How to warm up with winter beers

How to warm up with winter beers

Secret no. 7 to making the most of the city this chilly season

Winter Guide 2015: Beer
From left to right: Wellington, Bellwood’s, Muskoka, Rainhard, Side Launch (Image: Carlo Mendoza)

A dark and malty ale can be as warming on a cold day as a cold glass of lager is refreshing on a hot one. Here are some of this year’s best from around Ontario:

Guelph-based microbrewery Wellington is releasing a limited-edition brew to mark its 30th anniversary. It’s very much on-trend: a blend of a dry-hopped golden ale and a traditional English ale that’s been aged in bourbon barrels for three months, soaking up all that vanilla and smoke. It’ll be gone after this winter, so stock up. $10.95 for 750 mL. LCBO 436972.

Bellwoods’ Bring Out Your Dead stout, as the name suggests, isn’t messing around. It hits a walloping 13 per cent alcohol content, delivering a punch of chocolatey smoothness that’s only enhanced by the aging process—a full year in cognac barrels, which adds smoky, woody notes. $12 for 500 mL. 126 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586.

If ever there was a beer that tasted like Christmas, it’s Muskoka’s Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. It’s on shelves until the end of February—long after the Christmas spirit has disappeared and the gloom of winter has fully set in. $13.95 for 750 mL. LCBO 222315.

Jordan Rainhard opened his eponymous brewery a year ago in a warehouse by the Stockyards and has since managed to turn heads in an already craft beer–saturated city. This winter, he’s releasing his signature Hearts Collide imperial stout, which he infuses with cold-brew coffee during the aging process. $9.95 for 650 mL. 108-100 Symes Rd., 416-526-7755.

Side Launch are known for their refreshing, citrusy wheat beer—tasty, but not what we crave on a cold, snowy day. So they launched the polar opposite: a dark, Munich-style lager (they use real Bavarian malts) that’s warm, sweet and remarkably easy to drink. $2.70 for 473 mL. LCBO 437228.

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