Just because February is the shortest month of the year doesn’t mean it needs to be lacking in tasty beverages. These three beers are not only easy on the taste buds, their higher-than-average ABV will warm you during these winter doldrums.
Yearning for summer?
Try: Camp Fire Black Lager
Confluence Brewing Company | Des Moines, Iowa | 6.2 percent ABV
Recalling memories of campsites and warmer weather, Camp Fire Black Lager will sustain you until spring arrives. Released in October, Camp Fire is Confluence’s autumn and winter seasonal and should still be available on tap and retail shelves through the end of February. Pour into a nonick or imperial pint glass. The color is non-opaque black, and a finger or more of dense, tan-colored head will leave an even ring around the edge. An aroma of smoked malt is prominent but not overpowering; it is tempered by toasted malt, a little caramel, toffee and dark fruit. The flavor mostly mirrors the aroma, but the smoked malt is much more prominent.
Living on a budget?
Try: Huber Bock
Minhas Craft Brewery | Monroe, Wisc. | 5.5 percent ABV
Not only is Huber Bock tasty, it is also cheap—around $5 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans. Pour into a nonick or imperial pint glass. The color is deep brown and a finger of dense, light-brown head dissipates evenly. Toasty, nutty and fruity, the aroma and flavor are somewhat reminiscent of a brown ale. Toasted malt and caramel are most prominent, followed by a nuttiness and peat-like earthiness. There are also touches of charcoal, smoked malt, vanilla, cocoa, cherry, burnt sugar and molasses.
Try: Lagunitas Sucks
Lagunitas Brewing Company | Petaluma, Calif. | 7.85 percent ABV
Do not be mislead by the name: Lagunitas Sucks is delicious. Sold in 32-ounce bottles and best served in a pint glass, the color is clear, medium gold with a light tint of amber, and the dense, eggshell-colored foam settles slowly. The aroma features citrus and tropical fruit; scents of pineapple, kiwi, floral hops, orange, lemon zest, rye and caramel are most noticeable. The flavor follows the smell, but it has a solid, sweet, malt base. Flavors of gritty hop bitterness—orange, lemon, a touch of caramel, rye and a hint of alcohol—greet the taste buds.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 170.