Hoppy Holidays: 5 Winter IPAs to Try
December 6, 2017
The holiday season is here, and even though all your friends are drinking stouts and weird ales with nutmeg, you can still enjoy a delicious IPA. Winter is a special time for IPA fans because it’s fresh hop season. Many of the best hops are grown in the southern hemisphere, which means that they’re harvested in the fall and are ready to be enjoyed by winter. The beers below represent a few of our annual favorites, but availability can be limited, so stop by soon!
Stone Enjoy By 12.25.2017
Stone releases several varieties of their “Enjoy By…” series each year. While each is unique, most follow Stone’s tradition of brewing bigger-than-life IPAs. This particular edition is unfiltered, so expect a bit of extra peach flavor, not from a fruit addition, but from the fact that skipping the filtration process accentuates the blend of 12 different hops. This also mutes the natural “dankness” that many Stone IPAs have. As the name suggests, these beers are made to enjoy fresh, so don’t wait to pick up yours!
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2017
The strong pine aromas of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale make it a perfect IPA to enjoy next to a Christmas tree. Brewed for over 25 years, this IPA was one of the first American-style IPAs. The combination of caramel malt and Chinook and Centennial bittering hops give this brew a flavor that’s pleasantly bitter and darker than many modern IPAs. Celebration Ale is made with fresh, whole-cone hops, and that’s all the excuse you need if you’re looking for a reason to celebrate.
The “T” stands for “Tasmanian,” because this delicious beer is made only from Galaxy hops, which are native to Tasmania. With a sweet, citrusy nose and a smooth, slightly sticky mouthfeel, Schlafly’s TIPA is one of our favorite things about winter. Big, juicy IPAs have really come into vogue over the last couple years, but Schlafly was definitely ahead of the curve when they released TIPA several years ago.
New Belgium Accumulation White IPA
While it’s not as full-flavored or iconic as some winter IPA releases, New Belgium’s Accumulation is a great change of pace from your normal IPA routine. The addition of wheat (thus the “white” in the name) softens the mouthfeel and helps to smooth the hop bitterness. Accumulation is bright and fruity, but has a grassy, herbal aroma that stays present all the way to the finish.
Uinta Rise & Pine Dark Ale
This one isn’t technically an IPA, but with an IBU of 73, we think it’s a great complement to the rest of our lineup. Uinta is an underrated brewery from Salt Lake City, and their IPAs are excellent, especially for the price. Rise & Pine balances its hop bitterness with a dark, slightly-sweet malt bill that includes Munich, Chocolate, Carafa, and Caramunich malts. And how could we forget the nose of pine and juniper?
Stop by Sinkers to check out these winter IPAs, and don’t hesitate to ask us for other recommendations.