The Best Winter Beers

Tastes change in winter. The food gets bigger, the wine gets bigger and – as could be expected in our hibernation nation – we get bigger. Why should the beer be an exception? High alcohol content, meaty taste and full body make seasonal ales just the ticket for winter palates. Here are some of our favourites.

Great Lakes Winter Ale

This is a blend of late summer fruit and spicy roots of ginger, cinnamon and orange rind that finishes with top notes of coffee and maple syrup. It may sound mediciney – and it will cure what ails ya – but the taste is as smooth as it gets.

Wild Rose Cherry Porter

This sumptuous, creamy Calgary brew is made with fresh Okanagan cherries, available only in Alberta, on tap at the Wild Rose brewery, among other locations, or in 1-litre bottles till it runs out – any day now.

St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

One of McAuslen’s finest, this stout serves up like a pint of crude oil, burned oatmeal and boiled licorice root – in a good way, we promise.

Rochefort 6, 8 and 10

This troika of award-winning Belgian beer is brought to us by Rochefort Trappist Monks. Expect honeyed sweet tones and a dark, dirty head reminiscent of figs in syrup and – in the case of the treacly, blue-labelled Rochefort 10 – an 11.3% alcohol-by-volume wallop.

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