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May 25, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Winter Warmers


I know, technically it’s not winter yet. But the wind and rain that has been threatening to blow my house over these past weeks begs to differ. It’s crap weather like this that calls for a warming winter beer while you huddle under a blanket, hiding from that dreaded flu.

Winter beers are typically darker than your usual lager, which gives them roasted malt flavours like chocolate, coffee, dark berries and other such wintery fare. The ‘warmer’ part of winter beers comes from a typically high alcohol content, which we all know can numb you to the cold, among other things.

On a recent frigid trip down Courtenay Place I found myself at the Malthouse, as I often do, to warm up from the inside out. I spied a newly released Three Boys Oyster Stout (6.2%) and was sold. Oysters in a stout, you ask? Apparently stout was once prescribed by doctors as an invigorating tonic, and brewers added oysters for their other enticing properties. The boys at Three Boys have thrown genuine Bluff Oysters in their most robust stout offering. This pitch-black beer has enormous roast malt character, with comforting chocolate jumping out of the glass at you. The noticeable alcohol content drives in flavours of coffee which warms your innards. But it doesn’t taste like oysters, don’t worry. Perhaps a rich stout is too much for your palate? Well Emersons Dunkelweiss (6.3%) will most certainly go down a treat. ‘Dunkel’ means ‘dark’ in German, so Dunkelweiss is a dark style of German wheat beer. The roasted malts used give this beer a chocolate flavour which complements the sweet banana flavour of wheat beer. When I first tasted this beer I likened it to a chocolate banana split—the ladies will love this one. The alcohol gives it a bit of bite, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing during winter.

If a 500mL bottle won’t fight off the frostbite, then I’d recommend a 6 pack of Cascade Stout (5.8%). Being an Australian brew, I didn’t expect much. But I’ll try any beer once, so I picked up a six pack from my local supermarket. This remarkable value stout has much of the same strong coffee and chocolate roast malt flavours as the Three Boys offering but pulls it off much more smoothly. This is good because you’d struggle to get through six of them otherwise. I highly recommend this beer over these coming winter months.

These can all be found at Regional Wines and Spirits and at the Malthouse, so brave the cold and get warmed.

If you have any questions about this week’s beers or any comments, please email me at


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Comments (3)

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  1. Michael says:

    You’re missing a B, bro

  2. David Wood says:


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