We don’t think about the weather when we choose a beer, at least not on purpose. We probably choose different beers when it’s hot and sunny than when it’s cold and rainy, but we don’t do this on purpose. Still, we know that some beers go better with cold weather than others. Even though drinking alcohol makes you feel warmer, it lowers your body temperature and weakens your immune system when you go outside into the cold. People who drink a lot of alcohol are more likely to get hypothermia and other health problems related to the cold.
The Best Beers for Cold Weather
Go Dark Beers
The first thing that comes to mind is dark beers like stouts, porters, and doppelbocks. Their taste is often big and chewy, so you have to take your time and enjoy it. After all, who wants to drink cold ones when a cold wind is blowing outside? No, when sitting by a fire with a blanket around your shoulders, you want a drink that you can sip slowly while you look at the flames and think about your death.
Not only are big, dark styles good for sipping, but they also tend to taste good, whether cold or warm. You can let a thick glass warm in your hand, and it will still taste as good as when you first took it out of the fridge. Pilsner and pale lagers, lighter beers, are almost inedible when they reach room temperature, so you should avoid them when trying to stay warm.
A Profile of Stout Beer
The history of the good black stuff is as clear as a glass of stout. We can only be sure of a small number of facts. Many people believe that the porter’s offspring are stout and the porter’s offspring are porter’s. But there are a lot of good reasons to doubt it.
It’s unclear why it’s called stout, but many porters with higher alcohol content were called “stout porters.” If the theory that Porter was the first beer is wrong, it is clear that stout was first used as a word to describe the great black beer. It’s hard to say when and how it got shortened to “stout.”
Have you ever wondered why stout from the tap seems creamier and has a thicker head than stout from a bottle? You can tell the difference even if you don’t pay much attention to beer.
A well-pulled draught stout should have a thick, long-lasting head, while stout from a bottle will be more bubbly and less silky, with a head that doesn’t last as long. This is because draught beer has beer gas, a mix of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, while bottled beer only has carbon dioxide.
Gravity has always been the main difference between stout and porter. Up until recently, stout was only made with very high gravity, but now many brewers, especially American microbreweries, are making very good stouts with gravity levels that aren’t too high.
All stouts have one thing in common: they all use black unmalted barley, and this is the main thing that gives all stouts their color and flavor. Many things, like coffee, oatmeal, milk sugar, and sugar have been added and worked well.
What is Porter Beer?
Porter is a dark beer style first made in England in the 1700s. Except for Baltic porter, most porters are made with ale yeast that ferments at the top. These beers are known for their deep reddish-brown to black color, chocolate and caramel flavors from the dark malts, and well-balanced, hearty qualities. The style almost died out in the United States after Prohibition, but craft brewers have brought it back. Today, these dark beers are popular in the winter, and because there are so many different kinds, you can enjoy them all year long.
What is the Difference Between Porter and Stout?
Porters and stouts are similar in many ways. Stouts may have started as a porter style, but now they are a different type of beer. In modern brewing, the line between the two is often fuzzy, and brewers use either name to describe a certain beer.
The two kinds of beer are a lot alike. The dark brown to black color, which is often opaque but not cloudy, stands out the most. Most of the time, they have a base of pale malt that is made better with dark malt, especially crystal, chocolate, and black malts.
Most stouts don’t use roasted barley, but most stouts do. A stout is also usually stronger and thicker than a porter. Either style can also be brewed with extra ingredients to make it taste better. Most beers have chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, but some also have oatmeal, fruits, honey, maple syrup, nuts, and other things to add flavor.
It’s hard to figure out where each beer came from. In the 1700s, English brewers probably came up with porters by mixing three types of ale: old, sour ales, newer brown and pale ales, and mild (or weak) ales. It was made during the Industrial Revolution in the U.K. and was one of the first beers made to suit drinkers’ tastes instead of using what was on hand. People say that the name comes from the porters (people who work in transportation) in Central London and that “stout” was the name for the strongest porters back then.
There are many broad interpretations of the modern porter and some styles within this category.
1. English Brown Porter
English brown porters have all the original qualities of porters in general. Most of the time, the brew is a very dark brown color, but some of it has a red tint. It’s almost opaque, but when light does get through, it should be clear. You can usually smell roasted grains, chocolate, and toffee lightly on the nose. There can be hints of coffee or licorice as well. It feels thin in the mouth but not watery. The taste is always mild and never harsh or bitter, like a stout.
Most of the time, Fuggles hops and brown, crystal, and chocolate malts are added to British pale ale malts to make these porters. The alcohol content is usually between 4.5 and 6% ABV, and the IBU ranges from 20 to 30.
2. Baltic Porter
Baltic porters are lagers and cold-fermented with lager yeast, so they can’t be called ales like most porters. The style was first made in England and was strong enough to last through a trip across the North Sea. It is now often made in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Poland, and Russia.
These strong beers are malty like a brown porter and crisp like a schwarzbier (a black lager). Baltic porters have a full body and a mouthfeel that is often described as silky and creamy. The taste is often a balance of smoke, roasted malt, and bitter hops (35 to 45 IBUs). The beers can be anywhere from deep red to black and cloudy. They have between 7% and 10% ABV, meaning they have a lot of alcohol.
