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The Best Cold Weather Beers To Drink Before Spring Really Gets Cranking

Although winter is officially over, the weather sure doesn’t seem like its ready to give in to spring. With people quarantined inside and a chill outside, this weekend is a great time to finish off your wintry beers. It’s not like a little sun forces us to dump out our stouts, porters, and various other winter ales, of course, but they do fit a certain season.

Drew Hairston, beverage director at Dirty Habit in Washington, DC wants to get one last pint of barrel-aged goodness before spring really gets going.

“If it’s still available, I would love to grab another Allagash Barrel & Bean Tripel,” he says. “Allagash is renowned for their Belgian style beers. This one is aged in bourbon barrels and blended with Speckled Ax coffee from Maine. While it has a big ABV at 10%, the coffee and baking spice from the barrel keep it balanced and easily drinkable.”

Not everyone opts for barrel-aged stouts while they wait for the first real signs of spring. So we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to cold weather beers to drink before the weather finally warms up.

North Coast Old Rasputin

Pete Bauer, bartender at Giulia in Minneapolis

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout; redolent with chocolate and dark berry flavors that evoke memories of holiday feasts from months past, this big stout is too much for warmer times but my favorite option for raising one more toast to the long past Winter Solstice before the spring weather arrives.

Great Divide Chai Yeti

Vince Diorides, lead Bartender at Jack Dusty in Sarasota, Florida

The one winter beer to drink before springtime nears is Great Divide Chai Yeti. Originated in Denver, this is an essential winter beer. They describe the Chai Yeti as the “big boy” beer at a whopping 9.5%. It’s reminiscent of a winter wonderland brewed with your traditional winter spices including chai, cinnamon, nutmeg and a splash of vanilla.

Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA

Ian Campbell, assistant general manager at Gansevoort Hotel Group in New York City

Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA. It brings back fond memories of my first skiing trip in Colorado, so I always like to cap off the winter with at least one.

Hop City Barking Squirrel

Myles Harrison, director of wine at St. Regis in Toronto

I always reach for a Hop City Brewing Barking Squirrel Amber. Hitting all the winter notes, Caramel, Burnt orange and a nice sweet malt finish.

Stone Xocoveza

Rob Lugo, bar manager at HQ Beercade in Nashville

My one cold-weather beer to finish off the season would be Stone Xocoveza. Not a huge stout fan but this mocha cinnamon-flavored stout can turn anyone into a stout lover.

Burlington Prismatic Lazer

Billy Cox, bar chef at Ocean Prime in Boston

Prismatic Lazer from Burlington Beer Co. has become a favorite this season. Mint, chocolate and milk sugar. It’s a dessert for breakfast beer. But I promise it’s not too sweet, try it during your next Sunday brunch.

Harpoon Winter Warmer

Kayla Grogan, mixologist at Monarch Rooftop in New York City

Harpoon’s Winter Warmer really encapsulates the winter season’s signature spices. The dark copper ale is medium-bodied and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Rochefort 10

Scott Kollig, beverage manager at Rye Street Tavern in Baltimore

I am always enamored with Rochefort 10, which I believe to be one of the best beers in the world. It is a bit of a guilty pleasure given how full-bodied it is, but there is no better way to cap off a great winter (and start a great spring) than with this beer.

Cigar City White Oak Jai Alai

Thomas Nesselhauf, manager at Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida

I’m cracking open one last Cigar City White Oak Jai Alai. If you don’t drink it before spring really arrives, there won’t be any left.

Brooklyn Winter Ale

Colin Stevens, bartender at Thyme Bar in New York City

Brooklyn Winter Ale. By far my favorite winter beer, plus they’re local and sustainable. It’s hard to go wrong with anything from Brooklyn’s seasonal line, in fact.

Schlafly Session Stout

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Patrick Dennis, director at Solé in Miami

It doesn’t get much better than Schlafly Brewing Session Stout in the time of year when the weather doesn’t know if it’s winter or spring. Chocolate, velvet easy drinking. Yet, not too rich.

Samuel Adams Cold Snap

Larry Day, beverage manager at Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

My end of the season, cold weather beer is Sam Adams Cold Snap. It’s a white ale made with all the flavors of Oranges and Plums. Coriander adds a “bite.”

Able Baker 5 Pepper Porter

Juyoung Kang, lead bartender at The Dorsey in Las Vegas

The 5 Pepper Porter by Able Baker Brewing. Two of the five peppers are jalapenos and habaneros, so it has a bit of heat to keep you warm on those final few cold winter nights.

Lagunitas Brown Shugga

Rus Yessenov, director of mixology at Fairmont Royal York in Toronto

Lagunitas Brown Shugga. Not only is it a great wintry beer. It’s also an amazing early spring beer. What could be better for this time of year? It’s 10% ABV, full-bodied, and rich. What else does one need to warm up?

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