Five Delicious Beers to Take on Your Camping Trips This Winter
There’s not very many things that I love more than drinking beer by a campfire, but true to my Florida roots, I really do not handle cold very well. I’m definitely more apt to appreciate a sunny, 85 degree day than a cold and snowy day. However, living in Kansas has conditioned me to learn, to put it nicely, to appreciate the peaceful beauty of winter time. To not put it nicely, living in Kansas has made me learn to suck it up and stop being such a baby about cold weather. If you had asked me two years ago if I wanted to go camping in Kansas in February I would have laughed. Now I’m realizing that letting the cold stop me from enjoying my favorite things is stupid. I also have since realized that, with the right beer, any situation can be more fun.
This past weekend, Troy and I took the dogs on a camping trip at one of our favorite nearby spots. Even though it got super cold and June Bug ripped a hole in our tent (this is why I call her the village idiot), we had a great time.
It was so nice to sit by the fire and listen to the coyotes sing while we had some beer to warm up our insides. As I mentioned in my fall beer post, I am generally a fan of darker beers especially when it’s cold outside. That being said, a lot of this list consists of nice, dark stouts and porters. However, I included a couple different styles in here too if you’re not so much a fan of dark beer. Some of these are winter seasonals, so get them while you can! Some aren’t and I included them because I like them and they make me feel warm and cozy when I drink them. Most of these are craft brews, some aren’t. Honestly, the only thing a lot of these beers have in common with each other is they all pair perfectly with a cold night and a campfire.
That being said, let’s get to the beers so you can go pick yourself up a 6 pack (or two ;)) and head to your favorite camping spot! Don’t let the cold keep you from an awesome adventure!
Samuel Adams Nitro Coffee Stout
We all know and love Sam Adams and this beer is easily one of my favorites on the list. I personally really enjoy nitro beers AND coffee AND stouts, so this one gets pretty close to what I would consider my beer holy grail. If you like super smooth drinks and coffee flavor, this one is for you. Plus, it’ll get you psyched for the best part of camping still to come – the morning coffee. Make sure with nitro beers that you pour them extra hard (like straight vertical) into your glass or mug or solo cup or whatever. I promise it won’t bubble over, but the hard pour will keep your beer from tasting flat.
Tallgrass Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat
If you remember my fall beer post, I mentioned the original Buffalo Sweat as one of my fall favorites. I think the addition of vanilla bean in this brew makes it that much smoother and slightly sweeter. Plus, Tallgrass is a local brewery out here in Manhattan, Kansas and I believe that knowing I’m supporting local breweries makes the beer taste even better. Even though Tallgrass is local to me, this brewery is amazing and ever expanding so, more than likely, you’ll be able to give Buffalo Sweat and his Vanilla Bean brother a try. Do it. We can bond over beer.
Ballast Point Victory at Sea
I SEARCHED SO LONG FOR THIS BEER AND FINALLY FOUND IT! This one is my true holy grail. This one is an imperial porter and will definitely warm you up on a winter camping trip (thank you 10% ABV). I just get so happy looking at this bottle cap in my collection. I was so amped to try this beer and it totally could have been one of those situations where I got my hopes too high, but it wasn’t. This beer was everything I wanted and more. Plus Ballast Point’s bottle art is always beautiful. These things matter to me.
Anchor Brewing Company Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (2016)
This is one of those seasonal, special ales that I love. I was able to try this one on tap in Florida when I was home for Christmas, but the bottles are so wintery and beautiful that I bought some to take home. This is another strongish beer (read: will keep you nice and toasty). It literally tastes like Christmas. I’m not sure how else to describe it. It tastes like the feeling of seeing Santa’s cookies gone on Christmas morning and opening presents. It’s perfect.
Schlafly Black IPA
If you’ve been reading this list and getting depressed because you can’t wait for summer to come back so that IPAs can be cool again, oh how I feel you. This black IPA is the best of both worlds. It’s deep and malty enough to pair wonderfully with a winter camping trip, but finishes with all the amazing hoppy-ness we summer lovers are craving. It did throw me off a little at first because this beer is dark, but it has all of the hop flavor and aroma of an awesome IPA. If you don’t usually like the bitterness of other IPAs, the darker malty flavors in this one really balance it out. This is one of those that I didn’t like on the first sip, but once my brain figured out that I could be drinking a dark beer and tasting hops, I loved it.
Even though I’ll be the first one to complain about being cold, there really are a lot of great things about camping during the wintertime. Campsites and parks are usually much less crowded (unless you live in Florida – I know the snow bird struggle) and the cold makes the campfire feel so amazing. My husband and I stayed up for hours just sitting by the fire drinking beer and tea and talking to each other. I 100% believe that campfires have magic powers that can make you feel so close to the people around you. Having the time to sit by the fire with my man was so worth the cold night in the tent.
Now is the time for you to go get you some brewskis and get out there! Bundle up and roll on, little tumbleweeds!
Let me know in the comments which of these beers were your favorite or if I left out your favorite winter beer. I’d love to try some new brews!