Oh, dark beer season…

Dark beers are one of those things that I would prefer to see year-round. But most breweries only have so many tanks, so many taps, and there are just so many great styles to choose from. Thus, beer often gets rotated seasonally. Which means there are so many things to look forward throughout dark beer season.

Fall and winter herald the return of stouts, porters, barrel aged beer, barley wines, imperial versions of any or all of these beer. Some people have another name for the dark, higher alcohol, sometimes sweeter beer consumed this time of year: winter warmers.

Imagine yourself enjoying all the great outdoor activities that BC has to offer in the winter. Whether you are hiking, skiing or even just out shovelling, as you start to realize that you’ve gotten a bit cold and tired and are looking forward to getting inside and removing your gear; that feeling is actually that you have reached peak readiness for a winter warmer.

If you haven’t experienced this before then you don’t know what you have been missing. I would recommend you go out and maybe pick up some Strange Fellows‘ Boris or Krampus, some Main Street‘s Stag and Pheasant, or if you prefer porters maybe Powell St.’s Dive Bomb, or Driftwood‘s Black Stone (just to name a few).

The sweeter finish of dark beers pairs well with so much of the seasonal baked goods; welcome to the happy place.

Store the bottles in your fridge, head out to do one of the activities listed above, and then as soon as you get back take it out of the fridge to start warming up a bit so that by the time you have your gear off and find your favourite glass it will be ready for you.

Dark beers offer such depth of flavour and complexity, the slightly higher alcohol starts to warm you up from the inside. The sweeter finish pairs well with so much of the seasonal baked goods; welcome to the happy place. Now all you need are a fireplace and a comfy chair. So when the skies start to turn grey, the winds start to pick up, and you feel the temperatures starting to drop, just remember… it’s dark beer season!

Andrew Powers, Head Brewer of Andina Brewing Company.