The advent of fall means pumpkin spice everything—and beers are no exception. However, there are many new and upcoming seasonal brews that are perfect for autumn without being solely pumpkin-flavored. Take a look at a few examples below:
To start, an annual favorite is the Sam Adams Fall Variety Pack, so let’s see what they’re offering this year! While the Boston Lager and Oktoberfest are standbys, there are four new fall flavors: the Hoppy Red, an ale with spicy, piney notes from Australian hops; the Bonfire Blonde, with its smoky, bacon-like aroma; the Maple Ale, with hints of caramel and vanilla; and the delicious-sounding Toasted Caramel Bock.
Another new addition to the fall line-up that we’re particularly excited for is the Fort Collins, CO based New Belgium Brewery’s second collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. After already making a Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, this fall they will be rolling out the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale, a beer we know Ice Cream Man would approve of!
Boulder, CO’s Avery Brewing has managed to make a fall-centric beer without the taste of pumpkin, cranberry, or apple; instead, their Chai High beer is infused with the spices and flavors of chai tea, another fall favorite!
What says “fall” more than sweet potatoes? They aren’t just for Thanksgiving dinner anymore, thanks to a few enterprising breweries, including Milwaukee Brewing Co. out of WI, and Piney River Brewing Co. out of Bucyrus, MO. The first has their seasonal Sasquatch Pumpkin Porter, brewed with lots of yummy yams, and the latter has a Sweet Potato Ale featuring the flavors of roasted sweet potatoes, spices, and vanilla.
If you’re around Pine, AZ, you can try the new seasonal beer from THAT Brewery, the Gingerbread Man, marketed as “the best liquid cookie ever.” Or, for a more heavily-circulated gingerbread beer, look for Blue Moon’s Gingerbread Spiced Ale.
Of course, if you’re tired of traditional fall flavors, you can always go with something like Bend, OR brewery Deschutes’ Hopzeit Autumn IPA, an herbal and balanced blend of new and classic hops from Germany.
And because it's impossible to ignore completely, here's a pumpkin-filled offering—the Pumpkin Pack from the St. Louis based O’Fallon Brewery. It has four pumpkin-packed beers:
Vanilla Pumpkin: Cold-pressed Madagascar bourbon vanilla was added to O’Fallon’s traditional pumpkin amber ale to create a drinkable pumpkin pie a la mode.
Jack O’Latté: A pumpkin milk stout aged over coffee beans. Flaked oats, lactose and coffee malt accentuate its latté character.
Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin: An amber ale that is the perfect blend of apple and pumpkin pies.
Peach Pumpkin: A light and refreshing ale. The peach balances perfectly with traditional pumpkin spices to create this distinctive seasonal beer.
Bonus: Look out for a beer called Not Your Mom’s Apple Pie from Wauconda, IL’s Small Town Brewery, who launched their popularity to new heights with the release of Not Your Father’s Root Beer. It’s only a rumor as of now, but would make the perfect addition to this fall beers line-up!
With every sort of fall flavor, from chai spices to pumpkin pie to sweet potatoes, packed into brews from many different craft breweries, the upcoming beer season seems to be one to look forward to! Add to your beer and liquor knowledge with Niki Ganong’s The Field Guide to Drinking in America.