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Common Seasonal Beers for the Colder Months

(01/09/2017)

Surely you’ve wandered into your nearest liquor store or brewery and noticed beers appear and disappear from the shop, sometimes failing to reappear for months at a time. You may be wondering why some beers are around constantly, while others only pop their heads out on occasion. Seasonal beers are becoming more and more common as beers utilize flavors that coincide with the weather, time of year, and the ingredients that are only available seasonally. Today, Big Dog’s wants to take a look at some of the common brews you’ll find during the colder months of the year and get you ready for a year full of good craft beer!

Fall

Ah, autumn. The leaves are falling, the air is slowly becoming more crisp, and there are colors everywhere, including reds and yellows and oranges. Lots of circular orange shapes. Yes, we’re talking about pumpkins. But there are plenty of other flavors that show up when the air starts to change and beers that tend to be associated with the turning of the seasons.

  • Pumpkin: The most obvious of the fall flavors, pumpkin reigns supreme when it comes to autumn beers. Pumpkin opens a beer up to numerous different spice and brewing combinations, utilizing things like nutmeg, allspice, or creating pumpkin stouts, something breweries are always excited about.
  • German Brews: Oktoberfest is always marked down on any beer-lover’s calendar as the fall celebration of beer, brats, pretzels, and lederhosen. This beerfest has become a staple in the United States brewery and taproom circuit, with plenty of spots having their own Oktoberfest on draft. These are often Märzen-style beers (though some go the Dunkel route, which is a good change of pace), meaning they range from orange to deep amber or copper colors and have a lager mouthfeel and weight with quality flavors of toasted malt.
  • Maple and Banana: Maple is becoming more prominent in the fall beer sector. With a sweet, syrupy taste, maple can be used in heavier and malty beers to make them a little lighter and easier to drink more of. Banana is also used for its sweetness, while adding a bright and almost tropical pop to beers that tend to lean towards the dark side. Adding banana brings lightness without making a beer feel too summery.



Winter

As winter rolls around, we are greeted by shorter days, darker nights, and sometimes unnecessarily cold weather.

  • Stouts and Porters: Keeping warm doesn’t have to mean breaking out the whiskey bottle. Nowadays, craft breweries try their hardest to create a quality dark and heavy beer (much like our Black Lab Stout). Stouts and porters often taste highly malty without overpowering you, as well as incorporating roasted elements like coffee and espresso or cocounut, as well as chocolate, which makes it perfect for dessert and setting you up for a winter nap.
  • Seasonal Spices: Seasonal food and drink goes hand in hand with the holidays, and you will be hard-pressed to find a craft brewery or taproom without a specialty holiday brew. Things like gingerbread, eggnog, and bourbon-aged drinks come out to play this time of year, making these perfect for when the sun decides to set early.
  • Anything Heavy: The goal of winter beers is to be filling, along with having higher alcohol content to help warm you up. If you notice any beers that you wouldn’t normally choose to drink at a sporting event or during a barbeque, you know it is probably ideal for winter.

The colder months of the year are the perfect time to explore beers you wouldn’t normally consume during the spring and summer. Big Dog’s Brewing has plenty of these drinks to choose from in the restaurant and taproom, so come by today and try a Moon Dog Barleywine or Sled Dog Imperial Stout and fight any cold weather you may find yourself facing.