The Best Memphis Winter Beers to Warm You Up
Ed. Note: Contributor Blake Marcum has done the arduous work of trying beers all over the Memphis area, and he’s picked his favorite winter brews. What are you drinking this winter?
Even though Mother Nature can’t quite decide what season the Bluff City is in, the calendar says it’s Winter, so we’ve gone out and found some of the best new local beers (and a cider!) to enjoy this season.
Whether you’re wearing shorts in Overton Square, bundled up down on South Main, or just getting a growler to enjoy cozily at the house, these beers will definitely make the season better.
(In no particular order)
Meddlesome’s Devil’s Water Belgian Strong Dark Ale (10% ABV)
Continuing to bring us great flavors, Meddlesome has created a great beer, enhanced by the Belgian candied sugar, without being too saccharine and going into diabeetus territory. Sweet, almost floral aromas and a beautiful color start you off, while hints of plum and the Belgian yeast provide flavor and give it a smooth mouthfeel perfect for a cold winter night. I had one on a nice warm afternoon in the taproom and was very happy that I did.
Bosco’s Oatmeal Porter (6.3% ABV)
For me, the darker the beer the better and this year’s Oatmeal Porter has taken over as my new favorite offering from Boscos. Dark and delicious, with a creamy mouthfeel and depth of flavor, head brewer Adam Hargrove once again makes me break my “never order the same beer twice in a row” philosophy.
I want this in my mug every time I go in and hope it stays around for a while. In the fall they released a pumpkin version of this beer, which I loved, so it’s no wonder the base Oatmeal Porter is great.
Ghost River’s Winter Warmer (9.2% ABV)
When Jimmy and the team at Ghost River are on a mission, they really go all-in. Their plan for this Winter Warmer was to go super malty and have a high ABV, and they accomplished that goal. I love malty beers, so this one was hard to put down.
The 9.2% ABV sneaks up on you due to the hefty malt flavors, so I had to make sure I drank water accordingly. They also have a Winter Wheat (6.5% ABV) on right now, which is really fun to see and drink this time of year for those looking for a tasty but lighter option.
Memphis Made’s DubbelThink Belgian Dubbel (8.1% ABV)
There are so many wonderful dark Belgian style beers in Memphis right now! DubbelThink provides that classic dark, sweet, smooth Belgian goodness in classic fashion. Providing almost a roasted caramel-like sweetness from the malts, this beer will certainly entice you to order more than one. Drew, Andy and the crew at Memphis Made should be very proud of this beer and I’ll be happy to continue drinking it.
High Cotton’s Doppelbock (8.5% ABV)
Usually I’d be touting High Cotton’s Christmas Stout as loudly as I did last year, but they ran out of it extremely fast (because it’s amazing). Luckily for all in the 901, they have a great Doppelbock available. Now, Doppelbocks are characterized as strong, rich, and hefty lagers with a lot of sweetness and some hops and that’s just what this is. Sweet and malty is the best way to describe this dark treat.
When you first sip it, there’s a bite on the front of your tongue, but then it evenly coats your tongue as it flows back smoothly (where’s Michael Scott when you need him?) This beer will earn your love quickly.
Crosstown’s Stocking Stuffer Chocolate Orange Stout (5.2% ABV)
I almost didn’t know this beer existed as it wasn’t listed on recent social media anywhere I could find it and wasn’t posted anywhere in the taproom. When I was trying to decide what to order, no employee in the taproom even mentioned it to me. Luckily for me, a patron at the bar told me about this treat (thanks Todd!)
This beer has a nice deep flavor of bitter chocolate with a small hint of orange on the back end that I enjoyed. Usually I’m more of a sweeter chocolate beer fan, but this was solid work. When you go to Crosstown, make sure to ask about hidden beers! Not only did I enjoy the beer, but I also got to experience my favorite thing, talking to awesome people in one of Memphis’s brewery taprooms.
Long Road’s Sweet Potato Pie Cider (5.8% ABV)
Just when I thought I knew every trick in Scott, Dez, and Clay Patterson’s playbook for flavors, they break out this unexpected treat. The Sweet Potato Pie cider is one of the sweetest ciders I’ve had from them, but it’s still about a candy bar short of the sweetness of a cider like Angry Orchard (my usual cider of choice).
This cider is spiced and aged in sweet potatoes. It has a nice spice character and is so delicious I found myself with an empty glass wanting more very quickly.
Wiseacre’s Prank Calls to Satan Black India Pale Ale (6.5% ABV)
At time of this writing, Prank Calls To Satan continues to give the devil a hard time, while being a delight to anyone who has this beer. The hoppy black ale is a true delight, as it drinks light but has that wonderful dark color from the malts, aromas to entice any IPA fan, and killer flavors. Last year’s version went over great and I have no doubt that Davin Bartosch and the Wiseacre team will make this version even better.
About the Author
Blake Marcum was born and raised in the 901 and now lives in Midtown, helping people vicariously live out their dreams on social media, if those dreams involve beer and barbecue. He’s a contributor to I Love Memphis, Memphis Travel, and MemphisCraftBeer.com. A Grand Champion of BBQ Fest (2013) and BBQ judge, he really knows BBQ. Pairing that with his love of craft beer, he’s a great representative of the fun side of the Bluff City. Blake loves the investment going into Memphis and believes the best is yet to come. Follow him on Twitter at@blakeandbrew.