Mull it Over

Winter Warmer with mulling spices and honey

Mull it Over is a dark amber colored winter warmer ale brewed with mulling spices and honey. This brew is a potpourri of fragrances, including fruit, seasonal spices, and sweet toffee. The initial flavors are a complex array of anise, clove and nutmeg, balanced by a significant amount of malt sweetness. A layered finish of bitterness, spice, and citrus peel warms with a sizable alcohol content.

  • ABV: 6.7%
  • IBU: 45
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Origin Story

Also known as Winter Ale, Christmas Ale, and the politically correct Holiday Ale, Winter Warmers are not so much a beer style, but a nod to historical brewing tradition. With documentation of these stronger darker beers brewed in the winter months dating as far back as 1656, what makes them truly unique was the methods in which they were served to help warm patrons during the coldest times of the year. Seeing as these beers were being brewed at a time that predated the use of hops in beer, ales could actually be heated and served with spices, bread, milk, sugar, ginger, and nutmeg (ale posset). Other ingredients such as roasted apples, eggs, and brandy were also used, all mixed in with hot ale. In British winter ales, the traditional serving method included a floating piece of spiced toast on the surface of the beer, a practice that survived until the start of the 19th century! The rise of hops in beer, lead to a decline of hot ale drinks, seeing as qualities imparted by hops were less desirable when further heat was applied to a finished beer. However, the desire for darker, stronger, and sweeter beers in the winter months still continued. Referred to as Burton Ale, named after England's brewery Burton on Trent who started producing these beers with consistent seasonal regularity, it wasn't until 1971 that another historic English brewery, Young's, decided to change the name of their Burton Ale to "Winter Warmer" reflecting it's seasonal nature and appeal. Today, largely in part due to the growth of the craft beer industry in the US, the tradition of brewing Winter Warmers has been revived. Brewed as seasonal beers that range in alcohol strength from 5%-8%, the focus is on darker malts and the use of spices alongside hops, as an homage to the old heated spiced ales. This year's Short's Winter Warmer, Mull it Over (technically our second Winter Warmer ever), employed the use of mulling spices and honey. Mulling spices are a spice mixture used in drink recipes such as hot apple cider, mulled wine, and wassail. The spice combination can vary, but it typically includes cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg; and sometimes star anise, peppercorns or cardamom. Mulling spices often include dried fruit as well, such as raisins, apples, and orange rind.



Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 255
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