now’s the time.
Check Out a Self-Serve Beer Bar
The wine tasting industry has been doing this for years, but it’s only recently that self-serve beer has become a reality. Systems like PourMyBeer’s Magic Box are finding homes in professional sports venues and beer bars around the nation. These systems offer fun for patrons and bar owners alike.
Beer lovers can have as much or as little of their favorite beer as they’d like, or sample a few different brews. Owners benefit from reduced waste and a better understanding of when to restock their kegs. This is important info to have, because it allows brewers to more precisely time brewing schedules. That means you get to drink fresher beer, and that is a very good thing.
Make Yourself a Black & Tan
If you’re not familiar with this beer cocktail, it’s a tasty mix of dark stout and pale ale. Pouring one yourself is difficult. First, you’ve got to live with sacrificing a perfectly good spoon to use as an aeration device, and then you’ve got to pour the stout slowly over the pale ale so it floats. A cold glass helps to form a nice head on the ale, which will make floating your stout easier.
Though we typically associate this drink with St. Patrick’s Day, because Guinness is the most popular choice of stout, you can still drink it in the winter. Use the name “half and half” if you decide to go for one in Ireland.
Try a Hopped Cider
While it’s not technically a beer, the hard cider industry seems to be riding the coattails of craft beer’s unstoppable success. The results are some very tasty takes on this winter drink traditionally served hot. Most recently, cider brewers have started introducing hops, a key ingredient used to make IPA bitter, into their creations. Start the new year off adventurously and try one out.
Here’s to the New Year
Sharing a beer with friends is a centuries-old practice not just in the USA, but all around the world. There have never been more ways to enjoy beers of all types, and it doesn’t have to be a hot day at the beach for you to crack open a cold one. January is as good a time as any to appreciate the magic of water, malt and hops, so here’s to a happy, healthy and hoppy 2017. Cheers!