A Buyer's Guide for Winter's Flurry of Canned Craft Beers
As fall quickly becomes winter and fallen leaves become fallen snow we turn our attention towards things darker and/or stronger in the beer world. This winter you've got quite a selection of seasonal canned craft beer to choose from. We've gone ahead and broken down each and every one of them below. Cheers!
Diesel (Brooklyn, New York) is the brewery's second seasonal brew and one of their oldest recipes.
"Diesel stout has actually been offered each winter since 2005, the year after Sixpoint was founded. Rich, robust and deep brown-black, this beer will linger in your mouth like a streak of tar. Yet it’s surprisingly sessionable and effervescent, too. It starts with nutty roasted malts, which get combined with Columbus and Northern Brewer hops. Another dose of Columbus in the dry-hopping stage gives it a defiantly hoppy character. Poured in a glass, the head becomes thick and cappuccino-like, with lacing down to the last sip..."
Great River Brewing (Davenport, Iowa) has just released their Big Cock IPA, a winter seasonal for them, for the first time in cans. Don't ask us how they got a beer with that name through the TTB - even with a bird on the label! This is a 7% and 70 IBU IPA.
Fort George Brewery (Astoria, Oregon) continues to add to their canned portfolio having just released thier Cavatica Stout in cans for the first time. Cavatica is no lightweight and carries a punch at 8.8% ABV!
"An immense, bold, black as night, american stout beauty; Cavatica is no dry Irish anything. Made in the tradition of terminator, except stronger, one sip and you will surely take notice of what you're drinking. The name honors this brewer's affinity with arachnia. Be forewarned, this beer will stain your clothes."
Oskar Blues (Longmont, CO) has released their seasonal behemoth of a stout. TEN FIDY is a 10.5% inky black monster in a can. Instant warmth in a can, just pop the top, pour in a snifter and sip away.
"Ten FIDY Imperial Stout – This titanic, immensely viscous stout is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hide a hefty 98 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt. Ten FIDY (10.5% ABV) is made with enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY is the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer."
Anderson Valley Brewing (Boonville, CA) has released cans of their Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale for the first time this year. This Winter Warmer style brew just took gold at CANFEST in the dark ale category.
"Each year, when people are starting to unpack their winter clothes and replenish their firewood, our tiny brewery in the coastal redwoods of Northern California makes seasonal preparations of a different kind. As the cold arrives, we release a unique beverage created to add warmth to even the coldest and darkest of winter's days. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale begins with a very high original gravity to create a hearty and spicy brew with a deep amber hue and a smooth finish. Anderson Valley Brewing Company wishes you the very best for the holiday season and the New Year."
Anderson Valley Brewing (Boonville, CA) will be releasing their Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout in cans for the first time beginning in January. Certainly one of their more popular brews and a pretty clear example of how much AVBC is enjoying the successes of canning. This will be their fifth canned release.
"With its deep, dark brown-black color, thick, full-bodied, velvety-smooth mouth feel, mocha character, and, strong yet subtle hop bite, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is one of the thickest, richest, and most complex stouts on the market today."
SKA Brewing(Durango, Colorado) will once again be offering their Euphoria Pale Ale in cans. A hop-forward brew that pays homage to the mountains of Colorado, this beer has been brewed since 2004.
"This seasonal beer is brewed in the Do It Yourself (DIY) spirit along with our friends from Bayfield at the Venture Snowboard Factory. An India Pale Ale, the Euphoria is crafted with piles and piles of Golding hops to provide a unique spicy finish. Great for after hitting the slopes."
21st Amendment (San Francisco, California) has once again released this Winter Warmer with both FDR and one of Santa's elves adorning the can.
"Like FDR’s Depression-Era Radio Addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation. Celebrating the right to be original."
Narragansett (Providence, Rhode Island) has their malt-forward porter back on shelves. This is one of four canned seasonals from 'Gansett. Fest comes in six-packs of pint cans at a ridiculously affordable price!
"Roll out the Barrel: 7% Alcohol by Volume and 22 IBUs. This American-style porter has robust malt flavor with a slight hop character. Available in the Winter Season on tap and in 16oz cans. Quality Supreme: Porter is crafted in small batches at Trinity Brew House in Providence, RI and Cottrell Brewery in Pawcatuck, CT under the supervision of Brewmaster Sean Larkin. It is brewed with summit hops, black malt, pale malt, roasted barley and ale yeast, and then dry hopped with Amarillo hops."
Santa Fe Brewing (Santa Fe, New Mexico) will once again be releasing their strong coffee stout - whose graphics we totally dig by the way.
"This is the kind of beer that gives the word "stout" a reputation. Extra generous quantities of barley malt, followed by vigorous fermentation leaves this "imperial" heavy weight with 8% alcohol A.B.V. and a body as full as chocolate bread pudding. A complimentary and complex array of bitter notes comes form potent American hops, earthy British hops, black-roasted malts and, of course, coffee. Santa Fe Brewing Company uses only top-quality ingredients like organically grown East Timor coffee beans blended with New Guinea coffee beans, locally roasted by O’hori’s Coffee House. Its heavenly flavor and aroma can’t be beat or imitated."
Sly Fox Brewing (Phoenixville, PA) has their fall/winter seasonal, Dunkel Lager, on shelves now. If you enjoy a dark, flavorful lager that isn't too strong this is one for you. This is clocks in at 5.3% ABV with 21 IBUs.
"A traditional Bavarian style Dark Lager, made with Munich, Pils and German Roast malts and a variety of Bavarian hops. This became the third Sly Fox beer to be canned in October 2006."
Surly (Brooklyn Center, Minnesota) will release their uber-hoppy Double IPA called Abrasive Ale in late December.
"We brewed this beer originally at the end of 2008 as a farewell to growler sales. As usual, we underestimated the demand for the first Double IPA in Minnesota. We brewed the beer again in the spring and released it as a draft only beer. It was originally called 16 Grit, a size of abrasive grit used at the old Abrasive factory that once stood where the brewery now resides."