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When the temperatures plummet and the days grow shorter, it’s scientifically proven that the body goes into “cold weather” mode. Much like the mighty grizzly bear stocking up for the long winter months, we are drawn to comfort foods like hearty soups, pasta dishes and massive hamburgers to stave off starvation, especially after a long day of slaying the slopes.

But what about quenching a mighty thirst? After a day on the snow, you need something tasty and situationally apropos. Sure, you could cuddle up with a hot toddy or Irish coffee, but what you really need is beer. More specifically, beer that reflects your love of snow. You need…snow beer.

No, it’s not beer made from snow. That would be too easy. The following are the best beers that evoke snow. From breweries around the country (even some that you wouldn’t expect to appreciate snow), these beers will appeal to your winter-loving nature and adventurous palate.

 

1. Silent Snow WIPA

Snowbank Brewing Company flight

Snowbank Brewing Company
Fort Collins, CO

A brand new brewery out of Fort Collins, Snowbank Brewing Company just opened in August but is charging out of the gate with the Silent Snow WIPA. Featuring orange blossom with a hint of spicy coriander on the nose, a sweet hay and honey flavor with a citrusy, earthy bitter finish, Silent Snow is “a bold beer, masked by a pretty name,” said Becki Kregoski, Taproom Manager and Certified Cicerone®.

“The heft of the ABV (clocking in at 6.0%) makes this a surprisingly perfect winter warmer,” continued Kregoski. “The combination of hops, funky Belgian yeast and high alcohol content blend together to create a rich, yet easy drinking, beer with an image of cascading snowfall in every glass.”

 

2. Pray for Snow

10-Barrel-Pray for Snow

10 Barrel Brewing Company
Portland, OR

Pray for Snow is not just a beer—it’s also a winter kick-off party for 10 Barrel (they even raffle off lift tickets). A winter ale with caramel notes and a bit of rum raisin and date in the profile, Pray for Snow is a hefty beer (as your desire for snow should be) but is balanced with accents of citrus and pine. 

 

3. Blizzard Bock

Flying Bison Blizzard Bock

Flying Bison Brewing Company
Buffalo, NY

A classic German-style dunkel, Flying Bison’s Blizzard Bock is a winter warmer that is sure to satisfy your senses. Toasted malt combines with caramel and toffee sweetness, along with seasonal spices to round off the experience. An added bonus? This beer is a big taste without a huge ABV, so you can enjoy more than one while lounging by the fireplace. 

 

4. Ski Bum

ski_bum_featured1

Ellicottville Brewing Co
Ellicottville, NY

Brand new for the winter season, Ski Bum is a sessionable Auburn ale from Ellicottville Brewing Co, located in the heart of New York’s ski country. If you’re looking for a light, quaffable beer that is well-balanced and inoffensive, this is your new go-to. It’s moderately hoppy, moderately biscuit-y and entirely enjoyable. 

 

5. Blizzard of Hops Winter IPA

Troegs-Blizzard-of-Hops-Label-960x966

Tröegs Brewing
Hershey, PA

Created to celebrate the end of the harvest and hop cycle, Blizzard of Hops is a different type of Winter IPA. It’s lighter than some other offerings, with a citrusy and piney bite that you could enjoy during the summer months as well. With an inoffensive hop bite, this could be a great “starter IPA” for those who are nervous to get into the style.

 

6. Yellow Snow IPA

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

Rogue
Ashland, OR

No, it’s not a good idea to eat yellow snow. Drinking it, however? That’s another story. Rogue’s Yellow Snow IPA eschews common sense, serving up a big hop flavor with a medium body and a lingering bitterness associated with a tasty IPA. Stick your nose in for the fruity, hoppy aroma and take a second to appreciate its pale golden color before you start swigging. Yellow snow, indeed.

 

7. Slopestyle Winter IPA

Slopestyle Winter IPA

Boulder Beer Company
Boulder, CO

New for this snow season, Boulder Beer Company is shaking things up with a red ale for winter. Yes, red. A hearty offering perfect for the cold weather IPA, Slopestyle brews this full-bodied ale with five malts and the kick of Horizon hops, creating a hop kicker (get it? Slopestyle? Kicker?) for your taste buds at the end. Stock up while you can—this new seasonal is only available until March. 

