More Fall Beers
AMERICAN CRAFT BREW
"Anvil E.S.B. Ale"
Extra Special Bitter - California / All-Year
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
Brewing Co. "The Kaiser"
Oktoberfest Lager - Colorado / Seasonal
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.
Brewery "Java Stout"
Coffee Stout - Michigan / Seasonal
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
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
could easily replace an espresso after a meal or
any time a coffee buzz is in order.
Head "Punkin' Ale"
Pumpkin Ale - Delaware / Seasonal
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.
Sail Brewing Co. "Amber"
American Amber Ale - Oregon / All-Year
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.
Weizenbock - Pennsylvania / Seasonal
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?
Scottish Ale - Scotland / All-Year
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.
"Abbey Brown Ale"
Strong Brown Ale - Belgium / All-Year
makes the world’s most imitated strong
ales, many in styles preserved over centuries
by monastic orders. Inspired by the dark, rich
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
is a revelation for those who think all beer is
pale, bitter fizz.
Top 10 Fall Beers
(Updated: 09/20/12 SG)