Benjamin Davenport is the tap room manager over at Ancient City Brewing Co. in St. Augustine — as if you couldn’t tell that by his manly brewer’s beard (a requirement for working at a craft brewery). This guy knows a thing or two about beer, so we asked him to help us figure out what styles of beer are best for the cold weather this winter, as well as which ones you should drink when spring comes along.

When the weather gets chilly (well … for us Floridians), it’s time to search for some malty winter ales. These beers are distinctively brewed stronger (more alcohol), richer (more malt) and more full-bodied (thick). While we may have atypical winters here in Northeast Florida, we can certainly still drink like it’s cold outside — just without all the snow.

Read our brief Q&A with him below and be sure to always drink local.

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So Florida winters aren’t exactly normal, what seasonal beer styles for this time of year do you think work well for our locale?

Obviously stouts and porters, but I also found myself drinking our golden ale recently because it was 80 degrees outside. Our Matanzas River Red ale is a really good beer for the cooler days and our in-between days.

What are some of your favorite winter styles personally?

Hands down a nitro stout, I like the creamy malty flavor and it feels more warming while I’m drinking it.

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What sort of winter brews is ACB coming up with? Anything new, or do you guys already have some styles people can enjoy during the cooler months?

Well luckily for me, we just came out with our first stout — and its is a nitro milk stout, so we are all really enjoying this new brew in the taproom these days. This stout’s name is Houston’s Nitro Milk Stout, after our brewmasters beloved border collie/lab that passed away the week we released it. We also have two other great porters to enjoy during the winter, our Castillo Coconut Porter and an Imperial Vanilla Porter.

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As we shift towards the warming spring season, what beers should people look out for?

We will be doing some fruit-infused ales with organic seasonal fruit. The styles we currently have that are great during the spring is our Ponce’s Pale ale that has refreshing hints of grapefruit from the equinox hops.

Personal spring favorites?

My favorites are saison’s and wheat IPAs in the spring, they just really feel like great pairs.

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Is ACB doing anything special for spring? What existing styles work for spring?

This spring, Ancient City Brewing will celebrate our two-year anniversary on May 15, we will have a big party with food, live music, and, of course, new Ancient City brews.

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