Winter Brews: Holiday Cheers Begin with Holiday Beer

Beer dispenser

As the days have grown shorter and the air has taken on a noticeable chill, things have changed just as drastically inside the  East End’s craft breweries. Be on the lookout for a wide range of winter- and holiday-themed offerings, running the gamut of styles from traditional spiced Christmas ales to high-alcohol brown ales to India Pale Ale.

Greenport Harbor Brewing has rolled out its winter brew, Anti-Freeze. Anti-Freeze is a malty, red, English-inspired ale with just enough of a kick to keep you warm on a cold winter night.

The Southampton Publick House‘s annual Imperial Porter has hit shelves, imparting its infamous full-bodied malt to yet another year’s worth of thirsty customers. This beer, unlike most others listed here, is available in bottles throughout the East End. Right after Thanksgiving, the Publick House will also feature Biere de Garde, a French farmhouse Christmas ale, on tap. In January, look out for the Winter Warmer, a strong, English-style brown ale perfect for cold weather, as the name suggests.

Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing Company plans to introduce its own Christmas ale, a hoppy red IPA. Afterward that, it too will bring forth a midwinter warmer, which will be an exceptionally malty brown ale at around 7.5 to 8% alcohol by volume. The brewers also hope to roll out a barleywine  (known for its warming qualities) by the end of the winter.

Just down the road from Crooked Ladder, Long Ireland Beer Company has prepared its own winter offerings. As has become tradition, on the day after Thanksgiving the brewery will unveil its limited-release Black Friday Imperial Stout, which is brewed differently each time. Though the flavor varies, it often features notes of chocolate and dark fruit, and is aged in whiskey barrels before bottling. To follow up, the brewers will re-release Long Ireland Winter Ale, a holiday-themed amber with an infusion of wintry spices and a bracing, bitter finish, clocking in at 7.2% alcohol by volume.

Also in Riverhead, Moustache Brewing Company serves a bit of seasonal cheer. You’ll Shoot Yo’ Rye Out is Moustache’s celebrated winter brew, a Scotch ale (malty, spicy,sweet) brewed with staggering amounts of rye.

Montauk Brewing Company is ready for the cold weather with its wintertime porter “F/V Porter,” (it stands for fishing vessel) brewed from a brand-new recipe. This robust, roasty beer, with its subtle hints of chocolate, is an American twist on a classic English style, and (unlike many porters) is made with high levels of hops, adding a heady flavor and aroma to this dark offering with its 6.2% alcohol content.

Warm up in front of a fire with one of these seasonal favorites—it’s just as enjoyable as “a cold one” in the summer. No matter which brewery you  choose, you’ll be well taken care of, with a smile and—more importantly—a pint.

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