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BEER REMOVES THE COLD

By: Javier Sanchez, El Cerveciafilo.

Many people don’t usually think about a beer when they are cold. Generally, in our latitudes we think that a beer should be refreshing, to quench thirst on a hot day, right? This is because the vast majority are only aware of beers that are readily available at corner shops and are usually light lagers.

Beer, however, also has its seasons just like many other drinks and foods. The winter season has a large number of beers made to stop feeling cold and have a good time during an afternoon or evening in the company of loved ones.

Winter beers fall under what we know as seasonal beers, which are beers made to be consumed during a particular time of the year.  They are usually used for celebrations of all kinds in spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Winter beers can be of many different styles, although they all share certain common characteristics that make them fit perfectly with the character and events of these months.

The main characteristics they share are:

  1. A) Higher alcohol percentages. It is no secret to anyone that alcohol gives us a feeling of heat that is very good at this time.  Winter beers usually have alcohol percentages that easily exceed 8% APV and without problems reach up to 12% APV.  It is for this reason that this season’s beers are recommended to be consumed with discretion and in volumes that don’t cause us problems with our peers, with the police, or with our health.
  2. B) Winter cherries often contain spices. Just yesterday I had an excellent locally produced beer containing chocolate and cinnamon, the experience is delicious. It’s not strange to find aromas and flavors of walnuts, ginger, honey, molasses, or piloncillo.
  3. C) Generally winter beers are darker. We owe this to the fact that the malt is roasted further so that it acquires a special characteristic body and smell. This roasting is what gives it that smell and flavor of coffee that is so comforting, it’s even more and more frequent to find smells of wood smoke, obtained through various artisan roasting techniques.

They have a higher-than-average caloric content.  Bad news for those who are on a diet at this time and want to enjoy a real winter beer. We can affirm that these beers are the opposite of a LIGHT beer that offers low-calorie content, low alcohol content, low flavor, and washed-out colors. This high caloric content is another factor that helps to stoically endure the cold while we enjoy a beer.

The characteristics noted so far are ideal to accompany the dishes that are traditionally cooked on these dates.  I recommend accompanying your next pozole with a good Bock-style beer. Roasted Steak or baked ham with a Porter. Even the honeyed or sugared fritters or the walnut or chocolate cake, I suggest you accompany them with a Stout-style beer.  They are perfect combinations for these celebrations.

I hope you enjoy these upcoming holidays and do so responsibly.  Enjoy it.  Long live peace, tolerance, and love.

What new beer did you try this week?

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