Winter is my favourite beer season. I love dark beers and most of my favourite breweries release their tastiest seasonal porters and stouts in the snowy months. In the growing craft brew scene of the Forest City, it’s no different. The craft brewers of London have come up with a great line-up of seasonal beers that are sure to keep your taste buds warm with flavour this cold winter.

Weendigo - Forked River Brewing Company

Even since I first tasted it years ago on its first release, the Weendigo has been one of my favourite brews. The bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout spends almost six months aging in used Wild Turkey barrels to get its velvety, rich, and roasty taste. It also clocks in at 10.2% ABV so it will definitely warm you up throughout the coldest nights of winter. You can even cellar age this brew to bring out even more whisky and oak flavours. You have to give the Weendigo a try!

Blackfriars Bridge Vanilla Stout – Toboggan Brewing Co.

Toboggan Stout

I love vanilla notes in my beer, especially in stouts. It’s a scent I have always associated with keeping warm in the winter. Toboggan, in addition to being home to some of my favourite wood-fired pizzas, has one of my favourite vanilla infused brews, the Blackfriars Bridge Vanilla stout. Coming in at 6% ABV and 30 IBUs, this semi-sweet stout uses Madagascar vanilla beans to give it a subtle background of vanilla to its tasty roasted flavour. Give it a try at the downtown brewery.

The Hunter – Storm Stayed Brewing Co.

The newest craft brewery in the Forest City, Storm Stayed opened its doors in December. Among their opening lineup is an American porter called The Hunter. If you like dark roast coffee flavours, this brew is for you. The porter, coming in at 6.2% ABV and 73 IBU, is rich with chocolate and coffee notes that finishes with an assertive roast flavour almost like a cup of black coffee.  If you haven’t made it to this new brewery, head to their tap room to grab yourself a glass or take some home in cans.

Don’t worry, winter isn’t all stouts and porters, here’s a couple of tasty ales for your palate too!

Winter – Anderson Craft Ales

Anderson Winter

Just like the design of the artwork on their cans, Anderson sticks to the beauty of simplicity in naming their flagship brews; their winter seasonal is, of course, called Winter. This seasonal release is a spiced ale that comes in at 7.0% ABV and 32 IBUs. It combines flavours of toffee, honey, and toasted malts with aromas of ginger, cinnamon, and orange that are quintessentially warm notes that are perfect for Ontario winters.

Dark Matter – London Brewing Co-op

If you are a hop fiend, then you should give the Dark Matter from London Brewing Co-op a try. Packing 60 IBUs and 6.0 ABV, this rich dark ale is highly hopped and features dry hopping during conditioning to really bring out the bitter tones that will please any IPA lover. Head to the brewery in Old East Village to grab a glass and play some board games in the awesome space.

London Brewing Co-op Fridge

Now that I’ve got your craft taste buds tingling, be sure to download a HOP ME Passport, head out and explore the rapidly growing craft beer scene across London and the rest of Ontario’s Southwest. There’s over a dozen breweries outside the Forest City awaiting you with amazing seasonal brews.