The winter holidays are nearly here, and several Triangle-area craft breweries have already released or plan to release seasonal offerings to pair with cooler temperatures and hearty meals.
The beers below make great introductions to the North Carolina beer community for your family and friends this holiday season. Grab your jacket, and visit your local brewery, restaurant, bar or bottle shop to take advantage of these locally-brewed winter seasonal beers, knowing that the brewers behind the beers are just down the street.
Aviator Brewing Co. - FrostNipper (Winter Warmer | 7.2% ABV) “will curl your toes and put goosebumps on your arms. Traditional fall spices make this a great addition to the holiday season. BlackMamba (Oatmeal Stout | 6.3% ABV) is a full-bodied oatmeal stout that has tastes of chocolate and a smoothness from the oatmeal.”
Big Boss Brewing Co. - Aces & Ates (Coffee Stout | 8% ABV) is a “winter stout brewed with ten different malts to create a complex and distinctive beer.”
Boylan Bridge Brewpub - Polar Bear Winter Beer (American Strong Ale | 7% ABV) has a “big malt presence and dark amber color.”
Bull City Burger and Brewery - Philip's BIPA (Black India Pale Ale | 7.5% ABV) is “very rich for the holidays and hop heads - even though it is dark, it doesn't have a lot of roasty character.”
Carolina Brewery - Santa’s Secret (Winter Warmer | 5.6% ABV) “boasts a combination of six different malts all working together to produce a rich beer with a soft creamy mouthfeel.”
Carolina Brewing Company - Old 392 Barleywine (Barlywine | 9.3% ABV) is Carolina Brewing Company’s first high alcohol beer, “named after House Bill 392 that was passed into law allowing beer over 6% alcohol in North Carolina. Winter Porter (American Porter | 5.2% ABV) is a dark, black ale brewed in the style of a robust American Porter. “
Fullsteam Brewery - First Frost (Winter Persimmon Ale | 8.8% ABV) is “sweet and savory, with natural notes of cinnamon and apricot, the orange-globed persimmon fruit truly is heavenly.”
LoneRider Brewing Co. -Belle Starr (Belgian Dubbel | 7.7% ABV) is a “Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with a rare Belgian yeast strain, caramelized beet sugar, and festive holiday spices.”
Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. - Red Nose (Winter Warmer | 6.8% ABV) is a “full-bodied winter warmer with a rich, dark malt body spiced with cinnamon, ginger and orange peel for festive flavor.”
Triangle Brewing Co. -The Imperial Amber (Amber Ale | 8.2% ABV) has a “strong malt presence that holds this brew together. IBUs of around 90 balance the beer, which is dry-hopped to add an invigorating citrus and floral aroma that lingers to the end while complementing all that malt.”
Win Bassett is a co-founder and freelance writer at NCbrewing.org and has contributed to All About Beer, Southern Brew News, and the News & Observer. He is the interim secretary of the North American Guild of Beer Writers, a member of the North Carolina Brewers Guild and a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. When he is not writing about beer, he is an attorney in Raleigh. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/winbassett.