Seasons Cheers to Winter Beers at Peaceful Side Social Brewery + Craft Kitchen!
Baby, it’s cold outside and it’s the time of year when Winter Ales, Dark Lagers, Imperial Stouts and Porters take the spotlight for beer lovers and breweries. Winter beers are designed to be warming and invite great conversations and belly laughs during the cold winter months. They are perfect for sipping around a fire and will likely spark great conversation and stories shared.
These malty beers pair well with traditional winter meals because of the variety of malts and spices used like nutmeg, cloves, and chocolate. The sweetness of the malts used in winter beers typically triumph over any hop bitterness, and depending on the malts used, there can be a wide range of flavors. You will also note that the flavors will be fuller and bolder with a medium to heavy body. The color of a winter beer will be darker in color, ranging from dark red to deep black.
Pairing a winter beer, like any beer, depends mostly on the preference of the person you ask, and can be paired with a variety of dishes to bring out different flavors. Most of these winter beer styles go great with a Christmas turkey, or other types of poultry, roasted or braised meats and desserts! At Peaceful Side Social Brewery + Craft Kitchen we love to pair the beers we have on tap with our chef-driven menu items. Keep reading to learn more!
Stouts are one of the most popular beer styles in the winter. These dark colored beers with their roasted-bitterness, and sometimes sweet flavors will leave you with a warm fullness that is perfect for hibernation. There is no shortage of flavors from coconut stouts, to marshmallow and graham cracker infused, to very robust stouts brewed with dark chocolate and coffee. Many stouts are brewed with lactose, otherwise known as milk stouts, giving them a thick and creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol content in stouts can range anywhere from 4% to 12%, with the higher ABV bringing the most warmth to the body. Typically, stouts will be black in color, with a tan persistent foam head, roasted or sweet flavors. Pair a stout with a cheeseboard of soft and creamy cheeses, a rich meat dish, or a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Surprisingly, since opposites attract, stouts are also commonly eaten with oysters! We currently have two stouts on tap including the “Portly Stout” by Turtle Anarchy Brewery in Nashville, TN, and “Stout of Tune” by Wanderlinger Brewery in Chattanooga, TN. Both would pair well with our Mountain Italian Hoagie or one of our gluten-sensitive fudge brownies.
Porters are little lighter in color than a stout, and typically have less alcohol content ranging from 3.5-6.0% in comparison. Porters and stouts can be highly comparable at times depending on the malts added in the brew process. Porters typically have a less robust flavor profile, and can have vanilla, caramel, nut, and roasted flavors and aromas. Porters pair very well with roasted or braised meats such as our Half Chicken + Potatoes or our Pulled Chicken + Bacon Hoagie. Follow us on Untappd to stay updated on our current beer offerings!
In Germany, it’s traditional to enjoy a dark lager like a Dunkel or a Dunkelweizen, a dark wheat beer. A Dunkel is a lager, and is brown to dark brown in color but it is lighter bodied than a stout. A Dunkelweizen is usually brown in color, has a fuller mouthfeel, and contains the hefeweizen yeast to get flavors of banana bread and nutty caramel. These beers pair well with classic German food like Bratwurst, Pretzels, Beer Cheese, and Fondue. On tap at Peaceful Side Social, we currently have an imported German Dunkelweizen. Dunkelweiss by Weihenstephaner Brewery is brewed according to the centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill in Germany. This beer pairs well with any of our rustic stone hearth Roundbreads or Sandwiches because of the bread heaviness in the dish.
Winter Warmers are another style of winter beer, usually imperial, meaning it contains more alcohol with the idea of keeping you warmed up. You can pair snacks like nuts, holiday trail mix, a charcuterie board, but you don’t need to worry about pairing anything with these fireside sippers except stories and laughs with the ones you love!