When winter rolls around, red wine and brown liquor tend to get all the attention. However, dark stouts and malty ales are just as appropriate to sip around the fire. Keep it local this season with these limited-release selections from KC breweries.
Torn Label's Wolfcat is a black lager with aromas of cocoa nibs, vanilla and espresso. Its notes of milk chocolate, hazelnut and nutmeg lead to a clean, thirst-quenching finish. House Brew got an update, and the result is Mansion Brew, an imperial wheat stout with Thou Mayest coffee with dark chocolate, toasted hazelnut and cold-brewed coffee flavors.
Raytown's own Crane Brewing Co. celebrates the season with Festiweiss, where tangy cranberry meets spicy ginger. Another seasonal favorite is the Beet Weiss, a sour German wheat beer with earthy beet notes (and color!).
KC Bier Co.'s Winterbock is a dark Doppelbock lager that won a silver medal in the 2018 World Beer Cup. Its rich and complex coffee and chocolate notes, with hints of caramel and molasses and low bitterness make for a smooth winter beverage.
Black Squirrel is a robust Russian imperial stout that has been aged in whiskey barrels for 13 months. It has complex flavors of vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, whiskey and dark chocolate. Cinder Noel is a Belgian strong ale that will warm you up with hints of coriander, Belgian malts and orange zest.
Kansas City's hometown brewery has an entire lineup of beer to last you through many cold nights ahead. Plaid Habit is a Canadian Whisky barrel-aged imperial brown ale; Nutcracker Winter Warmer Ale has hints of molasses balanced by spicy Chinook hops; Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale, available exclusively in the Fall Sample 12-Pack, features the rich aromas and familiar flavor of freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies. Other beers worth a try this winter include Whiskey Barrel Stout, Bourbon Barrel Quad, Dark Truth and Brandy Land.