American Winter Warmer in a Thistle Glass

Overview for the American Winter Warmer Beer Style

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

The American Winter Warmer beer style is a malty, sweet offering that tends to be a favorite winter seasonal. The brew features a big malt presence, both in flavor and body. Based on the English version of the same name, the American version is often spiced and may have a larger presence of hops both in bitterness and flavor.


The color of this beer style ranges from brownish reds to nearly pitch black.


Fruity esters can enhance and complement the malt aroma profile. Hop character can be pronounced in the aroma.


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 style tends 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.


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



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