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Beers for Brrr!

One must have a mind of winter . . . 
—Wallace Stevens


Have a beer in cold weather—just see
How it counterintuitively
Warms the blood with cold fire
As the winter transpires.
If you try one of these, you’ll agree.

Here’s a bottle-fermented delight,
For ’tis Trappist and English bedight
With rich, flavorful malts
That Tynt Meadow exalts
With a sweetness and spice that’s just right.

A DIPA for winter? Hell yes!
The trifecta of flavors so bless-
edly blends hops with spruce,
And spiced pear brings a boost
To this Bone Chill—cool brew, I profess.

To celebrate what grains can do
When craftsmanship flavors the brew
With well-roasted barley,
Try Oatmeal Stout. Surely
Its bittersweet chocolate rings true.

This fine Winter Ale, abbey-made,
Brings a light Belgian flavor arrayed
With grapefruit and port.
It’s a beer you’ll resort
To by fireside when winter light fades.


Tasting Notes
Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale. Mount St. Bernard Abbey, Coalville, Leicestershire, England. 7.4% ABV.
Pours mahogany brown with a light brown head and a mild Belgiany, roasty aroma.  Lightly spiced and richly malted with a pleasing burnt sweetness, this beer presents the tip of your tongue with a light, boozy sweetness that transitions to malty and spicy flavors as it hits the middle. A light mouthfeel for its fulsome flavor.

Bone Chill Winter DIPA. Sixpoint Brewery, Brooklyn NY. 8% ABV.
Pours pale amber with a frothy, light beige head that gives glass-hugging lace. Neither a heavily spiced holiday ale nor a hopped-up IPA, this beer innovatively evokes both styles by blending them with spruce and pear. The hop profile (Simcoe, Columbus, Chinook, Citra) plays well with the other ingredients for a distinctive taste.

Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England.  5% ABV.
Pours opaque blackish brown with a full and foamy tan head. This well-carbonated beer has a richly roasted malt aroma, signaling that roasty is not the same flavor as coffee—and that grains in and of themselves can yield an array of flavors without additives. The approach has sweet, bitterish chocolate notes that the oats smooth out. Classic and classy, the taste has heft without being heavy.

Winter Ale, Val-Dieu, Belgium. 7% ABV.
Pours translucent honeysuckle, but it turns a hazy light amber if you add the yeast at the bottom. This lightly carbonated ale slides smoothly across your tongue, bringing honey-sweet flavors with light Belgian spices—and a hint of tartness akin to applejack. Beautifully balanced with amazing mouthfeel for the ABV.


MARSHA BRYANT writes about literature, culture, and craft beer. Her recent essays appear in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, the online journal Humanities, and the textbook Impact of Materials on Society. Marsha teaches at the University of Florida. Her Untappd handle is LimerickLady.

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