The nights are getting cool, the leaves are just about to start changing colors and liquor store shelves are full of Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers.
The nights are getting cool, the leaves are just about to start changing colors and liquor store shelves are full of Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers. Yes, the signs of autumn are everywhere.
Each year, the number of fall beers seem to grow. This isn't a bad thing, since Oktoberfest-style lager is my favorite type of seasonal beer.
Here's a guide to some of the best beers you can pick up this fall, including Oktoberfests, pumpkin beers and a couple of others.
Let's start with Oktoberfest beers. Originally brewed in Germany, this style has grown in popularity in the United States, with numerous breweries coming up with really good examples of the style.
If you want to go with German Oktoberfests, there are several easy-to-find ones that you should enjoy. One of the classics is the Spaten Oktoberfestbier. This is a top-notch exmaple of the style, and it is relatively cheap at around $10 or less for a six-pack.
My favorite Oktoberfest may be the Ayinger Oktober Fest Marzen. This is a near-perfect beer, available in 16.9-ounce bottles. Each and every sip is a treat.
Other German Oktoberfest-style beers worth trying include the Paulaner, Oktoberfest-Marzen, Hacker-Pschorr Oktobeerfest-Marzen and the Weihenstephaner Festbier.
And, if you want a really good Oktoberfest that is easy to find, Samuel Adams Octoberfest is always a decent choice.
Another poplular fall seasonal is pumpkin beer. I'm not as big of a fan of pumpkin beers as I am of Oktoberfests. However, there are some really good ones that I do enjoy.
One of those is the Cambridge Brewing Company's Great Pumpkin Ale. Light and refreshing, with the taste of real pumpkins, this is one that many will enjoy.
Another pumpkin beer I always seek out is Cape Ann's Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout. The combination of the pumpkin pie flavor with the roasty/chocolaty flavors of a stout is a delight. And, I have a really good pumpkin pie recipe that uses this beer. Email me if you'd like me to send it to you.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is another personal favorite. And Wachusett Brewing Company's Imperial Pumpkin Ale is one of the better pumpkin ales you can buy. They have also released a new pumpkin beer in a can, called Pumkan. I haven't had a chance to try this one yet.
Other pumpkin beers that you may enjoy include Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin and Fat Jack's Imperial Pumpkin, Smuttynose's Pumpkin Ale and Hoppin' Frog's Hog Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale.
Other fall seasonals to look out for include Sierra Nevada Tumbler (a top five brown ale for me), the all new Brewery Ommegang's Scythe & Sickle (a red ale brewed with barley, malt and rye), Mayflower Brewing Company's Autumn Wheat Ale and Notch BSA Harvest Ale.
Now it's time to grab a beer and enjoy the fall.
Norman Miller is a MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer. Email email@example.com or call 508-626-3823. Check out the Beer Nut blog at blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/realbeernut or on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/beernutnorman.