Ever since my first sip of Beer to Drink Music to, the iconic beer by Dogfish Head, I have wanted a brewery to do a series about the perfect environments to drink their special brews. Beer to Imbibe Hookie to, Beer to Gulp Literature to, the options are as varied as they are delightful. Since Dogfish Head seems to be sitting on their hands with this one, we have decided to do our own series: Beer to Savor Fire to. Enjoy these wonderful suds, perfect for sitting with family by the hearth and warming the bones on frigid winter nights.
Grand Rapids, MI
This wonderful stout, known as “The Baby” to some, is released in October and stays on the market right up to the new year. At just about 9% ABV, this dark ale will certainly help warm you up after a day out in the frosty wilds. Brewed with Sumatra and Kona coffee, multiple varieties of chocolate, and oats for mouthfeel, Founders Breakfast Stout is a succulent, invigorating winter warmer.
Commemorating the 2003 blackout of the Northeastern United States, Great Lakes Brewing Company released its Blackout Stout. Found in a four-pack throughout the midwest, this intense, brooding Russian imperial stout goes wonderfully with dark chocolate, decadent coffee cake, and moonless nights.
A little preparation is key here, as the March, brewery only release of this magnificent imperial stout makes it a little more difficult to come by. Named for the Mayan God Hanahpu who, with his brother Xbalanque became our sun and moon in Mayan mythology. According to legend, their father, Hun Hanahpu, was tricked by the lords of the underworld and slain, turning into the first cacao tree. This 11% specialty is brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, ancho chiles, pasilla chiles and cinnamon. It shows intense depth of character with balanced creamy, rich, and bitter profiles.
Greensboro Bend, VT
This unfiltered porter is the ultimate offering from Hill Farmstead Brewery. The backbone is made up of German and English roasted malts and American malted barley. At 7.5%, Everett is a bit of a little guy for today’s lineup, though what it lacks in ABV, it makes up with righteous, dark flavor. The balance is perfect between sweet and bitter with notes of toast, South American dark chocolate, and espresso. Be sure to grab a second growler for the family this holiday, as you can be sure Everett to be consumed with fervor.
Grand Haven, MI
In terms of complexity and flavor, this imperial stout from Odd Side truly has it all. Brewed with maple syrup, bacon, and coffee, then aged in bourbon barrels, Hipster Brunch is a meal all by itself. This is a really fun pairing beer as its complexity can compliment a number of different foods. Try it with bacon and waffles, decadent german chocolate cake, or a bit of hanger steak. At 11% ABV, Hipster Brunch will certainly warm you from your fingers to your toes.
Maryland Heights, MO
Talk about a Beer to Smoke Brisket to, O’Fallen’s Smoked Porter has enough smoke malt to make the Hindenburg look like a bonfire. Going with the smoke are subtle notes of char, toast, and baking cocoa. O’Fallen displays a light body on the palate with a smooth mouthfeel, and at only 6% ABV, go ahead and grab another.
A little bit of barleywine can go a long, long way with Sierra Nevada’s Barrel Aged Bigfoot. At 12.2% ABV, this bruiser will have those digits warmed in no time. Whole cone Pacific Northwest hops give a balancing bitterness to the massive malt backing, while the sweetness from the whiskey barrels adds nuance and complexity. Best off all, if you don’t get around to enjoying it this year, Barrel Aged Bigfoot gets better with age! Enjoy this epic brew out on the slopes, or slip it into your favorite uncle’s stocking. Either way, it is certain to be enjoyed.
As family starts rolling in from all corners of the country, now is the time to start stocking the cellar with these perfect Beers to Savor Fire to. It will probably be your warmest holiday yet!