Try These Great Local Portland Beers This Winter

by Alexander Frane on Dec 5, 2016 in Roundups

Portland is often known as Beervana, a testament to our city’s history as a pioneer in brewing, as well as the sheer volume of breweries we have (i.e., the most of any city in the world). One of the few things to look forward to in the dark, dreary months of winter are the seasonal ales that seemingly every brewery in town releases. With more than 70 breweries in the city, that means a lot of seasonal beers, some released in bottles, others only available on tap. To help you decide where to start, here are some of our favorite Portland seasonal winter beers. Let us know which brewery is making your favorite winter sipper at our Facebook or Twitter page.

Gigantic Brewing: High Voltage Winter IPA
The High Voltage from the Reedie founded Gigantic Brewing could easily be described as a red ale. However, it has a pronounced hoppiness, balanced by mild malt and a relatively low ABV that make it a smooth, drinkable IPA. As usual for the brewery, its label was created by an independent artist; the psychedelic boar art was crafted by Ben Venom of the San Francisco Art Institute. (5.8% ABV)
 
Widmer Brothers Brewing: Brrr Seasonal Ale
Yeah, we know: it’s a mega-brewery that makes accessible beers like Drop Top that we all love to scoff at. But the truth is that Widmer Bros is one of the OG breweries in the state, and is still a legitimate group of brewers. Case in point, the Brrr, a velvety winter ale with chocolatey malts and mild hops. There’s a reason it gets brought out every year. (7.1% ABV)
 
Baerlic Brewing: Arctos NW Winter Red Ale
The Arctos is a remarkably smooth red ale with a head so thick you’d think it were on nitro. Delicate hops and medium bodied candied malts make it a lovely, traditional winter ale. Baerlic Brewing is still on the newer side, but continues to impress with its balanced, Northwestern style beers. (7% ABV)

Culmination Brewing/Ruse: Interpreter Double IPA
Ruse is a bit of an oddity: a brewery inside of a brewery, it’s helmed by one of Culmination’s brewers who uses the space to try out ambitious and creative beers. The Interpreter is one such beer, a bright but cloudy double IPA that seems more like a spring ale than a winter with its pineapple and stone fruit. Still, its high ABV and thick body make it appreciable in the colder months. (8.2% ABV)
 
Stormbreaker Brewing: Wintercoat ‘17
Each year, Stormbreaker makes its winter ale with a different fruit; this year it’s plum, which is an appropriate fruit for a winter beer, with dark, lush juice. The plum itself is subtle, and just adds a gentle sweetness to the  malt and low IBU of the winter beer. It’s also joined by a slight orange zest. (7.5% ABV)
 
Ex Novo Brewing Co.: Liquid Sweater
An amber base and a dry, nutty malt make the Liquid Sweater less sweet than your average winter sipper. For those who find winter beers too sweet and rich, this is one you want to go with that still has the characteristic spice of a winter ale. (7% ABV)
 
The directly named Winter Ale from pFriem boasts a rich golden malt on an IPA style winter beer. pFriem avoids the standard direction of dark winter ales, opting for a lighter frame, and, as usual, nails it. You’ll have to forgive us for including a beer from Hood River on this list, but pFriem is simply one of the best breweries in the state. (7.5% ABV)
 
Commons Brewery: Bourbon Little Brother Belgian Dark Strong Ale
The Bourbon Little is a mouthful, both in its description and its flavor. Aged in George Dickel bourbon barrels, it has the traditional fruit and spice characteristics of a Belgian ale, along with a complexity from the barrel aging. It’s rich enough and has a high enough ABV that it’s definitely a slow sipper. Commons remains the standard of farmhouse and Belgian ales in PDX. (10% ABV)

Ecliptic Brewing: Frosty Leo Winter Ale
Ecliptic Brewing rarely, if ever, disappoints. While it is still a relatively newer brewery, its pedigree goes back to the early days of Oregon beer making with John Harris at the helm. The Frosty Leo is a dark, malty English style ale, with sweet malts and floral hops. (8.2% ABV)
 
Burnside Brewing Co.: Permafrost  
One of Burnside Brew Co.’s favorite thing to do is load up their beers with a variety of hops to add complexity, and the Permafrost is no exception. This winter ale has seven different hops varietals, giving is a rich bitterness, while its malt lends it christmas spices, perfect for the holidays. (8.3% ABV)

Photo via Widmer Brothers Brewing on Facebook

 

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Portland's Best Bar Snacks

Portland's Best Bar Snacks

Here are some of our favorite bars to grab a snack or meal in town. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 16, 2018
Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones might not be coming back until 2019, but you can still drink like Tyrion Lannister with the ne...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 12, 2018
Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

The adult candy company, Sugarfina, is behind this sinful creation of vodka-infused chocolate cordials, and th...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
SPONSORED
'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

The bar world was shaken last week when a bottle of vodka, reportedly the most expensive in the world at $1.3 million, was stolen from Cafe 33, a bar ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 9, 2018
Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Rebel Coast Winery was ready for California's change in legislation, as their marijuana-infused sauvignon blanc hit the shelves as the clock struck mi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 3, 2018
A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

Good news for winos: a new study from the University of Cambridge says that the size of a standard wine glass is a full seven times larger than it was...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 3, 2018
Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

A group of New Zealanders in the town of Tairua on the Coromandel peninsula rang in the New Year in the best w...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 3, 2018
Brave the Winter with Hot Drinks in Portland

Brave the Winter with Hot Drinks in Portland

It's cold, and the best solution for that is to try out some hot cocktails. We rounded up nine of our favorite hot cocktails for 2017....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 3, 2018
Where to Ring in 2018 in Portland

Where to Ring in 2018 in Portland

It seems that Portland, as a whole, is ready to move on from 2017 to whatever challenges await us in the New Year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Dec 27, 2017
These Portland Bars are Open on Christmas Day

These Portland Bars are Open on Christmas Day

There are more than a few Portland bars keeping their doors open for the holiday for a meal and some drinks. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Dec 24, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close