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The Best Beers Paired With Winter

Michael Donato, April 07, 2014 -   

We've got enough data now to really look at how beers do over time. Now that winter has given way to spring, we can take a look at what beers experienced the biggest boost in winter over the last fall. The top beers of each season are mostly the top beers of the leaderboard; you've got Heady Topper and Hopslam and all the usuals. So the best beers don't have much variance based on weather, but let's take a look at which beers experienced the biggest ratings boost in winter over fall, using all beers with at least 50 check-ins.

Brewery

Beer

Style

Difference

Pabst Brewing Company

Ballantine XXX Ale

American Pale Ale

0.873

Carlton & United Breweries (Fosters Group)

Resch's Draught

Pale Lager

0.639

Old Forge Brewing Company

Overbite IPA

Imperial / Double IPA

0.534

Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles

La Rulles Estivale

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

0.519

Monteith's Brewing Co. (DB Breweries)

Radler Bier

Radler

0.482

Pabst Brewing Company

Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

American Adjunct Lager

0.439

Würzburger Hofbräu

Premium Pilsner

German Pilsner

0.437

D.L. Geary Brewing Company

Geary's Hampshire Special Ale (HSA)

American Strong Ale

0.437

Night Shift Brewing

Rose

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

0.435

Brasserie Belle-Vue (ABInBev)

Gueuze

Gueuze

0.422

Ballantine XXX Ale takes the prize for being nearly a whole point better in the winter. This is quite the list of beers in many different styles from all over the world, and maybe that is a problem. Untappd's biggest user base is in the US, but hardly exclusive to it. When it's winter here it's actually summer in the southern hemisphere and there aren't really any seasons around the equator. Perhaps we should take a look at check-ins that happen north of the Tropic of Cancer.

Brewery

Beer

Style

BAR

Style+

Rating Bump

Bahamian Brewery

Sands

American Adjunct Lager

1.168

99.31

0.607

Anheuser-Busch

Busch Beer

American Adjunct Lager

0.157

92.93

0.585

Anheuser-Busch

Busch Light

American Light Lager

0.426

97.01

0.572

Anheuser-Busch

Michelob Golden Draft Light

American Light Lager

2.323

107.12

0.547

Pabst Brewing

Old Milwaukee

American Adjunct Lager

-1.231

86.20

0.537

Foothills Brewing

Sexual Chocolate

American Imperial / Double Stout

5.009

102.64

0.493

CKBR S.A.

Palma Louca

German Pilsner

-1.499

88.76

0.469

SanTan Brewing

Dirty Blonde - Twin Peaks

Hefeweizen

0.475

96.35

0.465

InBev UK

Brahma

Golden Lager

-1.950

86.48

0.46

Soproni Sörgyár

Soproni

American Adjunct Lager

0.230

93.55

0.421

Those are.. not good beers. Drinking these beers in the winter is a lot like putting lipstick on a pig, just because they experience a ratings bump doesn't mean they reach a drinkable state. Still, it's a curious bunch of mostly American Light Lagers. Why Busch and not Bud? How did Sexual Chocolate, the only dark beer and perhaps the only truly good beer in the top 10, sneak in there? Why is a beer i've never heard of, named Sands, at the top of the list?

A common theme when looking at the data seems to be that the best beers tend to dominate the leaderboards regardless of things like climate, time, or seasons. Perhaps the idea of a stout in the winter and a fruit beer in the summer is simply a fun idea to talk about. We have enough selection that we're rarely lacking in choice, and when we make a choice we trend towards beers that we know are always delicious. 

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