Winter Warmers
Eight beers to enjoy as the mercury drops. Image by Brandee Meier


With much of the country feeling the effects of the ‘monster freeze’ rolling across a number of states, we thought it was a good time to check out some winter warmers to cosy up to this season.


(1) Newcastle Brown Ale

First brewed in 1927 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, Newcastle Brown Ale is now brewed by Heineken. Featuring fewer hops for a less bitter taste, Newcastle Brown Ale has a blend of light and dark malts creating a smooth caramel flavour. Light golden brown in colour from the combination of English pale and dark caramel malts. A light to light-medium bodied brew, with a carbonated mouthfeel and mixed nut flavours of almond, walnut and pecan.


Barbeque herb-rubbed lamb chops

ABV: 4.7%

RRP: $5 per bottle (330ml)


(2) FrankenBROWN

Crafted by the team at Big Shed Brewing Co. in South Australia, FrankenBROWN American brown ale is a hoppy dark beer, which will drop some badass funk on your taste buds. The high percentage of specialty grain brings the soul of malt, biscuit and coffee notes. The bitterness and aroma comes from the hit of hops added throughout the boil as well as dry-hopping. Backed up with a higher than normal alcohol, FrankenBROWN is a beer that is right on.


Mushroom risotto

ABV: 5%

RRP: $6 per bottle (330ml)


(3) 8 Wired C4 Double Coffee Brown Ale

A hoppy double brown ale, which complements both the roasted and fruity aspects of the coffee without putting up too much of a fight. The coffee was selected in collaboration with Christchurch institution C4 Coffee and consists mainly of lightly roasted, delicate and floral, Ethiopian beans. Aromas of coffee, light chocolate, caramel, toffee and fig. Taste is sweet coffee and chocolate, with a slightly bitter finish.



ABV: 8%

RRP: $15.50 per bottle (500ml)


(4) HopDog BeerWorks Redhopulous Maximus

Feel the glory! Taste the hops and the ‘ulous! Redhopulous Maximus stands tall and victorious as the general of the Lupulin legions! Redhopulous Maximus is the beefy bigger brother of the most excellent Redhopulous, and an excellent rendition of a red IPA, another oxymoron. Brewed with more robust melanoidin and crystal malts than ever before, and hopped with American Chinook and Australian Ella hops. RedMax is hugely malty, with lashings of caramel and burnt toffee and piney hops and hints of aniseed. Robust, bitter and dark red in colour.


Oysters natural

ABV: 5.8%

RRP: $5.50 per bottle (330ml)


(5) Coopers Dark Ale

Meet the dark side of the family. A dark brew full of promise. Coopers Dark Ale is a journey in taste. Fresh, creamy and finishing with a lingering coffee flavour it’s made using roasted and chocolate malts, giving it a rich dark colour and unique flavour.


Sunday roast with potatoes and pumpkin

ABV: 4.5%

RRP: $4.20 per bottle (375ml)


(6) Garage Project Golden Brown Never a Frown Original Strength

Well rounded and satisfyingly drinkable with a balance of juicy malt character and bitterness. Brewed to the original 24/24 recipe launched in 2011, this beer has lifted citrus hop notes from a generous dose of Cascade and Ahtanum and a long, lingering biscuit malt finish. There is never a frown with this golden brown.


Nutty cheeses like Gouda or a young Comté

ABV: 7%

RRP: $21.50 per bottle (650ml)


(7) Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

This is a nutty twist to a traditional European brown ale from Rogue Ales in the USA. Pours dark amber with off white head. Aroma is sweet hazelnut, with a rich nutty flavour and a smooth malty hazelnut finish.


Barbecue steak with mushroom gravy

ABV: 6%

RRP: $7.50 per bottle (355ml)


(8) The Hotchkiss Six

For Little Creature’s second winter seasonal, the brewers’ challenge was to nail a full-flavoured, complex stout that could be enjoyed all year round. Enter The Hotchkiss Six. A smooth stout, with indulgent dark chocolate qualities from caramel malt, English chocolate malt and roasted barley. Oats add to the full and rounded palate. Fruity aromas and aniseed-like spice come from late brewhouse additions of NZ Rakau and Southern Cross hops.


Oysters, chocolate cake or slow roast lamb

ABV: 4.5%



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