Beloved pumpkin beers have come and gone, freeing taps to flow with winter merriment.
After a brisk winter day, beer drinkers need a cold one with festive flavors to warm their hearts.
Breweries of the North Fork have malty offerings spiced with cinnamon, ginger and other notes that lift spirits. Here are seven to try this season:
Gingerbread Cookie Pie
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Greenport and Peconic
This malty pastry-style offering arrived just in time for Christmas cookie season and will last through January. While the 8.5% ABV may sound intense to some, the sweetness of the vanilla beans, cinnamon, ginger and dark brown sugar makes it great for relaxing by a fire or a wintertime feast.
“Just imagine a meal with an amazing ham and sweet potatoes,” co-owner Rich Vandenburgh said. “This beer is going to compliment all of that.”
Pub Series: Oatmeal Stout (Nitro)
North Fork Brewing Co., Riverhead
Part of the brewery’s pub series brewed with an English yeast, this 5.3% ABV draft on tap through January elicits creamy chocolaty notes.
“It’s a dark beer with roasted malts and flaked oats to give more of a pillowy mouthfeel,” co-owner Peter Barraud said. “And then we carbonate it with a blend of CO2 and nitrogen so it’s served very similarly to how a Guinness is served.”
Twin Fork Beer Co., Riverhead
Served with a brown sugar and cinnamon rim, this 4.9% ABV amber ale gets into the spirit early, debuting in September and running through February.
“It’s a seasonal amber ale, it’s got a little bit of cinnamon, a little bit of ginger, just a touch of nutmeg,” Pete Chekijian, who owns the brewery alongside his twin brother, Dan, said. “It’s a nice warm, toasty beer for the holidays.”
Long Ireland Beer Company and Brewery, Riverhead
With its 7.2% ABV, this dark ruby red spiced ale will warm beer drinkers through February.
“They call it a ‘winter warmer’ style, the higher alcohol tends to keep you a little bit warmer,” Long Ireland co-owner Greg Martin said. “We use seven different grains in this particular beer and we spice it with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.”
Colonial Amber Lager
Peconic County Brewing, Riverhead
Levity, low bitterness and classic caramel malt imbue Peconic County Brewing’s offering for the colder months. While it would not taste out of place during another season, it is best savored as a refuge from chilly weather. The copper, medium-bodied 6.3% ABV lager will stay on tap until the spring.
I Never Asked To Be Here
übergeek Brewing Co., Riverhead
Übergeek founder Rob Raffa announced his I Never Asked To Be Here winter lager will debut the week of Jan. 8. Lasting through February, the 5.5% ABV draft will boast notes of crystal malts and tangerine rind.
Winter Rye Ale
Eastern Front Brewing Co., Mattituck
This 5.5% ABV brew is a balanced option with a malty flavor and a refreshing floral aroma and taste.
This rye offering will flow on tap through February, and co-owner Douglas Pearsall said the brewery will launch a second wintery offering – a malty German Bock – later this January.