Winter is coming — allegedly. It’s hard to tell in Texas just when that might be, but you can bet your head that one day the sky will turn gray and the winds will whip. For a few short, dark months, summer might even seem preferable to the onslaught of hibernal conditions.
To get you through it all, there is beer. Although beer is good any time of the year, there is something particularly gratifying about downing a thick, luscious brew dark enough to hide a tiny Loch Ness Monster.
Fortunately the craft breweries in North Texas have taken it upon themselves to supply thirsty patrons with such concoctions. These beers vary in style and flavors, but rest assured that they all have the ability to keep you warm and fuzzy until spring arrives.
Armadillo Ale Works
Quakertown Stout: Although not a winter seasonal, this offering from Denton’s Armadillo Ale Works is a worthy drink for the dark and cold months ahead. It measures at 9.2 percent ABV and 50 IBUs and features a full body of roasted nuts, oats, coffee and chocolate. The stout is topped off with maple syrup to give it that nutty flavor. Armadillo currently provides it only on draft, but it will be available in 22-ounce bottles beginning in December.
Community Beer Company
Regalement: This spice ale has a deep copper color and features spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg for a classic holiday flavor. Checking in at 7.8 percent ABV and 38 IBU, it’s a malty ale that manages to be relatively dry, making it a good winter option.
Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Darkest Hour: A rye imperial stout that comes out in December, Darkest Hour is made to mark the winter solstice with an equally dark body. At a healthy 9 percent ABV and 60 IBU, Darkest Hour will keep you warm with its rich chocolate and toffee notes. DEBC conditions it twice as long as its regular offerings to really drive home the flavors.
Lakewood Brewing Company
Bourbon-Barrel Temptress: Lakewood takes its crowd favorite, Temptress, and kicks everything up a notch by aging it in bourbon barrels to give it a boozier flavor that is sure to keep you warm. This tricked out imperial milk stout is still plenty creamy with notes of vanilla, toffee and caramel, but at 9.1 percent ABV and 50 IBUs, it can certainly sneak up on you.
Peticolas Brewing Company
Wintervention: This heavy-hitting strong spiced winter ale is loaded with holiday spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger, all provided by local spice maker Pendery’s in the Design District. Topping the list at 10 percent ABV and 45 IBUs, Wintervention has plenty of power to keep the hops and spices in check.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Winter Warmer: This English dark ale is modeled after the classic British holiday ales that help keep your bones warm in the winter. Notes include chocolate and a roasted, mild bitterness. Made to go well with holiday foods like roast beef, the Winter Warmer is an 8.5 percent ABV brew and 44 IBUs that is known to come in a bourbon barrel-aged variety from time to time.
Snowmageddon: Rahr’s newer winter beer is only available in February and March. This oatmeal stout is also 8.5 percent ABV and 55 IBUs, but it features rich coffee and semi-sweet chocolate notes to go with a creamy body.