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Navigate the season with Cape Ann Brewing Co.’s Winter Reserve. By, Lindsay Lambert

Winter is upon us, which means a fire in the fireplace, snow on the lawn, and, with a little luck, the occasional day off from work or school. More importantly, it also means a whole new crop of substantial winter brews to choose from at local markets, bars, breweries, and pubs.

Cape Ann Brewing Co. in Gloucester, for one, is once again slinging its own seasonal beer, Navigator, a German-style Doppel-bock that’s available bottled or on draught. Jeremy Goldberg, the brewery’s founder, owner, and head brewer, who is a Wall Street transplant and self-proclaimed “beer nerd,” describes his Winter Reserve as “malty, with bread notes and a sweet flavor.” That hint of something sweet, Goldberg says, helps balance the beer’s slightly higher alcohol content (its ABV is seven percent). Finally, he says, “It’s not very hoppy, and it has a nice caramel note to it.”

Enjoyed just fine on its own, Navigator also pairs well with particular fare. Aim for something hearty, says Goldberg, like steak, lamb, or game. “It’s perfect with strongly flavored cheeses, or foods you’d pair with a Cabernet Sauvignon.” A perfect antidote to the winter chill, like a good red, Navigator, says Goldberg, “is good for the season and warms the cockles.”

At the time of our October visit, Cape Ann Brewing Co. lacked a kitchen to churn out such rich winter foods, but the company was just weeks away from a move from its modest Commercial Street space into the former Doyon’s building on Rogers Street. This new, larger location would mean an expanded capacity and space for food-prep facilities, plus direct water views and outside seating on a harborfront deck, putting the brewery in prime position to become one of Gloucester’s most sought-after summer spots.

In the mean time, however, Cape Ann Brewing Co.’s Navigator is the perfect guide to help get you through the winter months. 27 Commercial Street, Gloucester, 978-281-4782,