What Beers are Best to Brew in Winter?

Woman holding moose-shaped glass with winter beer.

Winter brings with it cooler temperatures and a refreshing change of pace in our drinking habits. While the summer sun often calls for a cold, refreshing beer, winter can also be enjoyed through sips of beer, albeit through slightly different varieties. Because of the cooler weather, different styles of beer grow in popularity winter. Summer beers tend to be lighter and fruity, whereas winter beers tend to be dark and full-bodied.

Popular Types of Winter Beer

In the winter, the go-to beers are typically stouts, porters, Winter or Christmas Ales, and bourbon-barrel-aged beer. Of those, bourbon-barrel-aged beer is the largest category, as it takes an existing beer and ages it in a bourbon barrel, giving oaken tones to its flavor.

Porters and Stouts are brewed year-round, but they’re especially popular beers during the winter. With their taste profiles ranging through chocolate, coffee, vanilla, peanut butter, and beyond, it’s obvious why Stouts and Porters remain winter staples year after year.

Winter and Christmas Ales, while lighter than other winter beers, remain darker and fuller of taste than their summer counterparts. Recently, there has even been a rise in eggnog flavored beers popping up during the winter season. 

Brewing Winter Beers

While all winter beers can have drastically different flavor profiles, they share a similar style of full-bodied flavor. However, even tried and true recipes can come up short when made with inferior products. Ensuring the highest quality hops and grain, as well as brewing supplies and process, is essential. Winter beers can be especially finicky due to their complex taste profiles. Even at its simplest, beer requires a precise brewing process to obtain the desired, delicious results.

Like all worthwhile things, with difficulty comes increased joy in success. Perhaps that’s why winter beers are a delight to both drink and brew.

Looking to delve into the world of brewing winter beers? The Infusion Spiral system can help you achieve the unique flavors of winter faster and at a lower cost than Bourbon barrels. Learn more on our website, and find more articles on home brewing winter beers on our blog.