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Top 10 Winter Beers

Celebrate the season with ale and wassail

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company Ginger Barrel-Aged Brrrbon ‘13, one of Gayot's Top 10 Winter Beers

The Best Winter Warmers and Dark Beers

Brewing has historically been a specialty of regions where winters are harsh and grains are grown, like Germany and the British Isles. For centuries, brewers have made seasonal beers for winter that are fuller in body and maltier than standard styles. Some are festively spiced, others are simply turbocharged versions of year-round recipes. But all feature that extra richness of texture that comes with heaping helpings of barley malt. Winter warmers have less water in the mix, delivering more nutrition and higher alcohol content than typical summer quenchers. To best banish winter's chill, serve these beers no colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is also ideal for showcasing their delicious flavors. Serving "ice cold" suppresses flavor; a good strategy only if you're not keen to really "taste" your beer.

by Bob Barnes

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Celebrate the arrival of spring with the season's finest special releases, including a grapefruit DIPA, a smoked beer and a sour saison ale.

Enjoy the recent rye Renaissance by downing these fine whiskeys straight or hearken back to their heyday and mix them in an Old-Fashioned.