9 Savory NC Winter Beers to Keep You Cozy All Season

9 Savory NC Winter Beers to Keep You Cozy All Season

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, it may seem antithetical to crack open a cold beer. However, North Carolina’s tremendous craft brewing scene encourages you to do just that, thanks to its incredible roster of cold-weather beers. Here are 10 of our favorite NC winter beers.

Best Cold-Weather Beers: Stouts

1. Sexual Chocolate — Foothills Brewing Co., Winston-Salem

Sexual Chocolate is one of the most lauded NC winter beers.
Image courtesy of Foothills Brewing Co.

This Russian Imperial Stout is one of North Carolina’s perfect winter beers. Foothills Brewing’s award-winning stout boasts a rich chocolatey backbone complemented with notes of tobacco and dark toffee. And at 9% ABV, your cheeks will stay rosy even after you come in from the cold.

2. Silent Night — Mother Earth Brewing, Kinston

best winter beers nc mother earth brewing
Image courtesy of Mother Earth Brewing.

Mother Earth Brewing’s winter stout is a perfect sipping beer. Firstly, it’s aged in bourbon barrels. Add to that its rich malty backbone and silky mouthfeel, and Silent Night is the optimal beverage for sitting by a fire.

3. Milk Stout — Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville

Duck Rabbit's Milk Stout is a classic NC winter beer.
Image courtesy of Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery.

As perhaps Duck Rabbit’s most well-known beer, the Milk Stout is one of the most enduring NC winter beers. Brewing the stout with milk sugar gives it a subtle sweetness that cuts through its sharp, roasted grains. Though it’s available year-round, winter is when the Milk Stout truly shines.

4. Griddle — Burial Brewing Co., Asheville

Image courtesy of Burial Beer Co.

Burial brews Griddle with a lot of the hallmarks of traditional stouts roasted grain, lactose sugar and caramel flavor but adds a new element into the mix. Using coffee beans roasted at Asheville’s PennyCup Coffee, Griddle has now added notes of dark fruit and smoke. The combination creates an excellent beer for sipping slowly while watching the falling snow.

Best NC Winter Beer: Ales

5. Cold Mountain — Highland Brewing, Asheville

As far as spiced NC winter beers go, Highland's Cold Mountain is a top contender.
Image courtesy of Highland Brewing.

A longtime favorite for fans of NC winter beers, Highland Brewing’s Cold Mountain is a delicious spiced winter warmer. This brew features notes of baking spice, vanilla and dark fruit. And at 5.9% ABV, you’ll be able to celebrate the holidays with the right punch.

6. First Frost — Fullsteam Brewery, Durham

Fullsteam's First Frost is one of our favorite NC winter beers.
Image courtesy of Fullsteam Brewery.

Fullsteam celebrates North Carolina’s native fruit (persimmons) to the fullest with their Belgian Strong Ale, First Frost. After the first hard freeze of the season, persimmons’ flavor profile changes from bitter to almost honey-like sweetness. Once paired with holiday spices and Belgian ale yeast, this 8.8% brew becomes a nice addition to the NC winter beer canon.

7. Joco White Tater — Deep River Brewing Co., Clayton

nc winter beers clayton
Image courtesy of Deep River Brewing Co.

A lovely Belgian Dubbel, Joco White Tater salutes North Carolina’s white sweet potato crop. Every batch of this flavorful but light winter ale features over 200 pounds of roasted white sweet potatoes, making for a sweet toasty brew to carry you into the colder months.

8. Yule Bock — Old Mecklenberg Brewery, Charlotte

Image courtesy of Old Mecklenburg Brewery.

If you’re too chilly for a lager but you want a similar winter beer, look no further than Old Mecklenburg’s Yule Bock. A stronger lager than its summer and fall counterparts, this lovely drink has a distinct maltiness and rich amber color. Choose it if you’d like a lovely winter beer that will leave you a little lighter.

9. Christmas Ale — Olde Hickory Brewery, Hickory

Image courtesy of Untappd.

Another fine addition to the stable of spiced NC winter beers, Olde Hickory’s Christmas Ale is brewed with pastries in mind. Brewed with local honey, grated ginger and orange zest, Christmas Ale is a lovely complement to baking (and eating) holiday cookies.

Curious to learn more about the North Carolina craft brewing industry? Head over to the Lifestyle section for more beer news.