While you can find awesome beer any time of the year, there’s a whole smattering of fall brews that are a bit more robust than the summer ales but still lighter than what you’ll see during the depths of winter. Fall is the perfect season to find the highly-coveted pumpkin beers that we wish were available all year round. If you aim to try every one of the best fall beers available, you’ll have to check out these eight options that are perfectly fit for the season.
1. Evil Genius Beer Company — Trick or Treat
Many of us love pumpkin beers, and another good amount of us love our chocolate porters — when you find a beer that mixes the two to perfection, you can’t help but fall in love. Evil Genius created a chocolate pumpkin porter that’s full of spices and pumpkin flavor while still maintaining the chocolaty goodness of a porter.
The porter is where it all starts, and it’s made with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, then chocolate is added post-fermentation. It’s spicy, it’s rich, and it’ll make you feel very warm inside once you’ve had a pint or two. This is like the more adult version of Halloween candy.
2. Elysian Brewing Company — The Great Pumpkin
It’s tough to pick the best fall beers when there are so many excellent pumpkin varieties to choose from, but when it comes to authentic, rich pumpkin flavor, Elysian Brewing Company knows what they’re doing. Known throughout Seattle as being the best of the best, Elysian loves their pumpkin beer so much that they throw the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival every year.
As for The Great Pumpkin, this imperial ale is medium-bodied and is noted for its deep, slightly sweet pumpkin flavor. There’s a malt background to the beer that adds to the autumn spices, too. To get that true pumpkin flavor, they add pumpkin seeds and extra pumpkin to the mash, and it’s perfectly complimented by cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
3. Victory Brewing Company — Sour Monkey
If you haven’t started tasting sour beers yet, then you’ll definitely want to give this one a try. Victory Brewing Company releases Sour Monkey around the fall months to give you a break from so many Oktoberfest beers that dominate this time of year. You’ll only want to have one of these, though — its alcohol content is 9.5%. As for the flavor, you’ll get hints of tart citrus fruits, but there’s also a subtle sweetness there that makes the beer palatable. You’ll find it to be the perfect sour beer for the season.
4. Ballast Point Brewing Company — Dead Ringer Oktoberfest
Here’s the traditional Oktoberfest that you want, but this one’s a standout. Ballast Point knows how to make their beers pop with flavor — you may know them for their grapefruit or mango IPAs that are popular during the summer months. As for Dead Ringer, it was influenced by a Marzen-style brew, which was the common beer at Munich’s Oktoberfest. Dead Ringer is a lager that takes on a toasted malt flavor and hoppy bitterness. To counteract the hops, sweet caramel toffee flavors are added for a perfect balance.
5. Belching Beaver Brewery — Peanut Butter Milk Stout
Belching Beaver Brewery is known for having some truly excellent brews — they’ve won gold and silver medals at the World Beer Championships. Once you try their peanut butter milk stout, you’ll see why. Described on their website as “dark chocolate Reese’s in a glass,” this peanut butter milk stout is everything you want out of a rich fall beer. To add to the creamy body, they add rolled oats and lactose. For those who don’t love the taste of pumpkin, this is a must try beer for fall.
6. Allagash Brewing Company — Ghoulschip
With a name like Ghoulschip, you know Allagash has to be brewing something great for fall. This is a pumpkin beer that’s bursting with flavor, and it has some delicious sour notes. The brewers incorporate molasses and raw pumpkin seeds into the brew, too. When you take your first sip of Ghoulschip, you’ll notice a caramelized malt flavor that balances perfectly with the pumpkin. Then, you’ll get that dry, tart, and sour flavor. At 8.3% alcohol, you’ll want to keep an eye on how many of these you have.
7. Firestone Walker Brewing Company — Oaktoberfest
This beer takes the traditional Marzen beer from Bavaria, Germany, to a whole new level. Firestone Walker is a great go-to company for IPAs and double IPAs, and when it comes to developing an Oktoberfest beer that’s different from the rest, they know exactly how to do it right. Oaktoberfest was also inspired by their hometown of Paso Robles, also known as Pass of the Oaks.
As for the flavor, it starts with an imported Pilsner, and the Vienna malts are there for sweetness and honey aromas. It stays true to the flavors of a traditional Marzen with the addition of hops as well. Get this one while you can, as it disappears once winter hits.
8. The Bruery — Autumn Maple
The Bruery has created a beer that’s pumpkin-esque without using any pumpkin at all in this seasonal brew. Instead, this beer is brewed using 15 pounds of yams for that signature sweetness and fall flavor. When you taste this beer, you’ll get subtle notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla, which all come together to create a warm, slightly spicy combination. Who needs sweet potato pie?