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Skagit Brew Corner: Winter Beers Keep On Coming

Brew enthusiasts are at no loss for tasty seasonal beer. The Co-op carries an outstanding selection of new winter beers, including offerings from the Pacific Northwest and California. Be sure to try the following two hoppy ales to warm up your winter:

  • Wee Heavy Winter Ale from Hale’s Ales in Seattle, WA – pours hazy and rich, with dark auburn tones. This warm flavors of this winter ale are a hearty match for the cold weather season. “Wee Heavy” is a traditional Scottish name for a strong ale, and this one has an initial dryness that gently yields to reveal spiced apple, vanilla and spiced hops. An interesting number of flavors are present in this winter warmer, including pine, dark bread, dried figs and chocolate. Hale’s Wee Heavy is brewed using an unusual blend of subtle and beefy malts, including: Pale, Crystal 40, 60, & 120, Munich, Wheat, Special B., & Cherrywood Smoked. Hop varieties shine through and include: Bravo hops for bittering, Sterling, Willamette & Centennial for aroma and finish. A good choice for fans of hoppiness, Imperial Stouts and porters. Pair with: Twice Baked Potatoes (or Sweet Potatoes), meat pot pies and blue cheese. For notes on last year’s Wee Heavy, click here. 6% Alcohol by volume / 55 IBU
  • Powder Hound from Big Sky Brewing in Missoula, Montana – take this one with you when you hit the slopes as a recovery/relaxation beverage. This American Red Ale claims to be made in the style of a Northern Rockies Strong Ale, and exhibits flavors of spiced orange, toasted biscuit and caramel. On the lighter side of the winter brews, the brew is golden and shares qualities that liken it to an amber ale. Hallertau, Palisade, and Amarillo hops give it a hoppy boost. Malty with heavy notes of citrus, this brew is clean-tasting and makes for easy drinking. Serve to fans of IPAs and amber ales. Pair with: strong and spicy foods, such as Mole Enchiladas and multi-starred Thai food. 7.2% Alcohol by volume / 60 IBU
By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.