Cold days and long nights make ideal conditions to enjoy a heady beer. Here's a 12-pack of the first bottles and cans we'd reach for when we need a warming beverage.
Back from the dead, the is the best black IPA our palates have ever encountered. It maintains the lighter body of an IPA while still balancing the roasty malts against the bright hops.
There's no more perfect beer for swirling in a snifter next to a crackling fire. Some , but it's so much more interesting thanks to the blend of Utopias-filled barrels that date back as far as 1993.
This is a longtime favorite, but the recent import of kegs ensures a fresher pint and elevates the beer with previously unseen—at least on this side of the Atlantic—layers of smoke and cocoa.
is inspired by England's rich, barley-focused old ale style. But like any patriotic American brewery, they bumped up the hop character to complement—but not bowl over—the toasty caramel malts.
Pretty much any dark, is an ideal winter sipper, but this is the very best of what's sent to our beer aisles.
This is brewed with Counter Culture coffee, molasses, and milk sugar. No pastries were hurt in the making of Skillet, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to pair a glass of it with a fresh sugar-coated donut.
Schwarzbier (black beer) is the lager family's answer to the stout and porter. Metrolitan's schwarz, , is among the finest you'll find stateside and packs rich, dark flavor with a crisp, drinkable finish.
This is like a fortified hefeweizen, slightly darker and stronger, with backbone of toasted bread.
is a Baltic porter, a style that combines the luscious dark malts of an imperial stout with the clean finish of a lager. The result is a warming brew that's alarmingly easy to drink despite its 8 percent ABV strength.
Aged on cherries for a year in red wine barrels, is a benchmark for sour beer in America.
This with beans from three continents drinks like a dark chocolate whiskey with the same pleasant, snapping finish of a neat bourbon. For the big flavors and booze (nearly 11 percent), the body is admirably restrained where Vanilla Bean's peers feel syrupy.
Great hazy IPAs—and is one of the very best—feature a softer bitterness, that along with their massive, juicy hops flavor ensconce you like a good flannel blanket. An intense IPA lives on the opposite end of the beer flavor spectrum from most wintery brews, but they're supremely fine beers to sip and certainly warming if you crack a few cans.