Autumn is quite possibly the best time to be a beer drinker in America. Gone are the light, effervescent brews of summertime. As the leaves start changing, temperatures start dropping, and beers start getting more body. Now, fuller, more complex varieties are available on shelves to celebrate the turning seasons. Instead of your lighter options, you’ll see amber ale, brown ale, märzen, and of course pumpkin beer varieties popping up in your local craft beer shops and breweries.
However, like all good things, these seasonal beers are wonders that fade with the colors. So enjoy them while you can, and make sure to stock up if you can’t bear to think that they will one day disappear again.
1. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales: Fuego del Otono
This week marks the return of 2 seasonal classics as well as 2 brand new beers! La Roja du Kriek and Madrugada Obscura are now available in bottles as well as on draft. Next week, Apocolocynposis and Smashed, Grabbed and Hop Dusted. Apocolocynposis is our second collaboration with @monkishbrewing and is a Saison aged on blackberry puree and lime peels, clocking in at 4.3% ABV. Smashed, Grabbed and Hop Dusted is a 6.5% ABV, oak aged sour IPA that we brewed with the dragonauts at @holymtnbrewing. It was aged in oak for seven months and was brewed using Citra, Crystal, Simcoe and Southern Cross Hops. All four beers will be available where ever fine Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales are sold. #staysour #beerrelease #smashed #fearofturningintoapumpkin #collabthenferment #cherries #stout #ipa #saison
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales has a name befitting fall, but explaining that every beer they brew does not involve pumpkin can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. This Michigan-based brewery is known for funky, complex brews and their fall favorite is no exception.
Fuego del Otono has a woody, barnyard-y taste that will elucidate as colorful a description as the imagination of the drinker allows.
2. Weyerbacher Brewing Co.: Imperial Pumpkin Ale
You knew that there was going to have to be at least one true pumpkin ale on the list so we chose one from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
With a strong rush of nutmeg, cinnamon, and, of course, baked jack-o’-lantern, this upfront taste is muted by a malty backbone that makes this brew quite a treat. The transition from late summer to fall never tasted better.
3. Sixpoint Brewery: 3beans Imperial Porter
Brooklyn, New York
While you might be familiar with 4Beans from Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, this year the team will be releasing 3beans, a barrel-aged porter. Aged with cocoa husks and coffee, this is a warm, thick beer that we’re excited to try.
Live in the area? Head over to the brewery on November 18 for a special event dedicated to tapping 3beans!
4. Sierra Nevada: Northwest Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA
Chico, California; Fletcher, North Carolina
From Sierra Nevada brewery comes a classic West Coast IPA with none of the bitterness. Think tangy grapefruit, pine, and maybe some wet fall leaves that’ll have you grabbing a six-pack for your next tailgate.
5. New Belgium Brewing: Long Table Farmhouse Ale
Fort Collins, Colorado
New Belgium Long Table Farmhouse Ale #NewBelgium #LongTableFarmhouseAle #FarmhouseAle #Saison #longtable #beer #beerporn #instabeer #beergram #beerisgood #betterwithbeer #beerlove #beergasm #beergeek #beerdiary #Cerveza #beercollection #craftbeer #beersofinstagram #beercult #beertography #untapp #beerglass #glassware #beerglassware #beerglasscollection #bullets2bandages
Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company has a brand-new release for the fall, and it’s the perfect bridge between summery suds and heavier fall brews. With tons of citrus and a sugary, malty aftertaste, this beer is a confident nod to the season.
6. Bell’s Brewery: Cherry Stout
Kalamazoo, Michigan; Comstock, Michigan
Missouri’s oldest craft brewery usually rolls out this seasonal beverage in October, and this year is no exception. It’s a deeply hued, deeply textured take on the English stout.
The stout’s infusion of Michigan Montmorency cherries underscores the chocolatey affair making this a perfect option for those who aren’t the biggest beer fans. In fact, they might never go for a pale ale again once trying this complex autumn release.
7. Anchor Brewing: Big Leaf Maple Autumn Red
San Francisco, California
We can thank America’s oldest craft brewery, Anchor out of San Francisco, for this seasonal favorite. The addition of real autumn maple syrup gives a caramel-y malt that leaves the red ale with a lush, candy-like taste.
Don’t worry, the fresh hops are strong, too, to keep this fall favorite crisp and drinkable.
8. Saranac Brewery: Dark-toberfest
Utica, New York
Omnipresent in the autumn are Oktoberfest beers as brewers pay respect to the German holiday. And it wouldn’t autumn in the U.S. without the rich, rusty Octoberfest beer.
However, F.X. Matt Brewing Company out of Utica, New York (which also happens to be one of America’s oldest breweries), changes things up with this darker Munich Malt. Layers of sweetness are interspersed with a bready fullness that makes this beer inescapably autumnal. There’s no need for a pumpkin spice beer with this beaut on your counter.
9. Blue Owl Brewing: Dapper Devil
Damn @blueowlbrewing this is a damn fine sour. Super balanced and full of raspberry Belgian style goodness. Gorgeous color. This one surprised me. 🙌🍻 #blueowlbrewing #blueowl #sourslut #atxcraftbeer #austincraftbeer #craftbeer #beeradvocate #ratebeer #craftbrew #drinkingcraft #craftloyal #craftnotcrap #beergeek #belgianstyleale
This seasonal winter beer by Blue Owl Brewing out of Austin is a dry, fruity and effervescent Belgian Strong ale with raspberry sweetness.
10. Zilker Brewing Co.: Coffee Milk Stout
We've whipped up a good one with our buddies at @spokesmancoffee and we'll be releasing it this week! Thursday 📍 Spokesman Coffee 6-8PM, Friday 📍Zilker Taproom 4-6PM (release includes customs ceramic cups -while supplies last). For more details head over to our FB page! #zilkerbeer #cms #coffeemilkstout #spokesman #collaborate #craftbeer
While Austin’s Zilker Brewing Company generally has a coffee milk stout on tap, the flavor of Flat Track Coffee beans the beer is brewed with changes with the seasons, though the rich coffee flavors are always present.
This season the beans are producing a soft, sweet, savory profile with hints of cherry that pair perfectly with the beers’ creamy texture and burnt sugar notes.
11. Lagunitas Brewing Co.: Lil Sumpin’ Extra
Petaluma, California; Azusa, California; Chicago, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina
Originally from Petaluma, California, Lagunitas has recently opened up a satellite brewery in Chicago and is featuring a fall favorite. Brewed with a wheat-y backbone the citrusy, slightly pine-y notes stand out dramatically for an ideal early fall seasonal pick.