As fall begins to draw to a close, and the season shifts towards winter, so too do the seasonal Craft Beer offerings. Winter always has great beer-drinking weather and Daylight Savings always seems to help push craft drinkers to those deeper, darker flavors. Dark, cold evenings deserve dark, not-so-cold beer. Dark Belgians, Imperial Stouts and the like will be in high fashion around holiday time.

Not only do we have our classic winter beers coming out, there are some new ones on deck this year that I figured everyone should know about. Some of the highlights from the upcoming releases:

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, Belgium, 10.5%
Always a big hit, as ABT 12 has a ton of popularity. This one is big and velvety with rich malty pumpernickel, figs, anise, cloves and a touch of black pepper.

Scaldis Noel, Belgium, 12%
This brew follows the typical pattern for Belgian Christmas Ales; it’s a big, boozy malt-bomb with rich dark fruit and spicy Belgian yeast. Not only does this beer drink extremely well, the 12% ABV helps this one move.

Great Divide Hibernation, Colorado, 8.7%
A true American classic, this Old Ale sports a full-bodied, full-flavored experience featuring chewy burnt caramel and nuts. There is the rare chance of acquiring the Barrel Aged version, too.

Terrapin Moo-Hoo, Georgia, 6%
This one is always a favorite. It’s a chocolate stout brewed with unfermentable lactose sugars, hence “Milk Stout.” It’s rich and creamy and extremely drinkable.

Schmaltz Jewbelation Sweet 16, New York, 16%
This is a massive beast of a beer. Every year Schmaltz ups the grain bill and ABV, and this is the 16th iteration of the beer so here you have it: 16 different malts, 16 different hops, 16%. It’s fitting that the brewery that produces the Coney Island line would make this freak-show in a bottle.

Anchor Our Special Ale, California, 5.5%
The original American craft Christmas beer, this has been brewed since 1975. It’s a wonderfully rich and unique Winter Warmer with a long, rich history.

Bells Expedition Stout, Michigan, 10.5%
Being that this is one of my very favorite Stouts, I will always recommend ordering this one. Big, rich and bitter, this wonderful brew has as heavy a mouthfeel as you’re likely to find.

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