Winter brings snowflakes, holidays and seasonal New York and Long Island beers that give locals every reason to celebrate. Beer enthusiasts look no further. I’ve scouted the area for the boldest flavors on tap that make the frigid temperatures a little more delightful. These eight New York and Long Island winter beers serve as the perfect aperitif at any family gathering or as a notable fireplace companion.
Schwarzbier, Paulaner, NYC
Just west of Long Island, brewmaster Justin Meyers is making a classic heritage German beer in time for the holidays. The Heller Bock is the Bavarians’ balanced biscuity-golden lager prepared during the long winters along the northern edge of the Alps. Schwarzbier, or black beer, is a dark lager with notes of chocolate or roasted coffee flavors, but overall light with a dry finish. Similar to stout ales, it’s made with dark roasted malt. Go.
Cold North Wind,
Ice Breaka Winta Warma,
Starboard Oatmeal Stout, Port Jefferson Brewing Company
It’s no surprise these seasonal brews have a following. Expect a sweet malty character with hints of caramel when sipping on the Cold North Wind. Plus, there are just enough hops at the finish to create a perfect balance, especially when served with a spicy pasta or chicken dish. As for the Ice Breaka Winta Warma, the brew lets imbibers have their cake and drink it too. It’s full-bodied and brewed with mulling spices, vanilla beans, molasses and brown sugar. But if you love cookies, The Starboard Oatmeal Stout is one for your bucket list. Dark in color, it looks like a “moonless sky over Siberia” when poured. The rolled oats, raisins and brown sugar give it a bit of sweetness. Go.
Sleigh Rye Winter Ale, Great South Bay Brewery
The Sleigh Rye definitely keeps Santa happy. Deliciously balanced with flavors of sweet malt and a slight spice from the rye, the brew also has piney notes of juniper berries that are added to the boil with just the right amount of Cascade and Chinook Hops for a smooth finish. Go.
Flu Shot, SquareHead Brewing
Everything at SquareHead Brewing is produced in small batches, but that doesn’t diminish the flavor. Santa’s Seasonal is made with sweet stout, brown sugar and beet sugar. The Flu Shot is one worth taking. This winter ale is infused with cardamom, spices and glögg (a mulled wine is a beverage of European origins usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins). Go.