Food and Drink

A Guide to the Best Seasonal Beers

October 30, 2014
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©istockphoto/joshuaraineyphotography

©istockphoto/joshuaraineyphotography

What good is fall if it can’t be toasted with a delicious beer? While the days of dockside brews and cold ones after a long, hard day may have come to an end, the best has yet to come as far as meticulously crafted, unbelievably tasty suds are concerned. From virtually unknown microbrews to award-winning ales, here’s a guide to the best seasonal beers this autumn.

Oaktoberfest, Black Oak Brewing Co
The only lager brewed by Black Oak, Oaktoberfest is a seasonal treat that has enthusiasts marking their calendars to ensure that they stock up before supplies run out. Clean, crisp, and boasting an autumnal copper hue, this 5% brew is perfect for sipping after a hard day of raking leaves or just because you deserve an exceptional beer.

The Great Pumpkin AleElysian Brewing Company
Medium bodied and featuring a bold (but far from synthetic) sugar, pumpkin, and spice notes, this malty heavy hitter is flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice and is actually brewed with roasted pumpkin seeds. At 8.1%, this ale is meant to be savored and promises to become a seasonal obsession.

Autumn MapleThe Bruery
What do yams and maple syrup have in common? Besides both being sweet and delicious, they’re two of the ingredients in this spicy Belgian-style ale that will quickly become the highlight of your October. Bold flavors mean that this 10% beer holds it own, making it the perfect thing to savor on a chilly afternoon.

Punkin AleDogfish Head
Craft fans rejoice! Dogfish Head returns with its spectacular Punkin Ale, a full-bodied brown treat that’s brewed with brown sugar, spices, and pumpkin meat. In other words, this is the quintessential fall beer and promises to have even the most ardent summer fans hoping for cool fronts to move in. Named after Punkin Chunkin, this ale has a short season, which makes it all the more covetable.

Ruthless RyeSierra Nevada
Hearty rye combined with peppery spice create a beer that promises to help fortify you against the bone-chilling cold that’s on its way. Fruity and herbal hop notes (not a drop of pumpkin to be found) make for a rustic, yet refined IPA that will inevitably become part of your regular rotation.

Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch AleRogue Ales & Spirits
With notes of vanilla bean, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg, this seasonal treat is like sipping on the best pumpkin pie you’ve ever had. In fact, why not pair it with pumpkin pie? Rogue recommends serving it alongside pork and dessert and who are we to argue with the pros?

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