Feels like there used to be more scientific harbingers of autumn, but these days, we all probably feel fall as soon as we hear something about pumpkin spice lattes.
Lest you flash the gasface, though: Truth is, fall flavors can be wonderful, and there are many, many products timed to coincide with leaves changing colors that are neither sickly sweet-nutmeggy or like pumpkins roasted over an open fire of lead-painted building debris. Like beer.
As ardent appreciators of fall beer, we figured it’d be a community service to turn to some of our neighborhood’s most expert-y beer experts — the folks at craft beer haven The Hop Stop — to get pointers about what we should be sipping right about now and in the months to come.
So here you go:
5 fall beer favorites from Matthew Miller of The Hop Stop
True to the exceptionally broad and all-encompassing style of saisons, The Wild Beer Co.’s Bliss is spicy and complex. The aroma is striking, with notes of festive spices and light citrus from apricots. The beer’s complexity develops as it warms, and mild notes of brettanomyces [that’s a kind of yeast] give this beer a dry and appropriately wild finish.
Despite their perpetual early release, pumpkin beers have become the star of the fall seasonal line-up. You may want to wait for it to cool down outside to enjoy one, and when you do, Ichabod is a good place to start. This well-balanced pumpkin ale accents “holiday spices” of nutmeg and cinnamon in both the aroma and taste, while the pumpkin flavor stands in the front without being too bold. Ichabod is best enjoyed as a dessert beer, or in temperatures appropriate for a light jacket.
Hefeweizen may not be the immediate association most have with fall beers, but Erdinger’s Oktoberfest is exactly that. Pouring a hazy straw color, this crisp wheat beer nails all of the traditional hefe flavors including banana and clove, but finishes with a subtle touch of roasted caramel. That slight ripple makes all of the difference, pleasantly pushing this hefe into the fall months.
Craving something dark, but not immensely overpowering? Kostrizer is the beer for you. Channeling all of the wonderful flavors of a porter or stout, this authentic German Schwarzbier delivers an intense but not overbearing roasty taste. Enjoy this beauty before or after dinner, as its light body is sure to have you asking for a second pint.
No fall beer list would be complete without the inclusion of a Marzen. Taking its namesake from the month in which it was traditionally brewed, this late-spring recipe developed over the summer months for consumption in the fall. Brooklyn’s offering stays true to style, pouring a brilliant copper color, and flaunting a beautifully well-rounded malty nose. Light notes of caramel and a crisp, clean finish seal this beer's place as must for the cool-weather months.
Wanna try some great fall beers at The Hop Stop? Head by 2909 Gallatin Pike, Suite B. They’re open Monday through Thursday and Sundays 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 to 1 a.m. Keep up with Hop Stop happenings at their Facebook page.