Winter is upon us, though it would be hard to tell with the run of warm weather we have had lately, but fear not. Soon, we will be blanketed in snow and shivering under our coats. Sounds like the perfect time to pour yourself a pint of stout, and bask in all the malty goodness they deliver. After careful deliberation, and serious sipping, here are a few to stock up on now. Then when landscape resembles the North Pole, instead of Palm Beach, you will be prepared.

Epic Brewing in Utah exists to do one thing. Brew full flavored beers, many with higher alcohol content, and most only available in 22oz bombers. Their collaboration with Denver based Strange Craft Beer Company has yielded Strangely Epic. A mixture of Epic’s beastly Big Bad Baptist Stout and Strange’s Cherry Kriek the beer is simply amazing. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and cherries are prevalent. Buy one now when they are gone there will be no more.

Upslope Brewing Company’s seasonal Oatmeal Stout is the perfect beer to crack after a long day hitting the hills, or sledding with the kids. Not to complex, but full flavored, it delivers a smooth creamy hit of malt nicely balanced out by the sweetness of the oatmeal used during creation. At only 5.0% ABV you can have a couple and not worry about getting soused.

Lefthand Brewing is already famous for their Milk Stout. The beer has won numerous awards and might just be one of the finest milk stouts on the planet. So how do you top that? Easy, you kick up the alcohol content to 8.9%, add in a crap load of Allegro Coffee’s Mocha Java Blend, and bottle it in a 22oz bomber. The coffee’s dark cherry flavors blend perfectly with the sweetness from the milk stout. Crack one of these and kick back when the flakes start falling.

Avery Brewing Company just recently celebrated their one-year anniversary in their new state of the art brewhouse in Gunbarrel. Even though their brewers are known for humongous IPA’s they also have been consistently turning out some of the finest stouts in Colorado for years. They just recently rolled out their second batch of Tweak. This beast—17.5% ALC—was blended with coffee and aged in Bourbon Barrels. An incredibly complex brew that only gets better as it warms up. This one is meant to be sipped slowly from a snifter. Mephistopheles Stout is their seasonal big stout that ramps everything up. Huge malt taste, black as night, and 15.0% ALC. One bottle of this and you will completely forget about that driveway you shoveled off this morning. Lastly is one of their newest offerings, Vanilla Bean Stout. The grain bill of roasted barley, Midnight Wheat, and black malt is perfectly offset by the Tongan, Ugandan, and Mexican whole vanilla beans added during brewing. There is a hint of bourbon from the time spent aging in bourbon barrels. It is a silky smooth beauty.

If you are looking for more stouts don’t forget about “I Love Stout” month the rest of this month at the Southern Sun, Mountain Sun, and Vine Street Pub’s. With over 25 unique stout offerings on tap you are sure to find one you will love.

HZ12_ShieldLogo-300x190-300x190Liquid Gear is proudly sponsored by Hazel’s Beverage World which is the go-to store for outdoor enthusiasts and everyone else on the go.  Featuring Boulder’s largest selection of wine, beer and spirits at everyday low prices, Hazel’s has lots of beverages that are easy to carry along and enjoy no matter what your adventure.  So don’t forget to pack the party—fly by Hazel’s before your next excursion and stock up on your favorite liquid refreshments. Hazel’s – Same Planet, Different World.