Don’t let the end of summer get you down. When you’re throwing on a jacket before heading outside, remember all those sweltering days you spent inside blasting the A/C. When you think back to all those baseball games you sat through, realize how boring they were compared with the return of football season. And perhaps most important, all those light, citrusy summer beers are fading away, with hearty Oktoberfest lagers, harvest ales, and pumpkin beers taking their place. For beer lovers everywhere, it’s a welcome change of pace —drinks that will perfectly complement a cool autumn day. Here’s a list of fall beers that should be widely available throughout the country.
Hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI, Leinenkugel brings all of the state’s historic German immigrant feel to this malty, mild, and traditional Marzen-style brew. This is the sort of beer that gets better with friends, bratwurst, cheese, and another round.
If you’re a fan of seasonal beers, you’re probably already familiar with Sam Adams Octoberfest. This autumn stalwart is an easy go-to for beginners and aficionados alike, as it’s a smooth lager with very little bitterness, and it utilizes Munich malt and caramel flavor to get that classic Oktoberfest taste.
ABV: 5.7%IBUs: 16For lovers of the wheat beer producers at Blue Moon who also want a hint of pumpkin and other spices to celebrate the season, this should do the trick. The first pumpkin ale made available throughout the country, the Harvest Pumpkin Ale has notes of cinnamon and nutmeg to complement the prevailing pumpkin flavor. Far from bitter but with enough hops to keep it from being sweet, it’s not a bad choice if this is the only pumpkin beer available at your local store.5 Healthy Craft Beer Ingredients You Haven't Heard of >>>
4. Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Brooklyn’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale is another great example of pumpkin beer done right on a wide scale. The brewery throws hundreds of pounds of pumpkins into the mash of each batch, and the result is an unblemished pumpkin flavor, with minor notes of nutmeg and Belgian biscuit malt. It’ll go great with some of those big holiday meals with the family.
The purveyors of often-citrusy wheat beers at Shock Top give their take on a subtler version of a pumpkin brew. In the same vein as Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale, it’s a Belgian with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in the finish.
ABV: 5.3%IBUs: 32Made with Harpoon’s two Octoberfest events in mind (at its breweries in Boston and Windsor, VT), this is a delicious session beer at its finest. Luckily, Harpoon makes enough to have plenty left over for distribution outside the area. This Marzen-style brew has a rich flavor, partially from the chocolate and pale malts, and has a very slight bitterness.Two Drinks A Day Could Boost Heart Health >>>
7. Narragansett Fest Lager
For those who only know Narragansett as the company that produces that PBR-style lager, don’t go running in the other direction. This is a totally different beer, and it’s worth a shot. Sporting four varieties of malts and two styles of hops, it’s a great session beer you can knock back all afternoon at a fall festival (hopefully one that allows beer).
ABV: 5.6%IBUs: 25Despite working out of Oregon, Rogue’s popularity has spread all the way to the East Coast, although this particular beer is a limited edition, more so than others on this list. The brewers at Rogue concocted this specialty beer using their own pumpkins, barley, and hops, making a drink that harks back to Colonial brewers who had to gather all the ingredients themselves (including, sometimes, pumpkin) and has a pumpkin-pie flavor. 5 Summer Cocktails for 150 Calories Or Less >>>
9. Yuengling Oktoberfest
Everyone knows the classic Yuengling lager, but its lesser-known limited edition brews are worthy counterparts as well. The Oktoberfest is medium-bodied and features roasted malts, with notes of caramel in the flavor, and definitely avoids any hoppiness (whether you want that or not).
Yes, we know it’s not beer, but autumn is the perfect season to try some hard cider, and Angry Orchard is sort of like Hard Cider 101 in this country. This one gets a zesty kick from the ginger and otherwise has a crisp, sweet, tart taste. Always be ready for a bit of a sour finish; that’s its main difference in taste compared with regular cider.