One thing is for certain: it’s hard to pass up on an ice-cold beer — even in the dead of winter! When hectic schedules and frigid temps become too overwhelming, it can be the perfect reward after a long day. In fact, some of our favorite seasonal eats featured on this site taste all the better with a ‘cold one’ as a companion…
1. Classic, strong Belgian blonde ale. That’s what you should expect of the Duvel. Crisp, zesty, slightly fruity and very refreshing, it’s customary to enjoy this beer in its signature tulip-shaped glass. There is a science as to how your glass should be filled. As you pour, gradually lift the bottle a bit higher to form a full, creamy head. This helps to spread the nutty, malt aroma throughout evenly.
A Duvel is both the perfect thirst quencher and the ideal aperitif. It’s also great with food as well. Try it with this cold weather comfort food. Three different cheeses combine on bacon-wrapped Texas Toast:
2. Another quality beer from Belgium that’s been around for ages is the Chimay – an authentic Trappist beer. Brewed by monks at the Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey, Chimay is one of the six Belgian beers that carries the logo, “Authentic Trappist Product”.
This guarantees the Trappist origin of the products according to well-established principles, such as the income generated from sales is to “provide for the major portion of the necessities of the community and for social services.”
Drink a Chimay and better society…who knew! The Chimay, like the Duvel, also comes with a special glass for pouring….a chalice of sorts that will permit you to experience fully the aromas and flavors. In addition to cheese (its go-to counterpart), the Chimay Blue or Red is an excellent choice to accompany some good old fashioned barbecue:
3. Find yourself in love with the renegade beers of Founders Brewery. For the past four years, Ratebeer.com has named Founders one the top four breweries in the entire world! Carefully brewed, complex, in-your-face ales with huge aromatics, bigger bodies, and tons of flavor.
One of their specialty crafts, the Imperial Stout, is concocted with ten varieties of malted barley! Put another log on the fire, sit back and enjoy the friendship of this ultimate winter warmer. And it gets better, because it goes GREAT with dessert…
Enjoy this particular release from Founders with this devilish treat from Boudro’s:
4. Alaskan Winter Ale is made from glacier-fed water, Sitka spruce tips and a generous blend of the finest quality European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties and specialty malts. It’s made precisely to keep you feeling nice and toasty during the winter months.
In general, Alaskan beers reflect many of the same characteristics of beers that were brewed there during the gold rush era…clean, well-rounded and rightfully rugged.
A hearty cup of soup can be just thing to pair with this exceptional, seasonal release. FYI, the Winter Ale can also double as a dessert beer for any holiday breads, or apple pie:
Feature Image Credit: Nathan Tucker, Portland Monthly Magazine