Fall is a great time for beer. There are plenty of pumpkin flavored beers, Oktoberfest and college and pro football to celebrate. Check out one of these world class brews the next time you’re cruising your local beer store.
Buffalo Bill’s “Original Pumpkin Ale”
Buffalo Bill’s was the first brewery in modern times to brew with orange squash, which is starting to become the official vegetable of fall and with Halloween and Thanksgiving, the demand is just increasing over time. It has been said that their Original Pumpkin Ale is modeled after the pumpkin ale George Washington is believed to have brewed. This beer has a golden orange color and a spicy nose reminiscent of the first whiff of a freshly baked pumpkin pie; it is pumpkin pie in a bottle.
Gordon Biersch’s “Weizeneisbock”
Part of Gordon Biersch’s Braumeister Selekt limited release series is the German Weizeneisbock beer. Dan Gordon, the co-founder of Gordon Biersch, speculates that his brewery could possibly be the first in the world to brew this unique style of beer. Weizeneisbock is made primarily from malted wheat, and is transformed through a process of freezing the water molecules and then removing the frozen portion. This results in a concentration of alcohol and flavor, making the alcohol strength more noticeable at 10% and with a rich dark roasted malt flavor. Gordon notes the black licorice flavor is rounded out with a banana and clove flavoring that compliments the top fermenting Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast strain. Get this soon because production was limited to only 3,500 cases!
Harpoon’s Octoberfest is brewed with two festivals in mind; their own Octoberfests in Boston, MA and Windsor, VT. Harpoon “loves the style” of its Octoberfest beer and feels it’s a great beer for the fall season. The Harpoon Octoberfest is their malty tribute to fall, balanced by gentle hop bitterness. It is a Marzen-style beer, brewed with an abundance of munich, chocolate malt and pale malts. These malts provide a solid, full body and create the beer’s deep color. It is a rich, flavorful beer. Many people especially like this beer because it’s still hoppy, while being careful not to taste too much like pumpkin pie.
Clipper City Brewing Company’s “Heavy Seas Marzen”
In 1994, Hugh Sisson, turned his brewpub (Sisson’s) into the Clipper City Brewing Company. The brewery has scored big with their Marzen offering, capturing seven medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup from 2006-2012. Typical for a Marzen, it pours a copper orange color and is well balanced with just enough Noble hops to allow the Crystal, Vienna and Munich malts to dominate with flavors of caramel and toasted bread. This beer is not watery and has a lot of carbonation that gives it a satisfying feel.
New Belgium Brewing’s “Dunkel Weiss or Dunkelweizen”
Dunkelweizens is a darker and more robust version of their German hefeweizen cousin. New Belgium Brewing’s adaptation of the German wheat beer style bumps up the alcohol to a nice 9% ABV. Adding black pepper gives this beer its Belgian-like character. Earthy, toasty and chocolate notes are derived from dark malts, making this beer a big strong dark Weiss beer that is a worthy companion for the cooler fall temperatures. The Dunkelweizen has a deep amber brown appearance and a dense off-white head. Focusing on its environmental side, New Belgium Brewing has become the first brewery in the U.S. to purchase 100% of its electricity from wind-generated power.
While these are just some of the great fall beers, this is by no means a comphehensive list. Visit your local beer store and talk to them about their favorite beer for the fall. Everyone will have an opinion on this topic and don’t forget you can always make your own special fall beer by brewing beer at home.