You know by now that I am always excited when any Maine beer garners positive attention, so when this story about Shipyard Prelude (one Maine beer in particular that is quickly ascending my good list) came across the wire this morning, I had to pounce on it.

The Brew U Panel, a group of beer enthusiasts who write for, compared a list of six Winter Warmer-style craft beers — which they called “a hearty style that harkens back to pagan festivals and rituals that were held hundreds of years ago” — earlier this month and compiled their results. What were the six stellar examples?

Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing’s Festive Ale, Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, Prelude Special Ale by Portland’s own Shipyard Brewing,  Brooklyn Brewery’s Winter Ale and lastly, Samuel Adams Winter Lager. The big winner? Shipyard’s Prelude Special Ale, of course. A beer the Brew U crew called,

A genuine surprise. Shipyard is headquartered in Portland, Maine, and it doesn’t have the visibility of the other brewers in this tasting, but Prelude earned praise as soon as we started to sip it.

“Good balance of hops and malt.” “Medium bodied with complex layers of flavor.” “Smooth, crisp, layered depth.” “Smooth, with a creamy mouthfeel,” read the comments.

If you’re interested in seeing how the other choices faired against Prelude, you can read the rest of the article here.

What Winter Warmers make the top of your list?



  1. I have to agree with the Brew U folks, Prelude is my favorite. As soon as I see the first six packs in the store, I buy one. I’m really glad that Shipyard is extending the availability window of Prelude this year. The longer I can drink it, the better. In fact, I enjoy it so much that every summer I look forward to the Great Lost Bear’s “Christmas in July” night, when they bring a final keg of Prelude out of storage and serve it for one night. I haven’t missed that event in years.

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