Aaaah! Fall! Aaaah! Fall beers!
The crisp chill in the air. The leaves crunching underfoot. The smells of apple pie and pumpkin muffins wafting through the city streets. The warm air briefly released from the quick-closing door of the neighborhood brewery. It’s not apple pie and pumpkin muffins you smell. It’s beer, and these are the flavors of fall as defined by beer. And no, not all fall beer styles are pumpkin beers.
The Flavors of Fall Beers
So what exactly are those flavors of beer that crop up every autumn? And why are they so important to our psyche and ability to brave the long cold days ahead? In other words, why do we get so excited about new beer releases? It could be the fall beer flavors. Flavors such as maple, spices, pumpkin, bready goodness.
Those and the change of the season. We’ve been drinking IPAs, pale ales, pilsners, and the like for an entire season. And those work well in the heat of summer, lazying upon a beach or as a post-ride beverage.
But as the weather takes on the crisp chill and the leaves begin to change, so do our tastes for beer. Maybe, like the bears, we’re preparing for hibernation, too. Putting on our thick winter coat to survive the short days ahead. I can’t think of a much better way to spend a cool fall day than in a cozy room surrounded by good friends and a good dark, potent beer. Yes, even a pumpkin beer!
A Few of the Best Fall Beers
Just for you, we’ve compiled several fall beers that will serve us all well as the sun wanes, the nights get cool and long, and the flavors of fall take over.
Vermont comes to mind immediately when hearing maple, but it doesn’t have to be Vermont; maple flavors are everywhere. That, and of course, pancakes. We can drink beer for breakfast, right?
Maple Ale @ 8%
Lawson’s Finest Liquids
But maybe we spoke too soon about where maple should come from. This maple ale is straight out of Vermont (exactly where it should come from) and comes with a robust and rich flavor from its 100% Vermont Maple Syrup.
Stout @ 11%
Great Notion Brewing
Nothing is better than waking up to a hot cup of coffee and a stack of pancakes COVERED in maple syrup and that is exactly what this stout is. On a nice cold fall afternoon you can feel the comfort of a perfect breakfast all in a glass.
Beers with Fall Spices
The flavors of fall are not complete without the spices that come with it. Can’t you smell them? Cinnamon, baked apples, cloves, vanilla, nutmeg. Oh, I’m drooling. Who needs apple pie when you’ve got beers like these?
Imperial Brown Ale @ 9.5%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Kansas City, MO
On a chilly fall day there’s nothing that quite matches a warm cinnamon roll. This ale holds that warm, sweet spice to give you everything you need as the temperature starts to drop.
Pale Ale @ 6.1%
Garage Brewing Co.
Who needs dessert when you have a fruity, spicy pale ale? This beer will have you feeling like you just sat down for Thanksgiving dessert.
Many people seem to have a love/hate relationship with pumpkin, but fall flavors as defined by beer would not be fall flavors without pumpkin beer. Life just doesn’t work that way. Besides, the pumpkin beers chosen for you here are quite special. They might just pair very well with Grandma’s pumpkin pie.
Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter @ 7.8%
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
T.R.E.A.T. is a beer that has what you’d expect from a pumpkin beer with sweet spices and takes it to a new deeper, darker level with cacao nibs thrown into the mix. Everything sweet and hearty in one bold beer.
Beers Crafted with Fresh Hops (Wet Hops)
Fresh hop beers are exactly what the name entails. From harvest to beer, no pellets in between. The flavors from these are second to none. So while you might think your taste buds are done with IPAs for the season, think again. These beers are extremely limited, though, so here’s to you being in the right place at right time for these beautifully flavored fall beers.
Wet Hop IPA @ 7%
“From farm to fermentor in less than a day.” (Reformation) Filled with fruity notes of all sorts of berries, even if you are in the heat that defines fall in Georgia, this wet hop IPA will have you feeling like its nice and cool out.
Wet Hop IPA @ 7%
Surly uses science and IQF technology to freeze and pelletize wet hops. Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops are used to make the freshest beer possible. Drink it now.
Is it really fall without Oktoberfest beers? I think not! With a two-hundred-year party stemming from a wedding celebration, you simply gotta keep the party going. Even well past official Oktoberfest season! Click here to read a bit more about the history and to find a few more of your favorite Oktoberfest beers.
Oak-aged Lager @ 5.2%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Paso Robles, CA
A seasonal Firestone Walker classic, Oaktoberfest Oak Aged Lager is matured in oak barrels to deliver smooth, rich, and biscuity flavors. (Firestone Walker)
Marzen @ 6.5%
Great Lakes Brewing Co
Sometimes all you need is the classic. This beer is smooth and packed with all the classic malt flavors we all crave from an Oktoberfest brew.
Fall Flavors are Being Tapped Everywhere
With around 9,000 craft breweries in the U.S., there are many more beers out there that utilize these fall flavors, many of them small batch brews only available in the taproom. So when you hear of small batch releases at breweries near you, stop what you’re doing, grab your keys, and get your ass to the brewery.
Go! Now! Before they’re all gone, and you’re only stuck with…pumpkin beers!
Cheers to the beers with the fall flavors!