We Asked Bartenders For The Best Beers To Drink On A Frigid Winter’s Day

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Feb 25 | By entertainoiam2admin | Views: 25 | Comments: 0

We spend a lot of time during the winter months nursing glasses of whiskey. There’s something special about the warming hug that Scotch, bourbon, and rye provide on a cold day. But even the UPROXX crew can grow tired of old fashioneds, Manhattans, and mid-afternoon hot toddies. In these instances, we grab for a tried and true: a winter beer.

There are plenty of definitions of what exactly a winter beer is, but we don’t want to put too many parameters on them here. We believe that whatever beer you enjoy drinking during the winter qualifies. Do you prefer to crack open a hop-fueled IPA and think happy thoughts about impending warm, summer days? Or do you choose to sip on warming, rich, barrel-aged stouts instead? Tony Abou Ganim, master mixologist and bar consultant at Highlands in Detroit, likes to buck the wintery trend in favor of something a little more refreshing.

“I’m a big fan of Indian Pale Ales and find that their rich character coupled with the additional hops make this style of beer the perfect cold day draft,” he says.

Will Witherow, bar manager at Live Oak in Alexandria, Virginia pours a classic brew with hipster appeal.

“On a frigid winter’s day, I love to drink Miller High Life,” he says. “Chances are you’ll be shoveling snow. My suggestion is spacing the High Lifes out in a snowbank and shovel to them, using the beer as a reward.”

Since what you consider to be a “winter” beer is open to interpretation (High Life definitely stretches the definition!), we decided to ask some of our favorite bartenders to tell us which beers they prefer to imbibe on a frigid winter’s day.

Spiteful Brewing Mrs. O’Leary’s Chocolate Milk Stout

Style: Milk Stout
ABV: 7%

Manuel Obregon Bernal, bartender at Adamus in Chicago

Spiteful Brewing Mrs. O’Leary’s Chocolate Milk Stout. It’s an awesome chocolate stout. The taste is extremely chocolatey giving you a feeling of warmth and peace.

BrewDog Tactical Nuclear Penguin

Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 32%

Alex Carlin, beverage director of Infuse Hospitality in Chicago

If you can find it, I would suggest Tactical Nuclear Penguin by BrewDog Brewery. The beer starts as a 10% Imperial Stout but then is aged in Isle of Arran Whiskey barrel for 16 months before it is stored at -20 degrees. The beer is then stored in an ice cream factory for 21 days giving the “big chill” effect at penguin temperatures. Alcohol freezes at lower temperatures so the beer is decanted, concentrating the alcohol and discarding the leftover ice, until all that remains is the beer that has now reached 32% ABV. You can warm your bones knowing the beer you are enjoying had it far worse than you.

Genesee Brewing Bock Beer

Style: Bock
ABV: 5.2%

Emily Kraus, national beverage manager for Wolfgang Puck Catering

I do love a dark beer but my go-to all fall and winter long is a good bock beer. These beers are malty and smooth but still have a crisp hoppy finish. My favorite is from my hometown: Genesee Brewery.

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Style: Flanders Red Ale
ABV: 6%

Anthony Merlino, beverage director at Bergamo’s in New York City

I truly love Rodenbach Grand Cru. With notes of cherry, plum, grape, earthy and sweet vanilla, it has a mild funkiness to it that’s so distinct. A third of the beer is younger, then two-thirds of the beer is aged in the barrel for three years. Great balance of freshness and sour cherry notes. I’ve been quoted on this before, and I’ll be quoted on this again.

Why? Because I’ve drunk a lot of these.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Style: American IPA
ABV: 7%

Tony Abou Ganim, master mixologist and bar consultant at Highlands in Detroit

Located in Comstock, Michigan Bell’s makes an array of wonderful beers but my must-have when I’m home is the Bell’s Two Hearted IPA. They feature 100% Centennial hops and you can detect them immediately. From bright citrus; grapefruit and lemon, to vegetal and herbal notes, with fruity aromas of Michigan apples, giving way to a bold malt backbone of caramel, burnt sugar, and maple syrup. This is a wonder ale to be enjoyed with a broad selection of foods or whenever one finds themselves in need of a malty beverage to warm the soul and take away the chill.

Founders Dirty Bastard

Style: Scotch Ale
ABV: 8.5%

Bryn Gleason, bar manager at Mercadito in Chicago

Founders Dirty Bastard, a Scotch Style Ale, with a dark ruby color, hints of smoke and peat balanced with malty richness and bold hops. Founder’s Dirty Bastard is a warming 8.5% and is packed with flavor. It’s perfect to sip on while warming up next to an open fire or to guzzle down before braving a cold winter storm. It warms you up from the bottom of your stomach to the tips of your fingers.

Guinness Stout

Style: Irish Dry Stout
ABV: 4.2%

Jose De Jesus Medina Camacho, bar manager at Automatic Seafood & Oysters in Birmingham, Alabama

Guinness is one of my go-to beers year-round, but during the winter season it’s almost like having an adult hot chocolate. It’s nice and creamy, and easy to have more than one.

Jackalope Bearwalker

Style: American Brown Ale
ABV: 5.1%

Kala Ellis, bar manager at O-Ku in Nashville

When it’s chilly outside, I typically reach for a nice dark beer. If I’m trying to drink local out in Nashville, I’ll go for Jackalope’s Bearwalker. It’s a Maple Brown Ale. It’s got incredible texture and it’s not as filling as other beers in that category. It’s great both poured out of the can and off the tap. Plus I just love the ladies that run Jackalope. They are total beasts.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Style: American Imperial Stout
ABV: 13-15%

Patrick Turner, bartender at B & O Brasserie in Baltimore

I used to plow snow before I got into bartending. I wish I knew about Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts back then. While I do less snow-plowing these days, I still make sure to keep a bottle of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout when it’s a frigid day.

21st Amendment Fireside Chat

Style: Winter Warmer
ABV: 7.9%

Lauren Mathews, lead bartender at Urbana in Washington, DC

21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat is such a smooth drinking beer. Yes, the high ABV makes it the perfect couch-sipper when you know you’re not leaving your house.

North Coast Old Rasputin

Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9%

Andres Padilla, head bartender at 312 in Chicago

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is a heavy and bitter beer with chocolate, almond and coffee flavors that make it good companion for a cold winter day.

Duck Rabbit Milk Stout

Style: Milk Stout
ABV: 5.7%

Christa Csoka, mixologist and owner at The Artisan’s Palate in Charlotte, North Carolina

Duck Rabbit Milk Stout. It has a mild roast flavor with a dry and slightly sharp finish but with slight chocolate and caramel notes that linger on the palate. It’s creamy texture (due to the use of lactose) makes for a perfect brew to sip by the fire.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 8.1%

Benjamin Rouse, head bartender at Henley in Nashville

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale would be my reach for this option. It has the ABV to keep you warm and with those delicious whiskey tones on the finish, it is perfect for a cold night.

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Source: https://uproxx.com/life/best-beers-for-cold-winter-day/

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