I like Deschuttes Jubelale on tap, but it's not quite the same in the bottle. For bottled winter microbrews this year I'd go with Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. In the past I liked Pyramid Snow Cap but it seems different this year, either my taste buds have changed or the beer has changed, but I don't care for it as much as I remember.
In the spring look out for Bigfoot. It's a barley wine style ale also made by Sierra Nevada. Caution: Do not attempt to drink an entire six pack by yourself.
While I second the Ommegang Abbey Ale, it is not my favorite from Ommegang. I really like their Three Philosophers. However, do not buy the Three Philosophers in the 12oz bottles. Get the 750ml bottle. There is a HUGE difference.
Sierra Nevada has an Estate Brewers Harvest Ale which is worth drinking.
Dogfish Head makes great IPAs (I do not like most of their beers). I have become very fond of the 90 minute IPA.
There are too many good American brews to simply say "stick with German". Quite narrow minded. If you don't like 90 minute, thats fair enough. The fact that you say it tastes like pond water makes me doubt your taste and question your bias towards non-German brew. You sound like a pal of mine who only drank bud, visited Germany, then returned stating only Germany makes good beer. I'll stick with the beer renaissance currently going on in the states, you can keep your smug. OP, Sierra Nevada Celebration is a great winter beer.
One beer I love but you have to be careful with is XXXX IPA by Shipyard.
My all time favroite beer isn't around anymore. It was Double Black Stout by Redhook. I miss that beer. I normally don't like flavored beers but they brewed it with Starbucks extract and it really worked.
Heady Topper by the Alchemist is simply the best I've ever had. Tough to get, but if you're anywhere near Vermont, check it out. Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont is also top notch. Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger by Russian River Brewing are incredible. Screw the Germans, the States are fast becoming the place to get the best beer. Always loved Guiness, but it is truly overrated when matched up against the stouts you can get from Russian River, Great Divide, Left Hand, Stone, etc. Check out BeerAdvocate.com. You can get the run down on any brew and how it is rated, can even get the highest rankings per region and find out which stores in your area sell it.