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Gingerhead Gingerbread Stout
Private Liquor Stores$8
It’s naughty (colour is black as coal) and nice (flavour is sweet but not treacly), in time for winter indulgence. All the gingerbread spices are present, with an impressively smooth body, restrained alcohol (6%) and lingering note of ginger that make this the rare spiced stout you can drink by the six-pack, especially with $1 per bottle going to the BC Food Bank. Santa approved
BC Liquor Stores$11.99 (6 pack)
More than just a quickie under the mistletoe, Storm Watcher is light enough to keep the magic going all night long. Unlike heavier ales in the winter category, the Vancouver Island brew has a light note of caramel that finishes with a wave of malt; the perfect accompanient for festive nibbles. With a lower-than-most alcohol content (5.5%), good decisions should be made all round.
Father John’s Winter Ale
BC Liquor Stores$8.75 (1 LTR)
Namesake of Howe Sound’s original brewer, Father John’s traditional take is everything you would expect from a winter ale. Perfectly paired with aged cheeses or a spiced christmas pudding, the four different malts behind the rich taste also come with a kick; well, 7% of it does anyway. The re-sealable cap is a surefire sign that this is a beverage not to be guzzled, but sipped away over the course of any soirée.
Private Liquor Stores$13 (4 pack)
You may have seen our instagram of this Delta brewery’s sweet packaging, but a photo does not the taste-test pass. We would suggest as an after-dinner beverage, allowing an oat-fuelled smooth sip full of chocolate malts to take the stage. Scents of cocoa and coffee compliment the creamy hues of the Oat Porter, a luxury to be indulged in.
Ugly Sweater Milk Stout
BC Liquor Stores$12.50 (6 pack)
Don’t let the word ‘milk’ deter you here. This North American take on the classic stout is sweetened using milk sugar; perfectly balancing the roasted malts that give the beer it’s dark colour.
No more tears at the sight of beer on your credit card bill, as Parallel 49 have teamed up with the Now That’s Ugly! Society to give $1 from every six pack and $25 from every 50L keg sold during the month of December to benefit the Children’s Wish foundation.
Private Liquor Stores
How things change. A poised winter ale from, of all places, Milwaukee, once the swill capital of North America. Organic ingredients and realistic alcohol (12.5%) keep this winter warmer more sippable than many. The taste is full-on fruit with nicely bitter citrus peel and burnt sugar adding depth and bitterness, with suggestions of caramel and butter, and a toasty finish. After one, you’ll want to build a snowman. After two, maybe snow angels.