Cheers! A Guide to Atlanta's Winter Beers

Mmm. Toast the new year with a yummy winter beer.
This Devil's Mole Porter from Second Self has a delightfully spicy kick.
Jude from Reformation is a lovely Belgian, great for sipping.
Chocolate lovers will enjoy The Ferryman from Orpheus.

In the dead of winter, when you think of sipping on a drink, what’s your go-to choice? Red wine maybe? Perhaps whiskey or vodka-based drinks? I want to point you in another direction: Beer. Sure, I normally associate brews with summer and cooling off. But I’m going to tell you about several local craft beers that are made just for sipping during the winter. Hurry as they are only available for a short time. 

  • Orpheus – Orpheus Brewing, located on the Atlanta BeltLine, is very well known for sour beers and barrel-aged beers. If you missed it over the fall, try to catch the  Sykophantes, a sour beer brewed with figs. Now available is The Ferryman, an Imperial Stout with a rich of chocolate flavor. The beers are available only on draft or in 22-ounce bottles. I’d pair this with a chocolate dessert or even a rich, hearty stew.

  • Reformation – The Woodstock brewery has recently added a beer garden, which will no doubt be full in the upcoming warm months. The latest release is Jude, a Belgian Tripel.  It is a smooth-drinking beer just fine on its own to sip while curled up watching a movie, or you can pair it with a sharp cheese or barbecue.

  • Second Self – The Mole Porter is made with three different kinds of chiles along with cloves and cinnamon for that festive taste. The beer pairs well with turkey, fish and goat cheese. However, I enjoyed the JUNIPA even more. I found it to be less hoppy than most IPAs I’ve had. It is brewed with juniper berries and dry hopped with rosemary. It’s light, refreshing and great to pair with chicken or vegetables. I’d definitely use as a sub for white wine. 

Malika Bowling is the author of Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More!, and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. Her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram