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Old Man Winter Ale

By Andy Murphy
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Winter really gets me heated up.

I just spent an hour slipping and chipping ice from my front walk and driveway; after four snow storms over the past few weeks, I couldn’t be more exercised about hating winter in New England.

Your Author, Thoroughly Hating Winter

I live north of Boston, close to the New Hampshire border — and up here, winter doesn’t pull any punches.

After a storm, you can usually find me shoveling my car out of some impossible snowbank, pausing only to curse and shake my fist at the sky.

Railing at the winter weather, calling it names and threatening to cut off its snowballs — that’s one way to stay warm. Another way to combat the elements is with a good winter ale.

Winter ales are usually high in alcohol content and generally pair well with buttery and savory foods — I suspect many families survive holiday meals solely because of winter ale.

But many winter ales, to put it charitably, are an acquired taste — brewers often throw in liberal amounts of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.

Southern Tier Brewing Company‘s Old Man Winter Ale is the best winter ale I’ve had all season. The beer pours a rich, dark copper. And it smells great — no spice to turn your nose. The beer pours into your mouth and slides around, puddling around your taste buds. On the front, you taste the malt as a toasted sweetness, but then the bitter hops cut in before the caramel taste fully settles.

I had initially grabbed Old Man thinking I would drink it on or near my birthday — since I’m turning 30 this weekend, drinking an Old Man just seemed appropriate. But Southern Tier’s brew turned out to be a great pick. And to bring it full circle — when I looked up their website, I discovered this beer and I were born just a few hours away from each other in New York.

Maybe I’ll give winter another chance?

At the very least, you can give Southern Tier and Old Man Winter Ale a chance — they have an impressive distribution list.

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[...] About an hour ago, I shook off the snow and came back into the house after another epic battle against nature. [...]


[...] buds reside — so it must be the hops. I was going to rank this beer higher than the Old Man Winter Ale, but the taste is started to fray a bit — so I’ll call it a [...]

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