For 19 years, the arrival of Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale has heralded shorter days and the end of the warm months. Winter Welcome’s rich honey-amber color; creamy, complex flavor and firm strength; the incomparable Samuel Smith signature of great balance and refinement . . . these are reasons to look forward to fires, warm sweaters, and the cozy days of fall and winter. In England, “winter warmers” — beers of deep richness and higher alcohol — have tempered winter’s chill for generations. Winter Welcome, the first imported winter ale sold in America, is the perfect beer to serve when friends get together to enjoy the season. It adds cheer served alone, but it is wonderful with roasted and smoked foods, hearty root vegetables, fresh pears and apples, even with cake and eggnog.
Look for Winter Welcome starting around the first of October. Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, in Tadcaster, Yorkshire, was established in 1758. The hard crystalline brewing water is still drawn from the original well sunk 250 years ago, and the yeast strain has remained unchanged for over 100 years. All Samuel Smith ales are still fermented in stone “Yorkshire Squares,” the traditional open-topped vessels made of locally-quarried slate.