Six rea­sons to skip Drynuary this year

From sea­sonal favourites to new booze from lo­cal craft brew­ers, here are six beers for a frosty win­ter’s night.


Hop­per’s Bazaar by Lunn’s Mill Beer Co. with Ladies Beer League

(6.7 per­cent, 14 IBU) When the Ladies Beer League teamed up with Lunn’s Mill, they wanted to make some­thing unique. The league shot out ideas un­til one stuck, says board mem­ber Kelly Costello. “Fi­nally some­one said, ‘Well, why don’t we use garam masala?’ And then we’re like, ‘OK, that sounds great—but what kind of beer are we gonna put that in?’” The re­sult was a Bel­gian dubbel: a dark style of beer which of­ten has spicy char­ac­ter­is­tics. Costello wrote up an in­gre­di­ent list and sent it to Lunn’s brewer Sean Ebert. Once the recipe was set, Costello and three other mem­bers of the league board headed to Lawrence­town be­fore Christ­mas to par­tic­i­pate in the brew­ing process. This col­lab­o­ra­tion launched at The Wooden Mon­key last week and you’ll be able to find it for a lim­ited time at Good Ro­bot and the Lunn’s Mill tap­room.

Vanilla Porter by Nine Locks Brew­ing Co.

(5 per­cent, 25 IBU) “Vanilla” is some­times used to de­scribe some­thing plain or bor­ing. This beer, how­ever, is any­thing but. The porter is a warm hug in­clud­ing choco­late malts and a tof­fee fin­ish along with its vanilla taste. If you want to get your hands on it this win­ter, you’ll have to act fast: “Madagascar, which pro­duces the ma­jor­ity of the world’s vanilla beans was hit by a ma­jor cy­clone this year, driv­ing prices to record heights and mak­ing qual­ity vanilla beans dif­fi­cult to buy,” ex­plains head brewer Jake Saun­ders. “We haven’t re­duced the amount of vanilla go­ing into our beer, so we’ll see if our sup­plies hold up for the rest of the sea­son.”

Rus­sian Im­pe­rial Stout by Pro­pel­ler Brew­ing Co.

(8 per­cent, 60 IBU) If a bit­ter beer is what you crave while you curl up on these bit­ter cold nights, this one’s for you. The dark, hoppy brew hits the tongue with roasted malt and dark fruit notes. Pro­pel­ler will later be re­leas­ing a spe­cial, bar­rel-aged ver­sion of the Rus­sian Im­pe­rial Stout, so stay tuned.

Sai­son de Pinot by North Brew­ing Co. with Ben­jamin Bridge

(7.1 per­cent, 18 IBU) “This is the se­cond year we’ve done a sai­son with Ben­jamin Bridge,” says Roz­ina Darvesh, North’s co-owner. Last year, North used pinot noir must—the pressed juice still con­tain­ing the grape skins, seeds and stems. This year’s bot­tle-con­di­tioned cre­ation was made with 220 litres of Pinot Me­u­nier must. A lit­tle funky, the Sai­son de Pinot has hints of hon­ey­dew, or­ange, straw­ber­ries and rose hips.

Bour­bon bar­rel-aged Win­ter­ven­tion by Gar­ri­son Brew­ing Co.

(11.5 per­cent, 40 IBU) A twist on the orig­i­nal Win­ter­ven­tion Choco­late Im­pe­rial Stout, this boozy beer was aged in bour­bon bar­rels for 11 months. It’s made with Mu­nich and choco­late malts like the other Win­ter­ven­tion, but the na­ture of the ag­ing kicks the flavour—and the al­co­hol con­tent—up a notch. Be sure to drink this one slowly.

Fero­nia by Tata­m­agouche Brew­ing Co.

(5.1 per­cent, 20 IBU) This Amer­i­can Brett is more than just a pretty la­bel. Named for an an­cient Ro­man god­dess as­so­ci­ated with na­ture and wildlife, Fero­nia is aged on or­ganic plums and bot­tle-con­di­tioned. “An­other fun fact on the name that isn’t in­cluded on the la­bel is that there was a boat named Fero­nia built in our area,” says brew­ery man­ager Chris­tiane Jost.

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