For the beer lover, the cooler weather of winter also ushers in a renewed interest in darker, richer brews. And it’s not a new phenomenon. Richer textured beers—complements of extra helpings of barley malt—have been a winter tradition for brewers for centuries.
Nova Scotia’s craft brewers are no strangers to celebrating the seasonality of beer and their winter offerings typically lean toward these heavier, darker beers. Our local cideries, likewise, celebrate the flavours of the harvest, with ciders that fit the season.
Here are a few local beer and cider suggestions to sample and offer your guests this season. They’re available for a limited time only, in select NSLC stores. Keep in mind one important winter beer fact—these beers are best enjoyed no colder than 10 degrees Celsius. Serving them "ice cold" suppresses their flavour; not a good strategy if you want to enjoy your beer to its fullest.
1. Propeller Revolution Russian Imperial Stout
A strong and bracing brew with a deep, rich, black colour, this local beer improves with age. The alcohol is well masked by intense hop bitterness, extreme roasted malt and dark fruit notes.
2. Nine Locks Scotch Ale
Reminiscent of the Scottish ales of the 1700s and 1800s this strong, dark beer with ruby highlights is deeply malty. A smooth body exhibiting caramel with hints of dark grains leads to a crisp finish.
3. Bulwark Winter Cider
New Ross, NS
Warm and inviting, Bulwark’s Winter Craft Cider combines Annapolis Valley apples with gentle notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, resulting in a well-balanced and irresistible taste. Best served chilled, or you can slightly heat the cider for a mulled beverage experience.
4. Spindrift Abyss Schwarzbier
A seasonal favourite, the Abyss is a Schwarzbier that hits all the right notes on a cold winter eve. The traditional German-style black lager local beer has upfront notes of toasted grains, coffee and chocolate malts leading to an elegantly smooth finish.
5. Tata Brew The Jitney Organic Dry Hopped Sour
A brand new offering for this year, Tata Brew’s dry hopped sour delivers beautiful hop aromas alongside tartness from the popular sour style brew. This one is sure to please both the sour lovers and the hop heads. A refreshing option for holiday get togethers!