Alright, you’ve been out shoveling only to see more snow coming down, but remember it’s a marathon – not a sprint. Now you need some more libations to take you through the rest of the blizzard. But what are you going to drink?
What is the perfect beer after shoveling snow? Obviously, everyone’s palate is completely different, so the answer could be almost anything. That said, we always think of a winter beer as a ‘winter warmer’ – something that puts a little heat in your belly on a cold winter day. Here is our list of the best locally produced winter beers in the St. Louis region. Hopefully you have a friend here who can ship you some.
Our list is not a ranking of beers and we will continue to update this list as new Winter Beers come to our attention.
Our most recent addition to the winter beer list comes from a comment posted by Christopher Melkus. Melkus wrote, “The Modern Brewery, whose top quality tasting room just opened up recently (Fridays and Saturdays only for now), has the bold, complex Arkham’s Finest, an American Stout with malts that go on for days.”
“I agree with his comment,” said Modern Brewery owner Beamer Eisele. Eisele’s Arkham’s Finest is brewed in collaboration the Kuva Coffee, which is located next door to Modern Brewery.
Perennial Artisan Ales
For the first time ever, The Civil Life is introducing a holiday beer. The Burton On Holt (Burton Ale) will be released on December 15th. “We will be pouring a Firkin of the Burton Ale dry-hopped with EKG and Fuggle hops,” they posted. “This is a beer we have wanted to make for several years here and it would be fair to say, you will not be disappointed.
The Old Bakery Beer Company
The Old Bakery Beer Company is a certified organic craft brewery located in downtown Alton, Illinois. And if you have ever been to Alton, you know they know how to get into the holiday spirit. A part that could be the Porter being served at Old Bakery Beer.
“It’s our take on the English classic,” said Lauren Pattan, co-owner at Old Bakery Beer. “It’s a bold, yet easy going black ale. It’s chocolatey, nutty, roasty, and perfect for keeping you warm on a cold winter’s day.
Deslogetown Brewing Company
The Park Hills, Missouri mainstays first contribution to winter warming is their Imperial Stout. Plenty of chocolate and a hint of coffee flavor with a hefty ABV @ 9.4%. Deslogetown tends to gravitate towards presenting traditional styles as a way of introducing craft beer to the market – and they we do have a couple of other special BIG beers for winter.
Kristie’s Kryptonite is a Belgian Blonde Ale and a strong one at that. “Our recipe incorporates plenty of Belgian 2 row malt and cane sugar to maximize the fermentables for the Belgian Abbey style yeast which yields an ABV of 8.9%,” said brewmaster Greg Camp.
As for the origin of the name, if you know or get a chance to meet the Camp’s wife Kristie, ask her, but the name pretty much says it all, Kristie’s Kryptonite!
Mark Twain Brewing Company
They get just as cold a winter up in Hannibal as we do down river. Thank goodness for Winter Beer. Up in Hannibal the Mark Twain Brewing Company’s winter seasonal is a Chocolate Coffee Stout, which is actually a variation of an Irish Dry Stout, but with cocoa nibs and blended coffee from St. Louis added for an indulgent twist.
“The roasty notes of coffee and bittersweet flavors of dark chocolate combine for a chocolate-covered-espresso-bean experience,” said Cat Golden, brewer at Mark Twain. “The recipe is near and dear to me as it was one our original homebrew recipes many years ago. Our friends liked it so much, we decided to scale it up and brew it here at Mark Twain.”
Chocolate Coffee Stout comes with a 5.3% ABV and is only available in draft at the taproom and bars across North East Missouri, Columbia and coming soon, the LOU.
Cathedral Square Brewery
Brewmaster Brian Neville adds French, Morello cherries to each barrel. “They create a hint of sin that will have you praying for forgiveness with each pint!
We told you Winter Beers will be heavier on the ABV, and Ava Maria is a good example, weighing in at 10% ABV.
But not to be out done, their sour ale Canes of Judas features a betraying kiss of raspberry and an 11% ABV. Neville calls it a complex brew with an aromatic palette and slightly sour finish.
Six Mile Bridge Brewing
The Classic Irish Stout. It’s smooth, simple and the perfect pairing to flannel shirts, holiday parties and evening chats by the fireplace. This Irish Stout is dry and chocolatey with a hint of smoke on the finish.
“Our stout has a bit of history behind it as well,” said Lindsay Sherring of Six Mile Bridge. “When we had our brewery in Cape Town, South Africa—each of our beers had their own distinct name and the name of our Irish Stout was Six Mile Bridge. Stout is by far my favorite style of beer regardless of the season so when we moved to STL and started a new brewery together, Ryan suggested that we name the brewery after my favorite style of beer as a reminder of Cape Town and everything that the town of Six Mile Bridge stands for (relationships). And here we are!”
Classic Irish Stout is available on draft in their tap room and at bars and restaurants around the city.
Urban Chestnut Brewing
For the third straight December, winter beer lovers can expect a re-issue of the seasonal Chestnut Mild Ale, a collaboration between Schlafly Brewing and James Beard winner Gerard Craft and his Niche restaurant. This year’s release will include a special beer dinner on Wednesday, December 16th.
After the success of last year’s release, the two acclaimed St. Louis teams worked together again to brew the seasonal beer. The Niche chefs not only helped in the brewing process, but the teams at all four of Chef Craft’s restaurants roasted and peeled the over 200 pounds of local chestnuts.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company takes their winter beers very seriously. In fact, they’ve created a Winter Warmer variety pack, which includes not one but four styles perfect for the cold weather!
Kinsale (Foreign Extra Stout) – Named for the southern Ireland town boasting a Caribbean sister town of the same name, this Foreign Export-style Stout has become an Irish-perfected, Caribbean-loved style of beer. Historically generously hopped and full of roasted malt flavors; our version leans toward the creamy, sweet side of things.
Hollermöffel (Smoked Bock) – The Tale of Sleepy Head:
Sleepy head, sleepy head, what do you think?
I think something that you’ll want to (yawn) drink?
What is that my soporific friend… do pray tell?
It’s smoky, it’s roasty, it’s Hollermöffel.
Cocoa CowTao (Chocolate Milk Stout) – Tao- Chinese for ‘path’ or ‘way’. Should you follow the Cocoa CowTao of UCBC it will guide you to a place of confectionary, bovinic, and zymurgic fusion, where you will find fulfillment through the exquisite wisdom of Chocolate Milk Stout.
Chouteau Joe (Coffee Stout) – Dear Auguste Chouteau, founding father of The STL, we toast to you today with a blend of two Saint Louis beverages: coffee from Kaldi’s and beer from UCBC. If you were here to raise a glass with us, you’d find a ‘namesake brew’ of a cold-steeped, savory coffee and a rich, creamy Stout ale.
The Winter Warmer beers are available in stores and on tap, including at the Midtown Brewery & Biergarten and Grove Brewery & Bierhall.
4 Hands Brewing
Get your belly warmed up with two Winter Beer offerings from 4 Hands Brewing Company. Their Chocolate Milk Stout pours black as the night sky with aromas of dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and more chocolate. With a firm tan head and a rich velvety mouth feel, CMS is a perfect complement to the change of seasons.
Both beers will be available at any locations that sell 4 Hands beer.
Also keep an eye out for the soon to be released classic Irish Stout and a Salted Dark Chocolate Imperial Stout later this winter.
Please bookmark this article for future updates as we add more local winter faves.