The Women on Tap Guide to wonderful winter warmer beers

By Rachel Auty

If you love your pubs, you’ll already appreciate how there’s simply nothing better in winter then relaxing in your favourite local with a great beer – with bonus pints for a real fire! What may be up for debate, however, is what the best beer is for these dark, cold evenings.

Here are my favourite styles, with some local recommendations to watch out for too…

Stout or Porter

Darker beers can be very comforting and a popular choice in winter. Do you know the difference between a stout and a porter? Generally, the main difference is usually the kind of malt used for each. Stouts are primarily made from unmalted roasted barley, which is where that underlying coffee flavour comes from. Porter uses malted barley. Other than that, it can get a bit woolly, and who cares! Try a few of both and enjoy. 

Watch out for a couple of my favourites on the bar – Plum Porter by Harrogate Brewing Company, and Lucid Dream, a cookie cream stout by Turning Point (Knaresborough). They are both fantastic examples!


I love a well-kept pint of cask IPA in the cooler months. The golden colour and bold hoppy flavours always make me feel warm and cosy, no matter what the weather outside decides to do.

A couple of my favourites from local breweries are Baby Faced Assassin by Roosters Brewing Co (Hornbeam Park) and Sunshine by Brass Castle (Malton).