Two stouts, a wee heavy, and a Belgian strong ale. Woo!

Two stouts, a wee heavy, and a Belgian strong ale. Woo!

The great thing about winter is it’s the perfect weather for darker beers!

The craft beer scene is usually all about IPAs, pale ales, or anything robust, interesting, or hoppy. But sometimes something dark and malty is what’s needed. A good dark beer, whether it be a dark ale, a porter, or a stout, can go down extremely well in colder weather.

The following are some favourite darker beers from Australia. These are all on the maltier side of things, so we’re purposefully moving away from anything too experimental. Adding to that, this is far from the “best” Australian dark beers, they’re just the five go to’s that are brilliant!

In that way, these are winter beers. They were selected because they’re ideal for drinking inside on a quiet cold winter’s night. Yes, these beers can be social too and enjoyed in a warm bar or pub, but they work all the better as a solo wind down beer.

Presented in no particular order:

Holgate_Temptress_Chocolate_PorterHolgate Temptress (Chocolate Porter): A nice porter that feels good in a pint! A problem with some darker beers, particularly ports and stouts, is that they’re often too heavy, and, while you’d gladly drink more, it simply won’t fit. Holgate’s Temptress is a porter that, while nice and heavy, feels like one that you can have three pints of. It’s pretty simple and standard, but infused with chocolate and vanilla to give it another brilliant angle.

mornington-peninsula-brown.jpgMornington Peninsula Brown Ale: Mornington Peninsula does beers very traditionally and this is no exception. A good brown ale is nice and malty without being too heavy: it’s a good beer style in between both its lighter and darker cousins. Mornington Peninsula’s Brown Ale is well balanced and full of malt without having too much hops in it. Hops can be a good thing, but for a nice quiet winter beer to enjoy when it’s cold, stay malty! Read the full beer review here.

2 Brothers Growler2 Brothers Growler (Brown Ale): A lovely American brown ale by 2 Brothers. It’s a bit on the sweet side but very satisfying on a cold winter’s night. However, it’s an American brown ale so there is a bit of hops in there to keep things interesting. That’s the fun thing about this beer… it’s kept its maltiness despite having a bit of hops to keep it interesting. This thins things out a bit, but it helps keep the beer from getting too heavy and allows the drinker to have a few.

Bridge Road Brewers Bling BlingBridge Road Bling Bling (Double IPA): While is is a Double IPA, and therefore kind of a pale ale, being a double pushes it to the dark side. Also the amount of malt in this beer makes it a winter warmer. This is a nice satisfying beer to drink in the winter as it’s not an overtly hopped up Double IPA. It’s hoppy, yes, but the beer is so malt driven it sits well in the belly. While there may be better Double IPA’s out there, as a winter Double IPA, this one rocks. Read the full beer review here.

Red HIll Brewery MugRed Hill Double Barrel Imperial Stout: Big, heavy, slow drinking, and complicated, this is a winter beer! Unlike some of the other beers in here, this is a beer you have one pint of and then take a break for awhile. Red Hill Brewery makes pretty traditional beers, usually with fresh hops grown on premises, so this is a pretty traditional stout, with one twist: this beer was aged in whiskey barrels so it brings another great warming taste along with it. Unlike the other beers on this list though, this one is a little harder to find. Read about Red Hill Brewery’s Secret Stash Weekend here.

As mentioned, these are great beers but we’re not pretending they’re “the best.” Feel free to comment with any personal favourites, especially if they’re Australian.