Temperatures are dropping, days are getting shorter and the style of beverages we are craving are changing with the seasons. At least they are for me. Come fall, I crave pumpkin spiced lattes in the morning and full-bodied or mouthy beers at night. To me, fall is about warming up with a rich porter like The Big Chew by Kansas brew house Dodge City Brewing, and also about pairing a nice tart sour beer like Ska Brewing’s Berliner Weisse, instead of a mimosa with Sunday brunch. Here are my eight great brew picks to sample this season.
1. Berliner Weisse by Ska Brewing Company
The Berliner Weisse by Ska Brewing Company out of Durango, Colorado is an awesome breakfast beer. Okay not on a daily basis obviously, but it’s a perfect replacement for a bloody mary at a hearty Sunday brunch. The Berliner is easy to drink and lower in ABV than other beers, which is also a plus for having one early in the day. It has a nice tart flavor that pairs great with Benedicts or waffles — in fact, the Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with woodruff syrup to temper its sour punch.
2. The Big Chew by Dodge City Brewing
When it comes time to warm up on a cool fall day then try by Dodge City Brewing out of Dodge City, Kansas. This Russian Imperial Stout is full-bodied and dark with a creamy and thick head. It clocks in at 9.1% ABV, which means it will warm you inside as well. I really liked the deep roasted malt, dark chocolate and fruit flavorings and the hoppy bitterness also takes away some of the malty sweetness that to me makes it easier to drink
3. Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Wingman Brewers
takes its P-51 Porter to another level with the Peanut Butter Cup Porter. Here, the brewers have added a solid dose of chocolate and peanut butter to create a perfect dessert beer that really tastes like swallowing peanut butter cups without needing to chew. Rich and sweet it also has hints of chili, coffee and cocoa nibs thanks to the use of these ingredients in the P-51 Porter base. Note this beer is a special edition and not on the Tacoma, Washington breweries all the time roster. But a close second that is also a top fall pick is the base for the Peanut Butter Cup Porter’s base beer the P-51 Porter, which is robust and full flavored with everything but the peanut butter.
4. Hala Kahiki Pineapple Lager by Rivertowne Brewery
The Hala Kahiki Pineapple Lager byout of Monroeville, PA is another fall favorite of mine this year. I like it for making beer cocktails during brunch — it makes a great shandy for instance mixed with lemonade thanks to its fruity ale flavor and smooth pineapple finish. It is a refreshing ale that is also low in alcohol at just 4.8%.
5. Cold Snap by Sam Adams
If you’re looking for an easy drinking evening beer then I’m liking the Cold Snap by Sam Adams. It’s tasty and affordable and clocks in at 5.3% ABV. It’s an unfiltered Belgian style white ale that has the smooth flavor of wheat with the essence of spices and fruits from orange peels to coriander. It’s hazy and refreshing by the Boston-based brewing behemoth.
6. Wreck Alley Imperial Stout by Karl Strauss Brewing Company
San Diego’s Wreck Alley Brewing Company created a stout I’m really loving this season. The Wreck Alley Imperial Stout is a strong 9% ABV and brewed in the Russian Imperial Stout style with Ethiopian coffee beans, cocoa nibs and dark malt. It has a big, roasted flavor that will warm you on even the coldest nights.
7. Hop Dang Diggity by Jekyll Brewing Company
Fall isn’t just about being cold. There are plenty of warm, summer style days and nights still and on these you want to celebrate with a cold, refreshing and super hoppy IPA. Or at least I do — also to hold onto the heat for just a little bit longer. Theby the Alpharetta, Georgia based Jekyll Brewing Company is a Southern IPA that’s big on flavor and drinkability.
8. Kettle Gose Sour, Wasserhund Brewing Company
Finally, rounding out my top eight fall beers is theby Wasserhund Brewing Company out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. At just 4.2% ABV it is much more about savoring flavor than getting a buzz and is the brewery’s first kettle soured beer. It is at once dry and spicy without the tang of much hops and has flavors of ground coriander and a bite that comes from the addition of salt to the brew.