West Virginia winter calls for cold weather beer. You know, the kind of beer that matches the intensity of heavier winter foods — the kind that contains the calories needed to trek across that snow-covered mountain. West Virginia breweries have you covered.
While it may not seem like it this week, cold weather is coming to West Virginia. I promise you. And with it, you’re going to want some cold weather beer.
West Virginia-made cold weather beer
We’ve put together profiles of six West Virginia winter beers, most of which you have never had before. They’re sure to add some warmth to the chilly West Virginia wintertime.
- Highlander Helles Bock. Blackwater Brewing Company, Davis
- Back in the USSR Russian Imperial Stout. Wheeling Brewing Company
- Smoked Border Smoked Porter. Charleston Brewing Company
- Dark Harvest Imperial Black IPA. NET Brewery, Parkersburg
- First Shift Coffee Porter. Morgantown Brewing Company
- Steel Driving Stout. Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, Lewisburg
- Frost Notch Winter Ale. Big Timber Brewing Company, Elkins.
Highlander Helles Bock
This is a nice, warming Festbier that brewer Lincoln Wilkins says is typically produced in the spring months but he has adapted to the cool weather highlands. It’s a strong rich golden lager that is not light in body or strength, just in color — making it a nice alternative to the typically darker winter brews. 6.5 %ABV.
The Bock is available in Blackwater’s taproom as long as supplies last. Expect limited availability at a select few locations outside BWBC’s pub.
At their pub, 64 oz. growler fills are $20 including one of the new BWBC Logo Growlers (makes a great Christmas present). Bring in your own 32 oz. or 64 oz. growler, and refills are $9 and $18, respectively.
Back in the USSR Russian Imperial Stout
This RIS was aged for two months on Mason Dixon Whiskey soaked oak barrel pieces from Fairmont’s Pinchgut Hollow Distillery. It is deep and hefty in flavor. Wheeling brewer Josh Clarke calls it great for a nightcap, because it’ll set you down. 9% ABV.
It will be on tap later this month at the downtown Wheeling brewpub. When it goes on tap, the beer will be available in growlers to take home.
Smoked Border Robust Porter
This smoked porter is a beer Charleston Brewing has made the previous two cold weather seasons. The beer is a base robust porter, with German beechwood-smoked malt replacing a portion of the base malt. Brewer Ryan Heastings calls it exactly the sort of flavor profile one starts to gravitate toward as the coat-wearing temperatures come upon us. 6.7% ABV.
Like all of Charleston Brewing beers, it will primarily be poured at Black Sheep Burritos in Charleston and Huntington, as well as at Taylor Books in Charleston. Some of it will also hit the wholesale trade and be available to other restaurant and retail accounts.
Growler fills (64 oz.) will likely be $15 at Black Sheep and $12 at Taylor Books.
Dark Harvest Imperial Black IPA
The NET’s Chip Roedersheimer calls Dark Harvest a unique blend of home-grown hops and bold-roasted malt with rich flavor and warming alcohol to keep away the chill of a cold winter evening (or morning). Select roasted malts and copious floral hops are the foundation for this big and bold imperial black IPA. North End Tavern & Brewery-grown hops are employed to counter the huge malt bill and combine to create a beautifully balanced brew. 10.2% ABV.
Dark Harvest will be available during the month of December and beyond at NET Tavern’s main dining room and Tank Room in the bottom of the NET. It is also available to regular NET retail accounts.
Bring your own 64 oz. growler to the NET and fill it for $20.
First Shift Coffee Porter
Morgantown Brewing is bringing back this tasty coffee-flavored beer based on a robust porter. Brewer Brian Anderson says it’s a great cold weather beer because of its big body, roasty flavor, higher alcohol content. and of course coffee that they age it on. 6% ABV.
The draft beer will be available December 21 at Morgantown Brewing’s pub and for distribution around the state.
Bring your own 64 oz. growler to the brewery pub and fill it for $15 or $13 on Sundays.
Steel Driving Stout
This brand new winter seasonal from Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company is definitely brewed for cold weather. It’s a full-bodied American Stout that contains plenty of roasty, chocolaty, malty notes that are balance by a good dose of Columbus hops. Brewer Brian Reymiller tells that the beer was named with a nod to legendary John Henry, the steel-driving man. 5.9% ABV and 55 IBU.
Steel Driving Stout will be available in the brewery taproom and to retail and restaurant accounts statewide through the winter months.
Growler fills at the GVBC taproom are $15. $3 off growler fills on Thursdays.
Frost Notch Winter Ale
Brewed with Belgian candi sugar and fermented to an ABV of 7.8%, Frost Notch is sure to help you buzz through those cold winter days. Big Timber puts a lot of flavor in this old ale.
Frost Notch is available now at the brewery taproom and will also be sold on draft at restaurants and retail growler filling stations that carry Big Timber beer.
Growler fills can be had at the brewery taproom for $10.