5 Craft Beers Obtainable in the Los Angeles Area You Must Try This Winter

Posted: January 8, 2016 in Beer, Top 5
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With the turn of a new year, many people often make new year’s resolutions. Among the most common resolutions, losing weight and quitting smoking top that list year after year. Other common resolutions include money management (clearing debt and increasing savings), vacations/breaks, and less/stop drinking. Statistically, losing weight tops the list of resolutions that people actually complete, while reducing or quitting drinking fails the most. For those that did not resolve to reduce drinking or did not resolve to do anything about drinking, check out this list of five craft brews to seek out this winter in Southern California.

5. Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider‘s Winter Abbey Spice

While the craft beer phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, the rise of craft beer has paved the way for other craft beverages to surface. In particular, craft ciders and sour ales have risen in popularity. Blenderies have surfaced to deliver sour ales, while many cideries have popped up all over the place, especially the Pacific Northwest, which also has the Washington Cider Week and Oregon Cider Week. Plenty of cideries have distributed their goods to Southern California by now, but not that many make seasonal ciders. If you seek a good winter cider, check out Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Reverend Nat’s has a substantial lineup of ciders, which includes their seasonal Winter Abbey Spice. With a staggering 7.4% abv, this traditional New England style cider contains hints of raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You get the refreshment of an apple cider along with the subtle taste of winter.

4. Bootlegger’s Brewery‘s Mint Chocolate Porter

When you think about winter, you imagine visions of snow and cold weather. When eating or drinking, what foods come to mind regarding the cold? Well, to warm up, you have hot beverages like hot chocolate. For a cold feel, you have mints. Why not combine both for mint chocolate? Bootlegger’s Brewery has done that with their Mint Chocolate Porter. Measuring 6.2% abv, this brew truly tastes like mint chocolate candy with its spearmint and herbal hops supported by chocolate malts. Put together, you have a brew with a solid mint feel along with herbal hops, dark malts, brown sugar, and bittersweet chocolate. You cannot find a better way at drinking a mint chocolate candy than with Bootlegger’s Brewery’s Mint Chocolate Porter.

3. Ninkasi Brewing‘s Noir Milk Stout

Dark beers tend to remind us of other ingredients of that color. Seeing a dark beer usually means that one can expect to taste flavors of roasted malts, chocolate, and/or coffee. Between stouts and porters, the beer market has limitless different beers to choose from to get your dark beers on. If you want to narrow down the list of beers to choose from, perhaps consider keeping Ninkasi Brewing on your list. Ninkasi has a huge lineup of unique brews, and they do not appear to stop creating new beers any time soon. This winter, keep an eye out for their Noir Milk Stout. This dark treat has 7.6% abv with just enough IBUs to tickle your taste buds. This coffee milk stout combines roasted malts with cold-brewed coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The subtle sweetness from the milk sugar makes this beer reminiscent of the most satisfying cup of coffee, distinctive and delectable.

2. The Bruery‘s 8 Maids-A-Milking

When the weather gets cold, we tend to want to consume things rich and hearty. Leave the light refreshing things for the summer when our bodies do not need the extra weight dragging us down in the heat, we want the thick rich stuff now in the cold. When thinking about this sort of beer, The Bruery hardly comes to mind with their strong ales and sour ales. However, The Bruery has ventured away from their normal repertoire this season with 8 Maids-A-Milking. This yummy imperial milk stout measures a staggering 11.3% abv what with all the milk sugar brewed into it. Since yeast cannot ferment milk sugar, this adds creaminess and sweetness to the final product, which also contains milk chocolate, subtle spices, and roasty elements. Enjoy it immediately, or cellar it for up to four years.

1. Grand Teton Brewing‘s Coming Home 2014 Holiday Ale

Nothing celebrates the holidays and new year better than a nice strong aged beer. Most people prefer champagne as the celebration beverage of choice, but wine, beer, and even cider can function just as well for celebrating an occasion. For a beer worth celebrating with, take a look at Grand Teton Brewing‘s lineup of brews. Grand Teton does craft beer right with their focus on quality over quantity, and it shows in every beer that they produce. Take a look at their seasonal beer, Coming Home Holiday Ale. A 7.5% abv quadrupel, this enticingly bold brew has a dark sugar flavor with notes of raisins and spices. The sweet aromas contain hints of nutmeg and clove, which complement the spicy and dry finish. Since they brewed this in 2014, it has already cellared a year, so you can enjoy it now with its current age, or age it some more by stashing it in your cellar.

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