Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Time Brews

Summer brews get a lot of hype.  Those thirst quenching, fruity wheat beers are easy and fun to drink while at picnics, parties and around the fire pit.  I love a good Bell's Oberon or Dogfish Head Festina Peche.  Christmas beers, with their spices, and winter warmers, with their high abv, get the attention of those looking to sip next to the chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Packed in between those two beer seasons, are Oktoberfest beers.

I like a good malty Oktoberfest Lager.  I did my best to brew an oktoberfest ale for my wedding, it wasn't the same, but it was good. For the pure German in you, you can drink some Spaten or Paulander- easier to find German Oktoberfest beers. For the domestic side, I enjoy Flying Dog Dogtoberfest and Sam Adam's Oktoberfest.

But what else do people drink in the Fall?  I have a couple ideas of what I like.

Bring on the IPAs. Many people think that they summer is too hot to drink the hop bombs. The high IBU beers get drowned out by the Christmas beers, so drink them while you can.  It isn't quite cold enough to need the high abv beers, but the 6-7% beer might cut through the fall chill.  A perfect beer to grab would be the Sierra Nevada Estate- the freshest of the fresh, all locally grown ingredients. Grab a jacket and head outside.

The darker beers also work well when it starts to get dark earlier.  The porters, stouts and brown ales all work well.  The beers with a little extra body can carry you through the tail gate.  Picking up some Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald would impress a newcomer to craft beer or the seasoned mustached CAMBRA member.

Fall has unique beers too.  Pumpkin beers are in season.  I am not the biggest fan of them, but there are enough people that cannot wait.  Dogfish Head Punkin, Southern Tier PumpKing, Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin and (if you need some warming) Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin are all great beers that give a fresh dose of pumpkin.  Goes great with corn field mazes.

Finally, find some of the unique seasonals.  First one that should come to mind is The Bruery's Autumn Maple.  This perfect for Thanksgiving beer is brewed with yams, maple syrup and other spices that would accompany a Turkey dinner. Check with the local brewpubs to see what unique ingredients they are throwing in their beers, and take home a growler.

Hopefully, you can embrace Fall beers.  They are versatile and easy to drink.  What are your favorites?


  1. Capital Autumnal Fire is back! WOOH! also pretty pumped to try their eternal flame