50 Wonderful Winter Beer Recipes for the Home Brewer


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If you're a professional drinker who's tasted every conceivable brew, then the next logical step is to make your own. Becoming a home brewer has its advantages — you don't have to search the town for the next great brand, you can fix your beers with your own personal touch, it's a hobby (a 7,000-year-old one) and you don't have to leave your home. So procure your supplies, consult the 50 wonderful winter beer recipes below, get to mashing (or not) and draft plans for a tasting party with your buds. You're guaranteed to be drunk with satisfaction.

Spiced Brews

The extra kick of a spiced beer complements the leftover cheer of the holiday season.

  1. Honey Ginger Lager: Ginger is a spice that's commonly added to winter brews, giving them a taste that's fit for the season.
  2. Winter Ale: The author of this recipe didn't skirt the details, calculating his mashing efficiency in order to craft the best brew possible.
  3. The Slow Escape: A unique beer recipe adapted from a bakery gingerbread recipe. The beer is sweet and tasty.
  4. Hazelnut Brown: A well-balanced combination of hazelnut and honey that produces a rich taste.
  5. Easy Spiced Brown Ale: The short aging time ensures that you'll enjoy this brew before February has ended.
  6. Spiced Ale: Dry-hopped Saaz infused with cinnamon and ginger, forming an appropriately pleasant smell.
  7. Winter's Tavern Winter Ale: The warm aroma from this ale serves as a psychological boost during the dreary winter months.

Strong Ales

Darker and heavier brews are perfect for the cold winter months, when warmth his hard to come by.

  1. English Strong Spice Ale: A variety of ingredients ensures a formidable taste satisfactory to ale enthusiasts.
  2. Easy, Delicious Ale: The author of this recipe describes it as a "clean tasting Brown ale with great body" and great head retention.
  3. Williams Ale: A man shares the recipe for a popular ale he brewed up for a wedding.
  4. Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale: With about seven percent ABV and a liberal helping of hops, this one will be appreciated by any ale connoisseur.
  5. Rhino Beer: A "hoppy, powerful" ale for the real ale drinker.
  6. Extract Barleywine: Malty stuff that worthy of its own sit-down.
  7. Buzzy Beer: Not quite as strong as an Old Ale, ensuring it goes down well.
  8. Belgian Strong Dark Ale: A beer that hits the spot when most manufactured brews won't cut it.
  9. Organic Nut Brown Ale: The author of this recipe describe the finished product as "a smooth, nutty ale, warm chocolate in color with a medium body and a mild hop character."
  10. Cascadian Dark Ale: Born the Cascade Mountains, this brew features a "citrus-like and spicy Northwest hop flavor."
  11. The Most Powerful Beer in the Universe: Proceed at your own risk, however, this potent recipe was designed with taste in mind.

Stouts and Porters

Put down your Guinness and concoct a few new stouts and porters to sample.

  1. 24 Black Silk: The name says it all. A smooth, dark beer you're sure to enjoy.
  2. Chocolate Stout: Heavy, full-bodied stout crafted for people who don't mind a hint of chocolate in their beer.
  3. Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout: A thick and creamy recipe inspired by Anderson Valley Barney Flats.
  4. Organic Beer Oatmeal Stout: Another organic recipe to try. This one is rich, creamy and bittersweet.
  5. Espresso Stout: Fanatics of both beer and coffee should try this blend using home-roasted espresso.
  6. McFussy's Irish Stout: A competition-winning stout that's full-flavored.
  7. Wakeup and Go To Sleep Stout: Use your preference of espresso grounds to vary the flavor. No. 1 Novelty Beer in the 1995 Dixie Cup in Houston.
  8. Finnigan's Coffee Porter: Dark beer with a prominent coffee taste and inviting red hue.
  9. Midnight Stout: A delicious taste of roast barley and chocolate malt.
  10. Ohio Valley Mud Stout: Winner of The First Annual Dayton Homebrew Competition, this beer is the closest to a sure thing.
  11. Watson's Alementary Stout: If you're familiar with Murphy's Stout, then you'll know what to expect with this recipe. Sweeter than Guinness.
  12. Darkness Irish Stout: Like Guinness but "with a much less harsh aftertaste."
  13. Drowsy Duck Imperial Stout: A stout consisting of chocolate malt. Strong but drinkable.
  14. Full Moon Porter: Ground Vienna roast coffee makes this porter nice and dark.
  15. Kitchen Sink Porter: Multiply everything by five-thirds and you'll have more than enough to fill the kitchen sink.
  16. Uncle Bill's Porter: A simple recipe composed by a simple guy for simple beer brewers.
  17. Vanilla Porter: If the previous recipe wasn't simple enough, then check this one out. Similar to Breckenridge Vanilla Porter.

Holiday Brews Great for Jan. and Feb.

Don't let the holiday or Christmas designations deter you from trying these brews in late winter.

  1. Christmas Ale: A warm ale that features a spice of your choice — which you choose depends on the taste you desire.
  2. Christmas Cranberry Ale: The noticeable addition of cranberries produces a bit of sweetness and sourness.
  3. Christmas in Ireland: A cinnamon-y delight that smells as good as it tastes.
  4. Christmas in July: Ginger lovers will have a merry old time with this brew. Too much ginger? Cut back by one or two-thirds so that's it's less pungent.
  5. Spice Xmas Beer: A ginger-themed beer that's good to drink a week after being bottled.
  6. Strong Christmas Ale: An ale much like Sam Adams' "Old Fezziwig," with cinnamon, ginger and oranges.
  7. Phil Fleming's Christmas Ale: Originally appearing in the Hop Barley & the Alers newsletter as "Anne's Choice Christmas Ale," this recipe has been around for two decades.
  8. 1990 Christmas Ale: A nine-gallon partial mash recipe that's all-grain and geared toward pale ale lovers.
  9. Merry Christmas Ale: Brew this one a couple months before you plan on taking your first swig in order to allow the spices to mellow out.
  10. Christmas Triple: The subtle cinnamon and cherry taste makes this quite the treat.
  11. Holiday Ale: Another ginger brew, but with a little cinnamon and orange peel.
  12. Holiday Porter: Maple syrup is used to enhance the attenuation of this holiday brew.
  13. Tungston Tommy Seasonal Ale: An Amber beer with a uniquely fruity and spicy taste. Remember Thanksgiving months after.
  14. Ersatz Harpoon 1991 Winter Warmer: The creator of this recipe jokingly refers to it as a "Statisticians' Delight" because of its precise balance of spices.
  15. Five Flavors Holiday Beer: The Far East influences the flavors of this recipe, which features a Chinese Five Spice mixture.
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