let’s have a beer is a column meant to provide my craft brew drinking habit with a purpose. From growlers to canned IPAs to beers you’ve certainly never heard of, I will sacrifice my taste buds for the pleasure of passing on knowledge of something new.

Magic Hat Howl—Black-As-Night Lager

BREWERY WEBSITE: magichat.net
ALC./VOL: 4.6%
IBUs: 32
COLOR: shadow black
AROMA: strong hops mixed with the roasty richness of a stout
THOUGHTS: Winter is fast approaching here in the northeast. Which means stiff offshores as the mercury drops, as well as that winter loneliness typical of coastal towns in New Jersey. Staying warm and occupied can often be difficult when forced to stay indoors for days on end. Beer (and whiskey too) can help cure those winter blues well. And what better choice to kick off winter beer season than with a northeast specialty?

Vermont’s Magic Hat does lots of different brews incredibly well—they know damn well what they’re doing with beer. But their Howl—Black-As-Night Winter Lager has got to be one of the best I’ve come across in years from them. Dark beers help to warm the bones in the winter, but sometimes one heavy stout can knock you out for the evening. The lager yeast Magic Hat uses compliments the typical stout body well, creating a winter beer that you can have one (or four) of in one evening. The use of dark German malts blended with German hops creates a complimentary bite to the initial stout taste, creating a marriage that’s smooth down to the bones. I can guarantee I’ll be stocking up on Howl right before the first snowstorm we get this year…