Even though we’re halfway through February and it’s about 70 degrees and sunny here in Los Angeles, this winter we’ve been coveting all the craft beers that are both seasonal and perfect for the winter. Though drinking delicious, melt-in-your-mouth craft beers with limited availability can get expensive, we’re convinced you can still do it on a budget. Here are our top picks under 10 bucks, after the jump.
Definitely one of my favorites this season, Telegraph Winter Ale is available only during winter months. The presence of chocolate malt is indicative of the brewery’s taste inspiration – Mexican Hot Chocolate. A little cinnamon and allspice gives it that holiday feel, and ancho chilies adds to the complex, unique flavor. Pick up at Bill’s in Atwater Village.
While this is not a seasonal beer, Cistmontane’s Holy Jim Falls XPA is a great choice for warm days and cool nights. You can just smell the hops from across the room, and even though the aroma is quite overpowering as you raise the glass to your lips, it is actually super well-balanced, crisp, and light (it’s also only 4.5% ABV). Stock up on this one, it flies off the shelves.
Also not a seasonal beer but perfect for the season – imagine sitting by the fireplace while snow falls outside, eating a bar of chocolate with caramel filling to yourself and a glass of this in your hand. The combination of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John’s Wort and licorice root launches the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout into our list without a second thought. So, so good.
The Hoppy Holidaze from Marin Brewing Co. is their holiday seasonal, and – don’t get me wrong – it’s delicious. But we’ve been sort of obsessed with the Point Reyes Porter, and we can’t have a top winter beer list without a porter. This stuff has a unique, super dark roasted barley, is quite velvety, and nice and chocolaty. Also topping our favorites list is also Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice, which sadly you cannot find anymore, and Kern River Brewing Company’s Winter Ale. For the latter, you should be able to find bottles at Sunset Beer Company. And while it edges more toward a winter IPA, it’s not as sweet as most winter beers and has that nice hit of hops. There are so many beers out there to drink – do share your favorites with us in the comments below!