After you’ve considered style and ABV and IBUs and how it pairs with everything from baloney sandwiches to Ragù Bolognese, your go-to brew isn’t going to be the one you think you should like, but the one you’d pick if you were stranded on a desert island.
There’s no right or wrong here, of course, just a spectacular range of choices along the flavor spectrum, and one of our favorites is Spiced & Complex, a flavor profile especially popular around the holidays.
The “complexity” comes from the nature of the brewer’s yeast and the endless variety of spices and how and when their added. Spices often include coriander, orange peel, chamomile, cinnamon, and clove, to name only a few.
Since a Spiced & Complex beer is often classified this way because of spices added during the brewing process, the beer also overlaps other profiles. So a Spiced & Complex beer might also be refreshing or fruity or bitter. Color and maltiness will vary, too, from pale and cracker-like to dark and rich with notes of dark fruits or toffee. Spiced & Complex beers also tend to be more carbonated and have a higher ABV, but this is by no means a rule.
Looking for a place to start? These are some of our favorite Spiced & Complex brews: