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More Fall Beers


Alesmith "Anvil E.S.B. Ale"

Extra Special Bitter - California / All-Year
$4/22 oz.

“Anvil” is a new name for the original flagship beer at Alesmith, one of the brightest lights among California micros. Though it’s available year round, Anvil’s bronze glow and lacy cap fit the part for fall perfectly. Fruit aromas, like candied orange peel and juicy nectarine, compete with woodsy hops on the nose. Despite the sweet smells, the beer finishes crisp and dry, like a biscuit fresh from the oven. A quintessential “session beer,” its creamy texture belies a modest alcohol content. Who’d have guessed such an ideal beer for crisp fall weather would hail from sunny San Diego?

Alesmith Anvil E.S.B. Ale

Avery Brewing Co. The Kaiser

Avery Brewing Co. "The Kaiser"

Imperial Oktoberfest Lager - Colorado / Seasonal
$7/22 oz.
9.3% ABV

A bolder approach to Oktoberfest is taken in Boulder at Avery Brewing Co., where “The Kaiser” amps up the style in every possible way. Traditionally reserved for ales, the term “Imperial” implies extra malt, hops and alcohol, but this massive lager defies all tradition. “The Kaiser” is a mouth-filling slow sipper that packs a serious punch; like a heavyweight Barleywine spin on the amber lager recipe. A thick, sticky white head graces its deep yellow topaz color as it pours, releasing aromas of marmalade, amaretto and butterscotch. Malty sweetness and high alcohol yield viscosity on the palate, kept in check with a crackle of German hops. While not as explosive in flavor as an ale of this strength, this turbo-lager is a revelation that combines power, complexity and balance.

Bell's Brewery "Java Stout"

Coffee Stout - Michigan / Seasonal

$2/12 oz.
7.5% ABV

Roasted barley gives a distinctive coffee taste to black beers, so the stout specialists at Bell’s in Kalamazoo have taken the next logical step, adding Sumatran coffee beans into the mix. Their “Java Stout” is released mid-fall, as the weather turns cold. Inky black with mahogany highlights, this stout almost smells more like a morning cup of dark roast than beer. Upon tasting, bittersweet chocolate and dried cherry flavors add depth to the coffee-fest. Strong enough to serve as a pick-me-up, the “Java Stout” could easily replace an espresso after a meal or any time a coffee buzz is in order.

Bell's Brewery Java Stout

Dogfish Head "Punkin' Ale"

Pumpkin Ale - Delaware / Seasonal
$2/12 oz.
7.0% ABV

Spiced pumpkin is a fall favorite that is naturally well-suited to the toasty, malty flavors of beer. Many brewers make seasonal pumpkin beers, but few can compete with the depth and complexity of “Punkin’ Ale.” Pumpkin-esque in both color and aroma, this beer has aromas of nutmeg and allspice, along with a sweet scent like rum raisin ice cream. When tasting, it feels strong, rich and lush in the mouth, as with most Dogfish Head brews. Custardy flavors of pumpkin pie and brown sugar linger. “Punkin’ Ale” is named for Delaware’s wacky annual “Punkin’ Chunkin’ World Championship” where homemade machines compete to fling pumpkins as far as possible.

Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale

Full Sail Brewing Co. Amber

Full Sail Brewing Co. "Amber"

American Amber Ale - Oregon / All-Year
$1.50/12 oz.
5.5% ABV

The Amber ale from Full Sail in Oregon is a true original, a benchmark in a hotbed of micro-brewing. Dark russet in color, this beer seems tailor-made for sweater weather. True to the hyper-hoppy style of the Pacific Northwest, citrusy Cascade and Mt. Hood hops add distinctive resinous pungency to a toasty, hazelnut nose. Carefully layered malt flavors range the full spectrum from pale to dark, like a perfectly balanced chocolate chip cookie. This beer delivers tremendous flavor and finesse in a medium-bodied brew suitable for everyday drinking.

Victory "Moonglow Weizenbock"

Weizenbock - Pennsylvania / Seasonal
$10/12 oz.

8.7% ABV

This seasonal fall brew from Victory in Pennsylvania pays homage to the legendary German Weizenbocks, a dark, strong style of wheat beer from Bavaria. “Moonglow” has a deep burgundy color and the opalescent haze of an unfiltered wheat beer. A riot of dessert-like aromas rise from the creamy froth, suggesting bananas foster, spice cake and crème brûlée. Richly sweet yet balanced on first sip, intense flavors of caramel malt and tropical fruit compote swirl and merge with spicy notes of clove and sarsaparilla. Who needs dessert when a decadent wheat beer like this will do?

Victory Moonglow Weizenbock


Belhaven Scottish Ale

Belhaven "Scottish Ale"

Scottish Ale - Scotland / All-Year
$2.50/12 oz.
5.2% ABV

Distinguished by an unusually long boil in the brewing kettle, Scottish Ales develop a smoky, caramelized flavor and a distinctive reddish hue that suit the fall season to a tee. Belhaven is a tasty example, combining depth and drinkability in fine European fashion. The beer pours out in garnet glory with a fluffy head of foam. Aromas from the glass are understated, evoking toasted pecans, and the beer feels silky smooth in the mouth. Belhaven’s flavors unfold gracefully, like toffee and buttered whole-grain griddlecakes with a faint whiff of wood smoke reminiscent of Highland Malt Whisky. This under-appreciated brew may also be found in nitro-cans that boost its texture and add a Guinness-like cascade on pouring.

Corsendonk "Abbey Brown Ale"

Strong Brown Ale - Belgium / All-Year
$4/12 oz.
7.5% ABV

Belgium makes the world’s most imitated strong ales, many in styles preserved over centuries by monastic orders. Inspired by the dark, rich Trappist “Dubbel” style, Corsendonk’s “Abbey Brown Ale” is a luscious treat ideal for crisp autumn nights. Dark chestnut in color, this ale smells like a chocolate egg cream. Softly sweet on the palate, the resemblance to chocolate soda continues, joined by flavors of molasses, rum-soaked raisins and malted milk. Almost wine-like in strength and complexity, Corsendonk’s brown ale, also known as “Pater Noster,” is a revelation for those who think all beer is pale, bitter fizz.

Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale

Top 10 Fall Beers

(Updated: 09/20/12 SG)

Usher in autumn with GAYOT's list of the Top 10 Fall Beers.

Sip straight or mix up a margarita with GAYOT's picks of the best tequilas under $100.