Your Winter Craft Beer Guide

We’re entering the most festive time of the year and you’re going to need some festive beer to really get into the spirit. This is the season when it seems like every brewery is coming out with some special beer and it can be daunting to weigh through all the options to find what’s right for you. Luckily, we here at Rampant are here to walk you through your options. Allow us to highlight some of our favorites:

21st Amendment: Fireside Chat

Named after FDR’s famous 1930s radio addresses, Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional winter fare. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale, it kicks things up a notch with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.

Affligem: Noël

As the name suggests, this is a traditional Christmas beer. This delicious ale is rich and dark like the Affligem Dubbel yet sumptuous and smooth like the Affligem Tripel. It’s the sort of perfect harmony that we can all appreciate this time of year.

Anderson Valley: Winter Solstice

As the longest night of the year, we recommend you spend the winter solstice inside curled up next to a roaring fire with a beer in hand. And we have the perfect beer for the occasion. Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice is a deep amber ale with an inviting aroma of spice and nutmeg. It possesses subtle hops and fruity notes which perfectly balance the flavors of roasted caramel and a secret blend of winter spices.

Brooklyn: Winter Ale

Sometimes the chill of an Ohio winter can turn even the most festive Ohioan into a Grinch. Well here’s a beer to help you look on the bright side of things even when things look bleak outside. Based on the satisfying malty ales of blustery Scotland, Brooklyn’s Winter Ale brings deep bready flavors to a beer with a full copper color, a round, smooth palate, and brisk hopping that pulls the sweet malts into balance.

Brooklyn: Black Chocolate Stout

What’s the holiday season without a little chocolate? Brooklyn’s famous Black Chocolate Stout is a take on the Imperial Stout style once made exclusively for Catherine the Great. Three mashes are used to brew each batch achieving a luscious deep, dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specially roasted malts.

Lager Heads: Winter Mischief

The pride of Medina, Ohio has thrown their hat into the winter ale arena as well. This rich, full-bodied, deep amber ale is brewed with honey and spices making it the perfect beer to keep you warm on a cold, Ohio winter evening.

Lost Coast: Winterbraun

A richer, stronger version of Lost Coast’s signature Downtown Brown, you’ll delight in the Winterbraun’s full body and rich chocolate taste. Brewed with American pale malt and a mixture of caramel and chocolate malts, it’s given a unique spicy flavor and aroma from Saaz hops grown in the Czech Republic.

Mt. Carmel: Winter Ale

From the eastside of Cincinnati comes this festive ale that calls to mind the holidays with scents of spruce and ginger mingling with the flavors of orange-spiced break. Just cracking this beer open will put you in the Christmas spirit regardless of where you’re enjoying it.

Ommegang: Adoration

Brewed in the authentic style of a Belgian Winter, or Noel Beer, Adoration is dark, malty, and assertively spiced. Even at 10% ABV, the beer is well balanced and not at all hot or fiery. The dark malts give it lush, malty flavors, and aromas, complemented by its five spices: coriander, orange peel, mace, cardamom, and grains of paradise. It’s the perfect beer for a ride on a one horse open sleigh.

Rogue: Santa’s Private Reserve

While we haven’t asked him personally, we’re pretty confident in saying that this is the beer of choice of Santa and his elves. A double hopped Red Ale, with an appropriate reddish hue, it has a roasty, malty flavor with a well-balanced spruce finish.

Rogue: Yellow Snow IPA

While we cannot stress enough that you should avoid the yellow snow in your backyard, we highly recommend any Yellow Snow that has a Rogue label on it. This IPA has a hoppy, fruity aroma and big hop flavor up front complemented by medium body and hoppyness mid-pallet. It finishes with a characteristic, lingering bitterness.

Rogue: Mogul Madness

Brewed using seven different types of hops, the dark, hearty Mogul Madness Ale is described by Rogue Brewmaster John Maier as “layers of complex malt flavor and radically hopped!” While you definitely shouldn’t attempt actual moguls while drinking this beer, it certainly makes a tasty treat in the lodge after your run.

Samuel Smith: Winter Welcome

A limited edition brewed specifically for the short days and long nights of winter, Winter Welcome Ale’s full body is the result of fermentation in “stone Yorkshire squares.” The luxurious malt character, which can be enjoyed by a broad range of drinkers, is balanced against whole-dried Fuggle and Golding hops with nuances and complexities that are best contemplated before an open fire.

Smuttynose: Winter Ale

A full-bodied, amber beer brewed in a special Trappist ale yeast, Smuttynose’s Winter Ale is stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double. It features fruity aromas and flavors and is balanced by soft, Crystal hops.

Woodchuck: Winter Limited Release

Somewhere between a delicate snowflake drifting down to your tongue and a hard-packed snowball to the teeth, the power of this Winter Cider is a balanced culmination of Premium French and Traditional American Oak, giving the cider great complexity and broad characteristics that neither style could produce on its own.

Representing craft beer brands with pride