3. American Porter
The American porter is based on the English porter but has a very American style with few rules. Each brewer’s spin on it, but the flavors usually go well together. Some are bitter from the hops, while others are as mild as an English-style beer. There are also a few that are great session beers. Porters are usually dark brown to black, but craft brewers in the U.S. like to try new things and make chocolate, coffee, and vanilla porters. Many are also aged in barrels that used to hold whiskey. American porters can have anywhere from 4% to 7% alcohol by volume (ABV).
4. American Imperial Porter
Like imperial stouts, American imperial porters make everything about the style bigger. They often have a moderate sweetness from caramel, cocoa, and malt that goes well with hops from North America. Every variable is up to the brewer, so the malt and hops used and the amount of happiness in each beer differ. They are almost always black and have a high alcohol content, between 7% and 12% ABV.
5. Robust Porter
Even though they don’t have more alcohol, robust porters taste better than brown porters. The bitterness and the taste of roasted malt are stronger. Porters are often the most similar to stouts, and brewers can choose whether to call a certain beer a porter or a stout. The main difference is that porters get their roasted flavors from malt, while stouts get them from roasted barley. Robust porters have the sharp bitterness of black malt and the obvious bitterness of hops (25 to 40 IBUs), but the sweetness of caramel and malt makes up for that. Most of the time, the alcohol in these dark to black beers is between 5.1 and 6.6 percent ABV.
6. Smoke Porter
Smoke porters are usually strong with smoky flavors added by using malt that has been smoked over wood. Brewers usually talk about the wood they use; each type gives the beer a different flavor. Even though the IBUs range from 20 to 40, most smoke porters aren’t very bitter. The alcohol by volume (ABV) of these beers is usually between 5.1 and 8.9 percent.
How to Serve Porter Beer?
Most ales and porters taste best between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep bottles in a cool place to get “cellar temperatures,” but for the best drinking experience, don’t put them in the fridge. Almost every porter prefers to drink out of a normal pint glass. The tall, round glass shows off the smell of the beer well and makes it easy to drink. A stemmed tulip is often used to serve American imperial porters. Porters are usually poured the same way as other beers: tilt the glass 45 degrees, pour slowly onto the side of the glass, and slowly raise it upright. This should make the beer and the foamy head go well together.
Go Local Beer
Also, why are you just sitting at home and looking at the fire? Why not go to your local brewpub if the roads aren’t too bad? No matter what they’re serving, a warm bar on a cold day is enough to warm up even the coldest moods.
Go to the Kitchen
Okay, so maybe you don’t want a beer. Nothing we say will change your mind about the fact that it’s cold and that beer is a cold drink. Well, that’s fine, but remember that spring will be here in two or three months, so why not use the cold weather to make some homebrew? The smell of malt and hops and the hot steam from the brew pot will melt your frozen beer-loving heart. But you are an all-grain brewer, so you must go outside to make your homebrew beer? Get over it! You can make a few extractor partial-mash beers in your kitchen while the winter wind blows outside, and it won’t hurt anything.
Who should Avoid Beer?
There is no doubt that beer has some health benefits, but it is important to remember that it also has some alcohol. So, people with certain health problems should stay away from beer. Don’t drink beer if you:
- -If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- -If you are suffering from Gout
- -If you are dealing with Insomnia
- -If you have liver-related complications
- -If you have a stomach ulcer or resistance to heartburn
What are the Health Benefits of Drinking Beer?
Beer is good for your health if you drink it in moderation. These facts show why you shouldn’t feel bad about popping open a cold one at the end of a hard day.
1. Beer is good for the Heart
Several studies show that drinking beer might lower the chance of coronary heart disease. This is because beer thins the blood and makes it less likely that a clot will form, which can block an artery in the heart. It also lowers the chance of inflammation, which could lead to atherosclerosis.
2. Beer helps in Losing Weight
An Oregon State University study found that the chemical flavonoid xanthohumol, which is found in beer, helps people lose weight and lower their cholesterol levels.
3. Beer Improves Cholesterol Levels
Beer raises lipoprotein levels, a good kind of cholesterol that keeps plaque from building up in the arteries. Beer also has a lot of fiber, which helps lower LDL cholesterol, which is the bad kind of cholesterol.
4. Beer Promotes better Bowel Movement
A regular beer bottle has about 20% of the recommended amount of fiber, which helps your bowels work better.
5. Beer Reduces the Risk of Developing Kidney Stones
Beer has potassium and magnesium, which help keep kidney stones from forming. Also, beer is 90% water, and water is the best way to keep kidney stones from forming. A study showed that drinking a bottle of beer every day can cut the chance of getting kidney stones by 40%.
Rum and brandy are good for your heart when you drink them in the winter, and rum may keep arteries from getting clogged and treat peripheral vascular disease. Rum lowers the chance of having a heart attack because it can raise HDL cholesterol and thin the blood. Darker beers taste heavier, which makes them great for winter, and they also have more intense flavors and higher alcohol levels.