For most, fall means everything pumpkin: pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin decorations, pumpkin… Well, you get the idea. But for beer lovers, it means a plethora of new beers to start sipping on. While everyone else is going to Starbucks, beer lovers are gathering at their local liquor stores.
Before you make your next beer purchase, here are a few to try this season:
Abita Brewing: Pecan Ale
While we are all familiar with pumpkin ale, Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, LA, released their pecan ale, which is a big deal in the deep south where pecan trees are plentiful. The beer has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 5.2 percent and is described as having a nutty flavor from the roasted pecans. The head had very little flavor and the first taste of this copper colored beer was overly sweet and nutty with a medium mouth feel. However, soon after a sip is taken, it turns to a nutty, dry, and buttery taste. The scent of the beer was also buttery. In my opinion, while this is a quality beer, it’s boring, malty, and lacks the flavors Abita Brewing claims the beer has.
Samuel Adams: Harvest Hefe
This sweet and spicy wheat ale will give you a reason to look forward to fall each year. This creamy beverage has a medium mouth feel with a white head and a cloudy, light golden color. It has the scent of pumpkin spice and all things nice, and is worthy of ditching the pumpkin spice latte. If you’re going to miss grandma’s pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, you’ll forget about it once you try this beer (And not because you’ll be drunk, it only has an ABV of 5.4 percent!). Although it has a malty finish, the bitterness is worth it for the spicy taste. There are so many flavors in this beer it’s almost complex. If you are on the hunt for something new to try this fall, I’d highly recommend this beer.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Oktoberfest
You can’t try fall beers and not try a version of Oktoberfest. The beer has an ABV of 6.1 percent. Other than the creamy, white head and the color of amber, there’s not much about this beer that’s impressive. The beer is dry and seems to only have one flavor, although there are more ingredients. It has a faint hop flavor and the taste of a whole lot of yeast with a malty aftertaste. While this type of beer is typically dry, it’s almost too dry.
Southern Tier Brewing Company: Imperial Pumpking
This pumpkin ale is brewed with pureed pumpkin and smells like pumpkin bread with a hint of vanilla and malt. It has a heavy mouth feel and a sweet taste at the beginning. After taking a sip, the hops come through at the end. This malty beer is exciting because it’s different than most pumpkin ales. The alcohol content in this beverage is at 8.6 percent, which is higher than most beers. While exciting and different, this wouldn’t be my first choice on pumpkin ale because of it being more malty than I like.
Founders Brewing Company: 2017 Breakfast Stout
Would a list of fall beers be complete if a stout wasn’t on it? Probably not and this stout is just the right one to use in this review. Founders Brewing Co. just released its 2017 version of the ever-so-chocolaty double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout. If there is any way to describe this beer it would be extra sweet, extra chocolaty, and extra creamy (thanks to the oats) with a hint of coffee. This stout has a heavy mouth feel with chocolaty brown head and is blacker than black! It has an APV of 8.3 percent, but it lives up to its reputation for being one of the best stouts.
If any of these beers appeal to you, they are only available for a limited time. While I am not encouraging you to drink, I am encouraging you to head over to the liquor store before you miss out on these beers and have to settle for the pumpkin spice latte (Don’t do that to yourself).