These Bold Winter IPAs Will Keep You Hoppy ‘Til Spring

Winter hazy IPA can and glass on background of pine
Courtesy Image; Unsplash

There’s an assumption that IPAs are only meant to be enjoyed during the sweltering summer months. While it’s true enough that West Coast, New England-style, and most other variations are refreshing, crisp, thirst-quenching, and loaded with bitter, floral, or downright dank hops that seem to be made specifically for warm-weather drinking, some IPAs are actually brewed to be imbibed during the winter months. Alongside the likes of porters, stouts, barleywines, and Scotch ales, these classic, hoppy winter IPAs are built to stand up to the cold.

IPAs are arguably the most popular beer style in the U.S.—so when brewers realized that drinkers didn’t want to spend a quarter (or more) of the year not sipping them, they created winter IPAs. Usually slightly higher in alcohol than many of its summery counterparts, the equally (if not more) hoppy suds are often brewed with seasonal flavors as well. We’re talking spices, spruce tips, and anything else that tastes like winter.

So if you’re looking for a respite from barrel-aged brews and indulgent winter beers you’ve been drinking for the last month, here’s a hoppy break. We bring you 10 of the best winter IPAs to drink from now until the spring thaw.

Best Winter IPAs to Drink This Season

Can of Five Boroughs Winter IPA
Courtesy Image

1. Five Boroughs Winter IPA

Smack dab in the middle of the congested New York craft brewing world, Five Boroughs stands out from the crowd with bangers like its Winter IPA. This hazy, juicy, tropical fruit-centric beer is brewed with 2-Row, Carared, and Carafa II malts as well as flaked oats and a symphony of hops including Citra, Cascade, Comet, and Simcoe varieties.

[$14.99, 6-pack, drizly.com]

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12oz can of New Belgium Accumulation IPA
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2. New Belgium Accumulation Winter Hazy IPA

One of the most eagerly awaited winter IPAs, New Belgium Accumulation is a hazy, juicy break from snowy winter days. Brewed with Pale malt, wheat, and El Dorado, Mosaic, Strata, and Lotus hops, it’s filled with flavors like bready malts, pineapple, citrus zest, and piney, slightly bitter hops.

[$10.99, 6-pack; drizly.com]

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12oz can of Hi-Wire Elated Winter IPA
Hi-Wire Elated Winter IPA Courtesy Image

3. Hi-Wire Elated Winter IPA

It might not have the name recognition of Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, but Asheville, North Carolina’s Hi-Wire is crafting some seriously great beers. Its foray into the winter IPA world is Hi-Wire Elated. This 5.5 percent ABV beer is brewed with Michigan Chinook and Idaho 7 hops, giving it a piney, citrus-filled flavor that will make you forget about the weather outside.

[$10, 6-pack; hiwirebrewing.com]

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6-pack (bottles) of Brooklyn Winter IPA
Brooklyn Winter IPA Courtesy Image

4. Brooklyn Winter IPA

Brooklyn Brewing has given craft beer drinkers an award-winning style for every season. Why shouldn’t they also have an outstanding winter IPA? Brooklyn Winter IPA is potent at 7 percent and brewed with Trident and Simcoe hops. The result is a refreshing winter beer with notes of orange zest, pine trees, and a nice, holiday spice at the finish that rounds everything together.

[$10.99, 6-pack; bevmo.com]

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12 oz can of Ecliptic Filament Winter IPA
Ecliptic Filament Winter IPA Courtesy Image

5. Ecliptic Filament Winter IPA

This 7.2 percent seasonal, dry-hopped winter IPA from Ecliptic Brewing is brewed with myriad hops including Strata, Mandarina, Crystal, Bavaria, and Centennial. An added, wintry, holiday twist with the addition of tangerine gives beer an added citrus kick pairing perfectly with its gamut of floral, piney hops.

[$9.99, 6-pack; totalwine.com]

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12oz can of Upslope Spruce Tip IPA
Upslope Spruce Tip IPA Courtesy Image

6. Upslope Spruce Tip IPA

If you only drink one winter IPA this year, make it Upslope Spruce Tip IPA. This limited-release 7.5 percent winter IPA brewed with Cascade, Simcoe hops, and American malts gets added, resinous flavor from the addition of actual Colorado-sourced spruce tips. The result is a citrusy pine bomb you’ll be happy to drink all winter.

[$11.49, 6-pack; totalwine.com]

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6-pack (bottles) of Full Sail Wreck The Halls Winter IPA
Full Sail Wreck The Halls Winter IPA Courtesy Image

7. Full Sail Wreck The Halls Winter IPA

This 8.5 percent double IPA with the punny title (otherwise nothing hall-wrecking about it) is brewed with Pale and Crystal malts, as well as a crazy amount of Centennial hops. An award-winner, it’s known for bold flavors of caramel malts, pine, citrus, and wintry spices well-suited for winter drinking.

[$9.99, 6-pack; drizly.com]

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Pint glass of Saint Arnold Texas Winter IPA with emblem beside it
Saint Arnold Texas Winter IPA Courtesy Image

8. Saint Arnold Texas Winter IPA

If you live somewhere without harsh New England-style winters, the cold season is a different deal. Still pretty chilly but without those piles of snow. Saint Arnold created Texas Winter IPA for these hybrid conditions—a slightly malty, effortlessly hoppy, piney, citrusy IPA brewed with Galaxy, Columbus, Simcoe, and Cascade hops as well as Texas-grown grapefruit.

[$9.49, 6-pack; totalwine.com]

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12 oz bottle of Sierra Nevada Celebration beside a full pint glass
Sierra Nevada Celebration Courtesy Image

9. Sierra Nevada Celebration

There are few winter IPAs as famous and eagerly anticipated as Sierra Nevada Celebration. This 6.8 percent fresh hop IPA is brewed with ale yeast as well as Caramelized and 2-Row malts. It gets its hoppy, floral bite from the addition of Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops—and is filled with memorable caramel malt, pine, resin, and citrus flavors.

[$11.49, 6-pack; totalwine.com]

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12oz bottle of Troegs Blizzard of Hops
Troegs Blizzard of Hops Courtesy Image

10. Troegs Blizzard of Hops

The name pretty much says it all. Here’s a true winter beer but it’s loaded with a generous blizzard of hops. This 6.5 percent seasonal brew is made with ale yeast, Pilsner malt, unmalted wheat, and white wheat—and hopped with El Dorado, Centennial, and Chinook varieties. Among the most well-balanced winter IPAs out there, it has a strong malt backbone that pairs well with notes of pineapple, citrus zest, and resinous, slightly bitter pine.

[$14.99, 6-pack; drizly.com]

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