It’s that time of year again; foliage changing, temperatures soon to be dropping, cooler nights and crisper mornings. Yes, fall is approaching and we can feel it in the air. Soon enough, the harvest moon will be upon us, illuminating the night sky and signaling it’s time to prepare for the harsh winter season. Not before toasting the end of the summer first, however. And for that, there’s beer.
It’s with this tradition that we celebrate the closing of a sultry several months with some fall beers. Ranging from the traditional German Octoberfest to the Belgian Farmhouse Ale to the more modern and commercialized pumpkin ale, fall beers are purposed to enjoy with ease — facilitating moments of reflection during this transitory season before the cold settles in and the desire for fireside chats and fine whiskey take hold. Until then, allow us to enjoy some crafty takes on traditional styles while we sit back and leave the pumpkin-spiced lattes for the masses.
Southern Tier Harvest Ale
Harvesting comfort in a bottle, Southern Tier is hard to ignore during the fall season. And it’s all thanks to their seasonal Harvest Special Ale paying homage to this festive time of year. Style-wise, what we have here is a classic ESB brewed with English hops and cracked barley. The result is a nose full of caramel malts, a palate full of spicy pine and fresh hops, and an effervescent body to keep things relatively light.
Style: English Extra Special Bitter
Hardywood Park Farmhouse Pumpkin
Regardless of the season, farmhouse ales are always a pleasure to sip on. Add some little flame-roasted Virginia sugar pumpkins, brown sugar and ginger root into the mix, and what you have is simply a masterpiece of fall-themed proportions. Hardywood Park clearly has a winner here, compliments of additional notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove to pair everything well with earthy hop additions and classic Saison yeast. Can’t go wrong with this one.
Style: Wallonion Farmhouse Ale
Founders Backwoods Bastard
In case the Scotch decanter has run dry but the thirst remains, Backwoods Bastard offers something few other fall beers can — a unique full-bodied ale blending notes of both Scotch and bourbon into a beautifully finished product. Additional notes of sweet caramel, roasted malts, and dark fruit don’t hurt either.
Style: Bourbon-Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
Here’s one yearly release we always look forward to enjoying. Partnering with the world’s oldest brewery, Sierra Nevada offers up this delicious take on the classic Oktoberfest style lager. A drinking crowd pleaser without a doubt, even the most particular beer drinkers out there are bound to find the additions of Sterling bittering hops, Spalter and Record finishing hops, and two-row pale, Steffi, Pilsner and Munich malts quite enjoyable.
Style: German Oktoberfest
Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA
Can’t get enough IPA’s? Not a problem, thanks to Deschutes. This Marzenbier-inspired India Pale Ale is brewed with German hops to add complementary fruit and spice notes to the package. What results is an IPA like no other, featuring herbal, nutty, and fruity notes in addition to a modest 60 IBU. A fine take for those not partial to the pumpkin beer trend.
3 Floyds Munsterfest
No stranger to tributes and innovation, 3 Floyds is one of the most heavily sought-after breweries in the market. And it’s obvious why. Take this excellent Bavarian-style Oktoberfest for example. It’s brewed with German ingredients and actually follows the German Purity Law too because if you’re going to brew a particular style, you might as well brew it right. And believe us, 3 Floyds gets it right with Munsterfest.
Style: German Oktoberfest
The Bruery Saule
Looking for a big and meaty brew that’ll knock you into next week? The Bruery isn’t messing around here with Saule — French for “willow.” Clocking in with an ABV of 16.1%, this English-style old ale is fermented with their house yeast strain, aged in bourbon barrels, and blended via the solera method. What follows is an incredible depth with pronounced notes of toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla, and oak.
Style: English-style Old Ale
Jester King Autumnal Dichotomous
Located in the highlands of Texas, Jester King is one brewery we simply can’t ignore. And with this fall Saison, we’re even more enticed by this elusive brewery. At its core, this is a sessionable Saison thanks to a light effervescent body and low ABV. Also, nostalgic notes of long pepper, sage, and roasted squash complete the flavorful fall package. And for those purists out there, each batch of Autumnal Dichotomous is brewed with naturally occurring wild yeasts and is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% bottle-conditioned.
Style: Fall Saison
Ballast Point Dead Ringer
While the true colors of fall never really make themselves known in San Diego, that doesn’t stop one of the city’s largest breweries from embracing the season. Case in point, the Dead Ringer, a Marzen-style lager brewed with loads of toasted malt to provide notes of sweet caramel toffee flavors. Celebrating the festive fall season, one sip at a time.
Style: Märzen Lager
Funky Buddha Save Some Room For Later
Full-bodied and ready for dessert, Save Some Room For Later showcases what Funky Buddha does best — push the limits of what defines a beer. With this Imperial Brown Ale, the brewers thought it would be a good idea to model this batch off German chocolate cake. That’s right. So expect hefty notes of creamy chocolate, sweet coconut, caramel, and toasted malts with this one. Ideal for those predisposed sugar fiends out there.
Style: Imperial Brown Ale
The Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit
Ringing in the fall season in style, this spiced white ale is quite the enjoyable tableside brew for festive gatherings. Enjoy plentiful esters on the nose here alongside soft yeast notes. Witch’s Wit is also spiced with grapefruit zest, orange peel, and coriander for good measure. As for the finish, spicy notes linger on the palate as they should with this style while the light nature of the ale keeps you coming back for more.
Style: Spiced White Ale
What’s perhaps more enjoyable than a traditional harvest Saison ale? How about one that’s brewed with not only Saison yeast but a special house strain of Brettanomyces yeast to add a bit of tartness into the mix. Additionally, Interlude boasts a palate full of flavorful notes including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust while a portion of the batch is aged in red wine barrels which adds a unique tannic finish to the brew.
Style: Belgian-Style Ale
Modern Times Bedrock Brown Ale
Fusing their coffee and beer program, Bedrock is a Frankenstein mix of a nitro brown ale and coffee that’s roasted on site next to their brewhouse. A generous helping of coconut doesn’t hurt either. Needless to say, this is one festive and enjoyable brew that’s sure to facilitate a good time this season.
Style: Nitro Brown Ale
Great Divide Chai Yeti
A big beer with a purpose. That’s what you get with Great Divide’s Chai Yeti complete with spices of cinnamon, green cardamom, black pepper, ginger, and nutmeg. It’s these complementary notes that make this imperial stout unique and ideal for sipping under the harvest moon.
Style: Imperial Stout
Oskar Blues Death by Coconut
By themselves, Irish Porters are already delicious. Hand the recipe off to Oskar Blues and add some coconut into the mix, however, and what results is a delicious take on the style. Here, you’ll find prominent notes of cacao, coconut, and semi-sweet chocolate alongside dark caramel malts. A surefire hit without a doubt.
Style: Irish Porter
Storage: The Growler Werks uKeg Pressurized Growler
Unlike any growler we’ve come across in the past, the vacuum insulated stainless steel uKeg is like a miniature kegerator for craft beer. It features an adjustable regulating cap and gauge to keep things perfectly carbonated for up to two weeks, ounce measurements for precise pours, and a one-year warranty to boot. Available in 64 and 128oz options.
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