‘Tis the season for all those brews that remind us that winter is upon us, and there’s no short supply of great beers to choose from. From darker ales and stouts to lighter styles that mix it up with those Christmassy spices we all love, incredible winter brews are available now. We’re highlighting Santa’s usual suspects as well as a few that are on our list to seek out at your local brewery. Although this isn’t a complete list of everything available it will get you going in the right direction, encouraging you to ask local breweries what they might be doing this season.
First, let us point out that winter is always good to keep an eye out for New Belgium’s “Frambozen” a flavorful Raspberry Brown Ale that satisfies just about anyone. Frambozen can usually be found at any local liquor store or bar during this season. As an added bonus, New Belgium’s “Accumulation,” a white IPA, is now available at the brewery, several local bars and liquor stores too. Odell Brewing offers their standard winter seasonal “Isolation Ale,” as well as a new “Cellar Series” called “Friek”. Friek is a Lambic style ale fermented with a wild yeast and tart cherries in oak barrels. Funkwerks has collaborated with local tap room the Mayor of Old Town to make “Echoes”; a red wine, barrel-aged Belgian-style Dubbel. Echoes is available only at the Funkwerks’ tap room or at the Mayor of Old Town. The Fort Collins Brewery has taken their Chocolate Stout and made the more-potent “Double Chocolate Stout” and “Big Shot”, a brown-ale seasonal. Double Chocolate Stout and Big Shot are available at the brewery or in local liquor stores.
Many smaller breweries around Northern Colorado are jumping into the winter seasonal beer action as well. Every year you can count on Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewery to make their “Jingle Ale.” A perennial favorite with Santa, elves, and just about everyone, Jingle Ale will be available on December 3rd, but only at the pub. Equinox Brewing has created “Midwinter Warmer Barley Wine,” available in their taproom on November 29th. Wiley Roots Brewing in Greeley has concocted a brew called “Griff” an English Style Old Ale; it, too, is available only in their taproom. In Loveland, two other breweries are creating some specialties of their own. Grimm Brothers offers a spiced Broyhan Bier called the “Pack of Scoundrals,” available only in their taproom. The taproom at Crow Hop Brewing, Loveland’s newest brewery, will roll out two seasonals in December: a dry-hopped Raspberry Amber and a Christmas Stout (coming later in December).
Hopefully this has given you and your winter taste buds a good start as to where to look for those winter seasonal brews! There will be other seasonal beers at various tasting rooms on a limited basis, so hitch up the reindeer and get to your favorite local brewery where you can ask about their seasonal selection. Tell them that the jolly elves at Fort Collins Brewery Guide sent you!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!