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3 winter brews you need to try before spring

Nothing trickles down the throat and warms you from your ears to your toes better than a stout, winter brew. Winter beers come in many facets: bursting with rich thickness, lighter with a warm, airy tingle or dark and heavy with a powerful punch. These are just a few of the myriad of flavors brewmasters create to combat the cool of winter. Wondering where to try a new winter beer made locally? Check out these three winter seasonal beers brewed exclusively in Des Moines:

Red Wine Barrel-Aged Stout at Court Avenue Brewing Company

This punch-packing beer is for both lovers of red wine and fans of frothy stout drinks. Capped off with a red tinge that hangs around the top of the pour, this is not the drink for the light-of-taste. The brew-infused red wine flavor makes for a stout that comes off as both powerful yet irresistibly sweet. Despite its interesting and gripping flavor, drink under caution. At 8.9 percent ABV, this is the type of beer that could put you under the table after just a few glasses.

Find it: 309 Court Avenue

Hours: 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday


Weather Beacon Red at Confluence Brewing Company

If the Red Wine Barrel-Aged Stout is an undeniably strong-flavored winter beer, then Confluence's Weather Beacon Red is a tamer, mild alternative. Named after the 500-foot tower that stood in downtown Des Moines for decades on end, this beer is warm and kind to the lips. It heats you the way you want to warm up inside when drinking a winter brew, without an undesirable aftertaste. Instead, it settles like a sweeter beer — leaving you thirsty for drink after drink. The Weather Beacon Red checks in at a sneaky 8.3 percent ABV, making it strong enough to last through the winter, but desirable enough to drink well into the spring.

Find it: 1235 Thomas Beck Road

Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 4-10 p.m., Thursday 12-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12-11 p.m., Sunday 12-7 p.m.

Info: 515-285-9005,

Praha Dark Czech Lager at Exile Brewing Company

This European-influenced beer pours dark and thick, as the name suggests. Its appearance can fool you on taste — it drinks like a smoky lager, not a dark stout. Still fairly powerful in flavor, the beer goes down smooth. Best described as crisp, this beer offers drinkers the fullness of a dark beer with the texture of a lager. At 5.1 percent ABV, it balances both well — proving to be a beer you'll not want to miss out on as we enter the final weeks of winter. This lager could be your key to beating the cold on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Find it: 1514 Walnut Street

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday