Wintry ales and ciders | Gourmand and Gourmet

Wintry ales and ciders

We lament the cold weather a lot when the winter months arrive, but let’s face it, Brisbane doesn’t really descend into the bitter depths of frigid temperatures we make out that it does. It just gets a bit chilly. So while there is a time for warm cocktails, hard coffees and hot mulled wine, there is no need to abandon the refrigerated beverages entirely. Instead, switch to a beer or a cider perfectly matched to the cooler air. Because while some amber liquids taste better on a hot, summer’s day by the pool with your toes in the water, others taste better rugged up by a backyard blaze in your flannie. A good winter ale is generally one heavy on the malt spice, thicker, heavier and a little more aggressive on the palate than their warm-weather counterparts while a wintery cider will be packed with spicy aromas. They might not be classed as refreshing but they will warm your soul, if not your hands. We’ve found a few, some local, some from further afield, that perfectly fit the bill. Stone and Wood | Stone Beer Adding wood fired volcanic stones to the brewing process caramelises this seasonal offering from Stone and Wood to create rich toffee flavours. A big bold ale with a hint of malt sweetness and a spicy kick of hops, it’s a perfect match for a crisp Sunday afternoon. Burleigh Brewing | Dream Date For some a dream date might be a spring day in late August, but for Burleigh Brewing, it’s a blend of medium and dark malts and hundreds of kilos of fresh dates. A chance encounter with sticky date liqueur provided the inspiration for this limited edition 2014 brew and on a cool evening you’ll be grateful it did, for otherwise you wouldn’t be sipping on the deliciously dark ale with subtle notes of caramel, toffee and sundried fruit. Green Beacon Brewing Co. | Penny Porter Five specialty malts combine with unmalted roasted barley to give Green Beacon’s porter a deep black colour and an even deeper body. A host of complex aromas including rich dark chocolate, coffee and berries are released as not-so-frothy beer warms to its glass and its drinker. With a flavour that hints at cold press coffee and delicate roast characteristics, Penny has a luscious, indulgent mouth feel that will push all memories of summer’s charms out of your mind. Moo Brew | Dark Ale A dark, dark ale with a deep cherry-red tint and a caramel and chocolate palate, Moo Brew’s Dark Ale is an almost sinful indulgence. It can be perfectly paired with a warm chocolate dessert, (preferably something drizzled with lashings of caramel sauce) for a sumptuous late night treat.  Mornington Peninsula Brewery | Porter Now Victoria, they know what winter is supposed to feel like. That’s probably why they were able to create a robust porter so appropriate for frosty a night. Malty undertones and aromas of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla give this brew a rich, silky smooth finish that’s enticingly moreish. Rekorderlig | Winter Cider Heading far, far afield, this winter cider is the latest offering from the geniuses at Rekorderlig, those fabulous Swedes who almost single handedly made cider cool. Infused with vanilla and cinnamon, this is a sensual apple cider full of winter’s flavours and aromas. While deliciously crisp and thrilling when poured over ice, it’s also delectable heated on the stove with a slice of orange to turn it into a hand-warmer as well as a cheek flushing thirst quencher Pair them with hearty winter cuisine or just drink them on their own, these cold ones are the perfect match for our mild winter days. Cheers! Words by Ranyhyn Akui