Your pumpkin-free beer guide for seasonal beer drinking.
Autumn is finally here and it’s time to say goodbye to the crisp Pilsners, Pale Ales, and American Lagers that kept us cool all summer long. As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change, it’s time to consider which seasonal beers to add to your lineup. Darker in color, richer mouth feel, and higher ABVs; discover the top five beer styles that are sure to keep you as warm as your favorite sweater.
1. Triple IPA
Now, I know what you are going to say: “IPAs are for summer.” Well, as a fellow IPA lover, I think we can agree that this beer style is great any time of the year. Ranging from golden to amber in color, fruity to complex spice aromas, and hoppy bitterness— cold weather is no match for this big IPA style.
2. Belgian Winter Ale
A cozy Ale for chilly days, the Belgian Winter Ale is known for its unique color, full body, and ability to warm its drinker. Reminiscent of the holidays, Winter Ales typically feature aromatics including nutmeg, cloves, caramel, and evergreen trees. Also common are fruits such as black currants, oranges, stone fruit, and yes, pumpkin.
Get into the holiday spirit with Tannery Bend Beerworks Bancal Belgian Winter Ale. A ruby red Ale with subtle spice notes, sweet flavors of stone fruit, and aromas of freshly baked banana bread— your favorite seasonal holiday in a glass.
The Stout. Need I say more? Hands down a fall staple among craft beer drinkers, the Stout encompasses everything a cold weather beer should. Rich with heavy malt tones, expect to find complementary flavors of coffee, chocolate, marshmallow, and vanilla. Move aside light summer beers, Stouts are the new seasonal treat.
4. Red Ale
As red as the leaves outside, you can’t miss a good Red Ale. A beer style capable of adapting to a variety of palates, it typically features a smooth malt profile and varies in hoppy bitterness (IBU). A Red Ale is also commonly referred to as an Amber Ale or American Amber.
Taking this season by storm is Epidemic Ale’s Red Plague: an Irish-style Red Ale that boasts a complex flavor profile of rich malts, roasted barley, with a slightly dry finish. Drink this Ale with extreme caution, it’s infectious and may cause an extreme thirst for more.
In the world of beer, fall means Oktoberfest! It’s a famed festival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany; and it’s all about the beer. While the traditional style is a Bavarian Märzen, red in color with a full-bodied maltiness and a spicy dry finish, Oktoberfest has inspired craft breweries worldwide to brew their own version of ‘fest beer.
Can’t make it to Germany this year? Sonoma Springs Brewing will bring the party to you with their seasonal Divine Harvest Dunkelweissbier. A complex Wheat Ale that boasts toasted barley from Munich and layers of spice and fruit flavors complementary to the yeast. Prost!