8 Winter IPAs To Drink While You Wait For Spring, Ranked


Winter IPA is a beer style for drinkers who either adamantly refuse to move to dark beers in winter or just want a change of pace in these dark, frigid months. There is no clear definition of what the term “winter IPA” means, but it does have at least a slightly higher alcohol content (6-8%) and more caramel malts than some summer counterparts. There is no doubt about that. , and sometimes add winter flavors (such as spruce tips).

If you’re the type of drinker who prefers a smoky, juicy winter New England-style IPAs or citrusy winter IPAs over stouts and porters, you’re in luck. With no standards required for winter IPAs, brewers can experiment with flavors and IPA styles. This means there is a winter IPA for every IPA fan to find.

We picked eight of our favorite winter IPAs and ranked them by overall flavor and how well they paired with the freezing winter breeze. Keep scrolling to see how they all stack up.

8) Peak Winter IPA

peak

Alcohol degree: 6.2%%

Average price: 6 pack $10.99

Beer:

The folks at Peak didn’t want to give up citrus juice and haze just because it’s winter. The result is a hazy, juicy, wintery New England-style IPA that’s perfect for the months ahead.

Tasting notes:

The scents are all tangerine, grapefruit, lemongrass and pine needles. The mouthfeel is grapefruit and bready malt, but not much else. The finish is dunk pine and slightly bitter. Overall a fairly flat beer.

Conclusion:

This is not a bad beer. It’s like a one-trick pony with grapefruit as the star and nothing else. It’s not overly exciting.

7) Brooklyn Winter IPA

Brooklyn Winter IPA
brooklyn

Alcohol degree: 7%

Average price: 6 pack $10.99

Beer:

This bold 7% ABV Red IPA is flavored with Trident and Simcoe hops and the addition of rye. The result is a slightly spicy, fruity, citrus-packed IPA you’ll want to drink from now until the spring thaw.

Tasting notes:

Caramel malt, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, and resinous dank pine notes fill the nose. The palate continues this trend with tangerine, grapefruit, caramelized pineapple, pine, and finally a hint of rye. Not the best winter IPA, but not the worst either.

Conclusion:

The rye spice adds a pleasant warmth to this beer. All in all, it’s not the most flavorful winter IPA on the market.

6) New Belgium Cumulative

New Belgium Cumulative
new belgium

Alcohol degree: 6.5%

Average price: $4.99 for a 12 oz bottle

Beer:

According to New Belgium, the hop-filled Accumulation IPA of Mosaic, Lotus, Stratus and El Dorado is more than just a seasonal release released at the end of December each year. It is also a release. I spent it on the slopes.

Tasting notes:

A nose of ripe pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, lemongrass, herbs and floral hops greets you before the first sip. This is followed by flavors of brown bread, caramel malt, lemon zest, grapefruit and wheat followed by a lightly spicy, slightly pine finish.

Conclusion:

Accumulation is a moderately flavorful and balanced winter IPA. It’s not all memorable. I feel like I’m missing something.

5) Five Borrows Winter IPA

Five Boroughs Winter IPA
5th ward

Alcohol degree: 6.8%

Average price: $15 for a 6 pack

Beer:

Brewed with 2 Raw, Karared and Carafa malts, this winter IPA delivers citrus and tropical fruit flavors with the addition of Simcoe, Comet, Citra and Cascade hops. Flaked oats give it a creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Tasting notes:

Aromas of caramel malt, candied orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple and peach. The mouthfeel is creamy and velvety juicy with melon peel, grapefruit, pineapple, caramel malt and a slightly bitter floral hop finish.

Conclusion:

It’s labeled as a winter beer, and while its creamy mouthfeel makes it seasonally appropriate, drink this juicy, citrusy, tropical fruity-filled beer any time of the year.

4) Sierra Nevada Celebrations

Sierra Nevada Celebration
Sierra Nevada

Alcohol degree: 6.8%

Average price: 6 pack $10.99

Beer:

No winter IPA is as famous as Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Served October through December, this balanced winter IPA features Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops, along with two rows of pale and caramel malts.

Tasting notes:

This is a really hoppy beer right from the start. On the nose, endless pine forests and wildflowers, orange peel, lemon, and light caramel malt bring it all together. The palate continues this with tangerine, grapefruit, caramel, resinous, dank, floral pine. The finish is moderately bitter.

Conclusion:

An exceptional winter IPA. It’s a hop lover’s dream (especially a big ‘C’ hop fan). It’s all pine and citrus and nothing holding back.

3) Upslope Spruce Tip IPA

Upslope Spruce Tip IPA
Uphill

Alcohol degree: 7.5%

Average price: 6 pack $12.99

Beer:

This popular seasonal IPA is brewed with carefully selected malts and Cascade and Simcoe hops. That’s good enough for a flavorful winter IPA, but this beer makes an extra bang in the flavor department by adding a hint of handpicked Colorado spruce.

Tasting notes:

Large aromas of grapefruit pulp, caramel malt, moist grass, pine and spruce. The mouthfeel is quickly followed by copious amounts of spruce. Luckily, instead of drowning out the dank, floral, pine-like hops and grapefruit-, tangerine-, lemon-, and bread-like malts, it only enhances them.

Conclusion:

A beer for the pine lovers in the IPA world. If that’s your jam, you’ll absolutely love this tidbit of winter heaven.

2) Half Acre Trend

half acre trend
half acre

Alcohol degree: 6.8%

Average price: $11.99 for 4 packs of 16 oz cans

Beer:

This 6.8% ABV Winter IPA was crafted to be a bigger, bolder, more flavorful beer during winter. Half His Acre People has achieved this with orange peel, pine needles and ripe berry flavors of Mosaic and Simcoe His hops backed by a rich, warm signature malt.

Tasting notes:

Aromas of brown bread, ripe berries, dried fruit, caramel, orange peel and fresh pine are emphasized on the nose. On the drink, notes of candied orange peel, bready malt, more berries, and resinous moist pine emerge. The finish is a mix of citrus sweetness and hop bitterness.

Conclusion:

Few IPA’s are as well-rounded and winter-friendly as Half Acre Tend. Powerful, high alcohol, with wintery hop aromas and flavors.

1) Troegs Blizzard of Hops

Tröegs Blizzard of Hops
Tregus

Alcohol degree: 6.4%

Average price: 6 pack $11.99

Beer:

This might be the most aptly named Winter IPA on the market. Winter IPA with 6.4% alcohol content is only available from November to January. Brewed with white wheat, unmalted wheat, pilsner malt, ale yeast, centennial, chinook, eldorado and galaxy hops.

Tasting notes:

The nose is packed with caramelized pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, honey, bready malts and resinous pine needles. The palate is orange zest, lemon zest, more honey, caramel malt, and a ton of moist pine needles. The finish is pleasantly bitter and leaves you wanting more.

Conclusion:

This beer is the equivalent of Blizzard hops. An explosion of wintery hop aromas and flavors. This is the beer I look forward to every winter.



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