We here at Men’s Fitness love pumpkin. We love healthy recipes that use the seasonal vegetable. We love the flavors and spices of fall. But our culture tends to go a little overboard on the pumpkin flavoring. And just because it (allegedly) has pumpkin in it, does not mean it's healthy (Yep, that pumpkin beer still has alcohol. And calories. And... you get it.) If you’re not keen on the taste of pumpkin or simply don’t want everything you drink to be pumpkin spice-ified, then this roundup of drinks is for you.
We scoured a range of alcoholic beverages—beers, ciders, liquors (in that order)—to find the best ones to refresh your palate and restock your fridge and liquor cabinet. That's right, we’re giving pumpkin a run for its money with flavors like maple, cinnamon, apple, honey, and more.
Toast to Halloween with Anheuser-Busch’s latest innovation. Oculto is a lager blended with beer that’s been aged on Mexican tequila barrel staves and infused with blue agave and lime to offer one-of-a-kind taste. It’s bold, strong, and smooth best served in a highball glass followed by a salt and lime ritual.
Shock Top’s seasonal brew is a hybrid between a Belgian wheat beer and sweet cider—plus some natural Honeycrisp flavor for added flavor. Ttry their limited edition Spiced Banana Wheat for another alternative to pumpkin.
Your favorite sweet treat reimagined in your favorite beverage, Wells Banana Bread Beer tastes of banoffee (an English pie made from bananas, cream, and toffee), is chased by a lemony nose, and balanced off with peppery hops that leave a smooth, dry finish.
Shipyard Applehead is crisp wheat ale with a definitive apple aroma and cinnamon undertone that’s refreshing and satisfying; best served in a pint glass rimmed with brown sugar and cinnamon (you know, for those cheat days).
Saranac’s so-called “festbier” is crafted from light and dark Munich malts, which offer a toasted, bready malt flavor. It’s a bit bitter and darker than typical American-style varieties, but it pairs amazingly well with sausage and pork.
English hops, cracked barley, and some good ‘ol fashioned hard work go into making this English-style bitter brew. Southern Tier Harvest is particularly good paired with venison, stew, and aged cheese.
'Built from apples, built to refresh' is Smith & Forge’s signature phrase. If you think cider is girly, they’ll change your mind. Theirs is perfectly balanced—not too sweet or bitter, and they come in cans to prolong freshness and get colder faster.
The driest cider in Angry Orchard’s collection, Stone Dry is a twist on traditional English ciders. Read: This is the perfect choice for those of us who find cider a little syrupy or too sweet. It’s clean and pucker-worthy.