When we think of “nightcaps” or beverages for a relaxing night on a terrace or patio, we usually think about a high-end whiskey, a stiff cocktail or a bold glass of wine. But you don’t want to overlook the beer options out there that will also satisfy that late-night need for something a bit stronger to sip and savor at a slower pace.
Beers like New Holland Dragon’s Milk will go head-to-head with the best of the stronger-spirited evening offerings. This monster stout is aged in bourbon barrels and has more than its share of wonderful vanilla and oak notes from the barrel, along with plenty of chocolate, a kiss of roast and noticeable heat from the 11 percent alcohol content to allow for a long, relaxing drink. There’s also no need to fear if it takes you a bit longer to get through this brew, as all those wonderful flavors only become more prominent as the beer gradually warms in your hand. Feel free to linger and take your time with this one.
If you are relaxing with a friend after your meal, consider sharing a bottle of Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles. While Unibroue is a Canadian brewery, this brew is a classic, if unique, take on a strong, dark Belgian ale. This draught is the closest beer out there to a sweeter red wine with notes of alcohol and sweet, almost candy-like grapes. Instead of ordering the usual dessert wine or glass of port, break out
to the unexpected and sample this beer.
Finally, though you and your friends may love wheat beers, you may shy away from those dreaded “dark” beers. Forget about the color of the beer for a moment, and give Schneider Aventinus Wheat-Doppelbock a try. It’s an understatement to say this is not your standard wheat beer, with its 8 percent alcohol level and its gorgeous deep ruby-brown color.
This beer runs the gamut of flavors with notes of dark fruit, chocolate, bubblegum and the standard banana found in nearly all traditional German hefeweizens. Save room for dessert as this beer is the closest thing you can find to a banana split in a glass — incredibly smooth, easy drinking, and