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:
 
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Mar 22, 2017
The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 22, 2017
Celebrate Wine & The Women of Marvel at Pairings Portland Wine Shop, March 23-26

Celebrate Wine & The Women of Marvel at Pairings Portland Wine Shop, March 23-26

This weekend, Thursday March 23 through Sunday March 26, join the fun with wines made by female winemakers pai...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 21, 2017
SPONSORED
Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 17, 2017
Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 16, 2017
Portland's Best Non-Alcoholic Bar Programs

Portland's Best Non-Alcoholic Bar Programs

Whether you're a designated driver, trying to saving money, cutting out alcohol entirely, or just feel like going out without getting buzzed, here are...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 14, 2017
Where to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2017 in Portland

Where to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2017 in Portland

St. Patrick's Day is a time for celebration in Portland, not just because we always love an excuse to drink stout, but also because it marks the end o...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 14, 2017
Visit One of Portland's Many Female Owned Bars and Restaurants

Visit One of Portland's Many Female Owned Bars and Restaurants

If you want to go to a bar and support women this Women's History Month, try some of these great women owned Portland bars....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 8, 2017
BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 8, 2017
Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 7, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close