5 Great Orange County Beers for an OC Winter

Categories: Hops to It!

Photo by This kind of weather?

Yes, winter beer season is basically over, but this week has been the most winter-like weather we've had all year so bear with me. This is a list of Orange County beers that'll get you through an Orange County winter. There's no special releases -- that's not what this list is for. Instead, here are five craft beers you can easily get your hands on and enjoy when the weather's wintery (or not so wintery).

5. Coulter I.P.A -- Cismontane Brewing Company, Rancho Santa Margarita

Photo by Dave Lieberman
These guys are the owners, and they are cool

While everyone else in the country battles through their polar vortex, us lucky ducks got an early spring. Instead of warming up with a bourbon barrel-aged stout, Orange County weather beckons for something a bit more refreshing and bright. Get a head start on summery drinks with Cismontane's Coulter I.P.A.

If I'm going to drink an IPA, I usually reach for a session IPA because hop-bombs never impress me. At 7.2% ABV, this American IPA goes down like nothing. Some people say that this beer is "too sweet" for an IPA but the dry piney notes cut the sugar and make Coulter a wonderful beer to have any time of the year.

4. Black Phoenix Stout (Chipotle Coffee Ale) -- Bootlegger's Brewery, Fullerton

Photo by Cleo Tobbi
Dark and mysterious

Stouts can be difficult to drink for an extended period of time. They're big beers that are good for getting you nice and toasty on a chilly night; some can seriously put hair on your chest. But, pleasantly mild, Black Phoenix Stout at Bootlegger's Brewery is more like a finely tailored suit than a parka. The chipotle peppers blend beautifully with the dark chocolate and the Kéan Coffee perfectly, without overpowering the beer. Every ingredient is precisely where it needs to be, without being too bold, too boozy, or too spicy. This beer has big flavor, and I can get it down sans chest hair.

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