These seasonal craft beers are sure to put you in the winter spirit. Perhaps inspired by the majestic, snow-capped Rocky Mountains, Colorado brewers excel at winter beers, from ales to stouts. Visit a few Denver breweries this winter to warm up with friends and sample some great seasonal beers, or grab a six pack (or two) to enjoy at home!
1. Hibernation Ale — Great Divide Brewing Co.
Hibernation Ale has been a celebrated winter tradition since 1995. This robust, dry-hopped English-style old ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character. Stop in to Great Divide’s downtown tasting room or RiNo Barrel Bar and get cozy with this brew. There’s also an outpost at Denver International Airport to fuel your holiday travels, as well as one south of the city in Castle Rock.
2. Christmas Ale — Breckenridge Brewery
Breckenridge Brewery’s Christmas Ale boasts a winning winter combo of flavor and strength. At more than seven percent alcohol with a sturdy texture and rich flavors of caramel and chocolate, this holiday seasonal is the fermented equivalent of a roaring fire. Find it at Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery in nearby Littleton or Breckenridge Brewery Ale & Game House in Englewood.
3. Yamber Ale — Wynkoop Brewing Co.
Colorado’s first brewpub, located downtown near Union Station, still brews a mean beer! Wynkoop‘s Yamber Ale is made with yams and 40 pounds of marshmallows to create a brew that tastes like holiday pie in a pint glass.
4. Graham Cracker Porter — Denver Beer Co.
The brewmaistes at Denver Beer Co. describe this brew as a “campfire in a glass.” The seductive notes of vanilla, smoked cedar and mulling spices make it perfect for a chilly winter evening. With the taste of lush chocolate and a semi-dry finish of roasted malt and biscuit, you’ll soon discover why the Graham Cracker Porter is one of Denver’s favorites. During the winter, DBC ups the ante with the seasonal Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Porter. Drink up at the Platte Street Denver Beer Co. taproom or the one in Olde Town Arvada.
5. Blue Ski Lager — Epic Brewing
Like a bright, bluebird snow day in a glass, this refreshing Colorado Rockies lager with a German pilsner malt backbone from Epic Brewing in River North is a winter must-drink. The subtle malt flavor is balanced with spicy, herbal noble hops and finishes crisp and clean.
6. Paths of Victory — Mockery Brewing
This roasty, toasty brew is a great companion for cold winter evenings. Mockery Brewing‘s Paths of Victory is a robust porter with toasted coconut, whole vanilla beans and whiskey-soaked oak.
7. Pray for Snow — 10 Barrel Brewing
In Denver, we care about two things in the winter: fresh powder and cold beer! 10 Barrel Brewing‘s Pray for Snow winter ale features seven different malts and a variety of hops for a piney, herbal hop complexity. Grab a pint and some pub grub at the RiNo restaurant and taproom.
8. Isolation Ale — Odell Brewing Company
This sweet caramel winter warmer from Odell Brewing in RiNo is imbued with premium malts imported from England and balanced by a crisp hop finish, making it an excellent choice for those chilly winter nights.
9. Accumulation White IPA — New Belgium Brewing Company
Who says winter beers have to be dark and heavy? New Belgium‘s Accumulation White IPA — stacked with mosaic and Amarillo hops — is as cold and refreshing as that first snowfall of the season. In addition to their big brewery in Fort Colling, New Belgium has a new brewery inside The Source in RiNo, and you can order their beers upstairs at The Woods.
10. Old Jubilation Ale — Avery Brewing Company
This winter strong ale from Avery Brewing has a distinctive mahogany hue with hints of hazelnuts and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. It’s a festive blend of five specialty malts and a great sip during the holiday season. Find it in stores around Denver, or visit their taproom in north Boulder.
11. Wicked Elf — Rock Bottom Brewery
Don’t miss this Belgian Style Tripel, a unique beer with notes of spice, stone fruit and the holiday spirit. And don’t let the name fool you: Rock Bottom Brewery donates 25 cents of every Wicked Elf Ale to Toys for Tots! Maybe it’s not so wicked after all?
12. Pallet Present Salted Nut Roll Stout — Jagged Mountain Craft Brewing
A tribute to our favorite brewers treat, the Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll. One is included in every pallet order from Brewers Supply Group, where Jagged Mountain orders many of its brewing supplies! This hard-hitting imperial stout is brewed with lactose, vanilla, peanut butter and sea salt. Order it at their RiNo brewery, but be prepared: at 10 percent ABV, it packs a punch!
13. Joyeux Noel — Diebolt Brewing
This microbrewery in the heart of the Sunnyside neighborhood brews up French-inspired beers all year long, but we especially love Diebolt‘s holiday-themed Joyeux Noel. Darker, stronger and maltier than other Biere de Gardes, this seasonal brew is both delicate and complex, with notes of chocolate and dark fruit from the candi sugar additions, as well as subtle citrus and spice from orange peel and ceylon cinnamon sticks.
14. Foraged From the Frost — Baere Brewing Company
For a winter brew that’s totally new, try out South Broadway staple Baere Brewing‘s Foraged From the Frost, a barrel-aged dark sour aged with fresh sage and juniper.
15. Gingerbread Man American Brown Ale — Strange Craft Beer Company
There’s no need to wait for the holidays to get your gingerbread on! Strange Craft taps this sweet winter seasonal American brown ale in November. Find it at their Zuni Street taproom near Empower Field at Mile High.
16. and 17. Naughty and Nice Porters — Joyride Brewing Company
Joyride Brewing in Edgewater (near Sloan’s Lake) has a porter for everyone this holiday season — no matter which of Santa’s lists you end up on! The Naughty Porter includes cherries and chocolate, while the Nice Porter has hints of vanilla.
18. Toasted Coconut Quit Stalin — Comrade Brewing Co.
Can a winter beer transport you to the tropics? This Russian imperial stout loaded with toasted coconut and brewed with Mosaic hops from Comrade Brewing in southeast Denver sure does!
19. Snowcat Coffee Stout— Crazy Mountain Brewing Company
A collaboration between Crazy Mountain and Coda Coffee, this coffee stout is “an ode to the colorful characters who flatten snow in the wee hours of the night, ascending into darkness without fear and living in a world of powder.” Drink up in the Art District on Santa Fe.