Overview for the American Winter Warmer

The American Winter Warmer is a seasonal brew that is often enjoyed around the holidays. Its color ranges from reddish brown to jet black. The brew has a hefty malt backbone, its hop bitterness is generally mild and is often strong with alcohol. The American Winter Warmer is similar to the English Winter Warmer but usually has a greater hops presence and is often spiced.

Style Expectations

These malty, sweet offerings tend to be a favorite winter seasonal. A big malt presence, both in flavor and body, leads the way. The color of this style ranges from brownish reds to nearly pitch black. Hop bitterness is generally low and balanced, but hop character can be pronounced in the aroma. Alcohol warmth is not uncommon. Many English versions contain no spices, though some brewers of spiced seasonal ales will slap “Winter Warmer” on the label. Those that are spiced, tend to follow the “wassail” tradition of blending robust ales with some combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and the like before hops became the chief “spice” in beer. American varieties many have a larger presence of hops both in bitterness and flavor.


The color of the Winter Warmer ranges from a reddish copper to a dark brown.


Fruity esters can enhance and complement the malt aroma profile.


The Winter Warmers can have sweetness derived from malt and caramel. Fruity esters can enhance and complement the malty flavor profile. Any hop bitterness is mild at best.


The Winter Warmer has a smooth feel with a medium to full body. Alcohol and spices lend warmth.


Christmas Ale

American Winter Warmer  •  Breckenridge Brewery

Christmas Ale is an American Winter Warmer by Breckenridge Brewery that blends baked bread, hoppy spice, caramel, and light boozy warmth. Read More

Our Special Ale (Anchor Christmas Ale)

American Winter Warmer  •  Anchor Brewing

Our Special Ale (Anchor Christmas Ale) is a Winter Warmer by Anchor Brewing that’s earthy and warm with a blend of pine, wood, roast, dark chocolate, and spice. Read More

First One Down

American Winter Warmer  •  Wasatch Brewery

First One Down is an American Winter Warmer by Wasatch Brewery that blends toffee and bready malt with spices and bitter grapefruit. Read More


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