Something about the change of weather has a big impact on our taste buds. The pro brewers know this – seasonal beers are beginning to outpace IPAs as the most popular craft beer option. To brew your own fall seasonal beer, consider one (or more!) of these ten beer recipes for fall brewing.
Keep in mind some of these homebrew recipes take time – if you want them ready in time for a special occasion be sure to give yourself at least a month or two head start. Among the ten beers are some fall classics, some winter warmers, and of course, no such list would be complete without at least one IPA.
Classic Fall Beer Styles
- Oktoberfest –Oktoberfest is traditionally brewed in the spring, but frankly it’s a tasty beer any time of year. This amber lager is malty, smooth, and refreshing. If time is an issue, you can always brew it as an ale to have it ready faster.
- Amber Ale – Maybe it’s the color, but amber ale always strikes me as a good fall beer. This one features caramel malt flavors, medium hop bitterness, and 5% ABV.
- Brown Ale – Brown ales showcase darker malt flavors, and are often describes as nutty with notes of chocolate. They’re smooth, easy drinking, and work great with grilled meat!
- Pumpkin Ale – The quintessential beer recipe for fall, a good pumpkin ale tastes just like pumpkin pie! Be sure to brew it by mid-October to have it ready in time for Thanksgiving!
Fall Brewing for Winter Drinking
Fall’s a great time to get started on some of the higher gravity beers for the winter. Each of these tasty brews can be aged for several months or longer. Just for fun, save some for next winter to see how the flavor develops over time.
- Barleywine – Barleywine is like the port of the beer world, high alcohol with a complex range of rich caramel malt flavors. At about 10% ABV, this one’s a sipper!
- Russian Imperial Stout – Similar to barleywine with a higher alcohol content, Russian Imperial Stout features darker malts, giving the beer deep flavors of dark fruity, chocolate, and coffee. This kit comes in at around 8% ABV.
- Maple Scotch Ale – A good Scotch ale is rich, malty, and smooth. This one uses 1 lb. of maple syrup for an extra layer of deliciousness! What could be better in the fall.
- Bock – German bock is a malt-forward lager with a somewhat higher than average alcohol content. Traditional bock is typically 6-7.5% ABV whereas dopplebock may get as high as 12%. This beer recipe kit makes a brown lager at around 7% ABV.
- Winter Spiced Beer – Spiced beers offer a great opportunity to exercise some creativity, but sometimes it’s best to start with an established homebrew recipe to develop a sense of different spices and their flavor contribution. This recipe is an award winner, brewed with honey, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and orange peel.
IPAs Are Always in Season
One of the few IPAs made specifically for the winter also happens to be one of my favorites:
- Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Clone – Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial hops bring this beer a delightful American hop flavor. This one will go fast!
What are some of your favorite beer recipes for fall brewing?
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.