 

8. Snow Wit White IPA

Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, CA

Playing more to the heroine than meteorological phenomenon, Snow Wit White IPA incorporates seven varieties of experimental dwarf hops (no, the names are not Bashful, Grumpy or Sleepy) to create a magical brew with a Belgian accent. This beer has more of a Wit characteristic than an IPA but retains the hops—bananas and spicy cloves hit your nose while the flavor is an interesting mix of banana and hops.

 

9. Snowmageddon

Rahr & Sons Snowmageddon

Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Fort Worth, TX

Though Texas is not known for its massive snowfalls, Snowmageddon was brewed to memorialize those who helped rebuild Rahr & Sons after heavy snowfall collapsed their roof in 2010. Combining dark coffee aromas and chocolate flavors, Snowmaggedon is a quintessential winter beer: bold and rich but smooth and not overly sweet. It’s tasty enough to wish for a snow day. 

 

10. Snow Wheat

Snow-Wheat-Label-1

Short’s Brewing Company
Bellaire, MI

A Hefeweizen, for winter? Well, when you’re Short’s in Michigan, the unexpected is par for the course. Snow Wheat is perfect for those still grasping for a bit of sunshine and the easy-going flavors of sunshine. Enjoy Snow Wheat on a deck with as few layers as you can manage without incurring frostbite.

 

And a few more…

While these are the top “snow” beers, this is by no means an exhaustive list of winter-inspired beers. Here are few more to add to your “sample” list:

11. Yard Sale Ale

Tamarack Brewing Company
Lakeside, MT

12. Accumulation White IPA

New Belgium Brewing Company
Fort Collins, CO 

13. Yard Sale

Uinta Brewing Company
Salt Lake City, UT

14. Après Shred

Big Choice Brewing
Broomfield, CO

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  • JK

    Not one New England beer…………………………….maybe Katie ran out of gas money!

    • Katie Coakley

      Hi JK, I was focusing on beers with “snow” in the title or as a direct reference and didn’t find any from NE. What is your favorite “snow” beer from New England?

      • budfoucher

        I’ve got one for you from Vermont: Long Trail Jay Peak Tram Ale. Wintry enough for you?

        • Katie Coakley

          Sounds good–I’ll check it out! Thanks!

          • Joe

            Tuckermans (Tuckermans Ravine)

          • ThinkSnow

            Sick Day IPA (by Longtrail)

        • SkiVT

          Jay may be my next favorite beer! Don’t worry they are missing out!

      • Gene C

        Frosty goggles, a Red American Pale Ale from the Woodstock Brewing Co.

  • OR beer snob

    10 barrel is anheiser bush now, stay with small, local craft not corporate crap!

    • Katie Coakley

      I saw that 10 Barrel is now owned by AB…but I couldn’t resist including them with a name like “Pray for Snow”!

  • Meredith

    I like to grab a Bru Ski after hitting the slopes!
    http://onethingtoread.blogspot.com/2014/12/saturday-outing.html

  • Jeffrey Haines

    Check out Epic Brewing’s new Blue Ski Lager: http://www.epicbrewing.com/the-beers/classic-series/item/775-blue-ski-lager #quaff

  • IY

    My favorites are by Descheutes out of Bend OR…Chasin Freshies, which is only around for about 2 months before it’s sold out and Fresh Squeezed, which is a close 2nd and more available. Check out the Chasin Freshies label too!

  • Fgs

    How about trout river oatmeal stout from the northeast kingdom in VT?

  • Bun

    10 Barrel is still brewed by the same BEND, OR locals (not Portland). Still the same great beer AND people no matter who owns the brand. Just sayin’.

  • BeerBoy

    Rogue is located in Ashland? That’s news to me!

  • Dono86

    Like our snowpack, WA beers fell short on this list. Bifrost Winter Ale from Elysian is, however, in top-notch form this year – http://www.elysianbrewing.com/elysian-beers/bifrost-winter-ale/

  • David

    What?? Sick Day IPA, Long Trail VT!!