Feb 13, 2024 - Food and Drink

New England winter craft beer guide

A line-up of beer cans

Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Now that many of us are facing the prospect of being snowed in for a while, there's no better time to take a look at some of the seasonal beers local breweries have come up with for the winter season.

  • These selections from New England breweries are mostly seasonal or one-off recipes and widely available where craft beers are sold.
Two beer cans
Photo: Mike Deehan

Fog Nog by Abomination Brewing Company, North Haven, Connecticut.

IPA - Imperial / Double Milkshake

Deehan's quickie review: I'm not a hop guy, let alone a fan of double dry hopped double IPAs like this. But I am a fan of the right spices and lactose that make this 9.1%er easily sippable.

Grade: B

Eros by River Styx Brewing Company, Fitchburg, Mass.

Deehan's quickie review: From the dearly departed River Styx Brewing, this is the darkest stout I sampled this season.

  • The foamy head on this thing alone is darker than any beer most people have tried.
  • It really does have a hint of Oreos to it. If you can find any left on the shelves, split this one with three or four friends in tiny sipping glasses since it's 11% ABV.

Grade: B

Two beer cans
Photo: Mike Deehan

Gigantic Gingerbread by Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company, Worcester, Mass.

Deehan's quickie review: Everything Greater Good makes is big on flavor and big on booze, like this one that's so gingery it's almost spicy.

Grade: B-

Beantown Stout Series: Vietnamese Coffee by Dorchester Brewing Company, Boston, Mass.

Deehan's quickie review: It's about as rich and bold as its namesake, a creamy Vietnamese coffee served at one of Fields Corner's best pho restaurants.

Grade: B+

Two beer cans
Photo: Mike Deehan

Snow on the Maple Tree 2023 by Clown Shoes, Boston, Mass.

  • Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon

Deehan's quickie review: Packs a punch with a LOT of flavor, maple and malt. At 11% ABV, it's a good thing it's the only one of the beers I reviewed that came in a 12oz can instead of a 16oz one.

Grade: A

The Future is Unwritten by Small Change Brewing Company, Somerville, Mass.

  • English dark mild

Deehan's quickie review: 3.1% ABV brews like this tend to be a little flaccid, but this is still richer than your typical light lager. Consider it a session ale for when you're sick of lager.

Grade: C, but the can art by Jessica Gaddis is an A.

Two beer cans
Photo: Mike Deehan

Blizzard of 78 by Wormtown Brewery, Worcester, Mass.

  • Full bodied English ale.

Deehan's quickie review: This one's pretty popular and you can find it on draught around New England for good reason: It's a solid ale with quite a lot of flavor.

Grade: B

Six Grain by Austin Street, Portland, Maine

  • Milk Stout

Deehan's quickie review: I do love a milk stout, and this 6.4% has a milder taste than some over-the-top flavored stouts you might try.

Grade: A

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