What are you planning to drink on Halloween?
Let’s say you, like me, are not a big fan of pumpkin beers that are seemingly everywhere this time of year (and don’t even get me started on cinnamon and sugar rims on a beer) and you’ve had your share of octoberfests and marzens at this point.
Good news is there are plenty of other choices for you to consider this Halloween that still evoke that Fall feeling, but aren’t brewed with gourds.
Brown Ale – You’re not quite ready for the heavy porters and stouts of winter, but want something of a similar vein. Give a brown ale a chance. And if you really want to get crazy, try a brown ale that adds some dimension to the flavor. Nut brown ale and toasted brown ale are a couple that we see often.
Red Ale – Lighter than a brown ale and usually not containing quite as much roast character, it’s a good in-between choice as you move from the lighter beers of Summer to the heavier beers of Winter. Plus, red is a great Fall color.
Sour Beer or Wild Beer – If you’re looking for that Warhead/Sour Patch Kid character without all the sugar, reach for a sour beer. While some of these beers can be very complex due to their mixed fermentation and resulting wild yeast character, grab a Berliner Weisse if all you seek is pure puckering power.
Dunkelweizen – If you like hefeweizens in the Spring, a dunkel could be your thing for the Fall. It’s darker and a bit heavier than a hefe but has that familiar banana/clove character and brings in more malt flavors. Some even have a pleasant chocolate note. They’re a little harder to find than some of the other beer types, but if you see one, try it out.
Rauchbier or Smoked Beer – The smoke flavor really comes through and is reminiscent of that late Autumn smell of logs burning in the fireplace. Not everyone is crazy about the flavor, but it’s worth giving a try to see if you like it. Try pairing them with buttery dishes for a nice change of pace.
Red or Black IPA – You love the hops of an IPA, but want something just a bit heavier. Try a Red IPA or Black IPA. It still gives you the hops, but brings a different element to the traditional IPA. The darker colors also mesh well with the colors and vibe of Halloween.
Unfortunately, Silk, our 4th Anniversary Red IPA, won’t be available for you to take to your Halloween party (it’s currently only available on draft at a few locations) but the bottle release is next week! So you’ll be able to stock up and have it in time for Thanksgiving.
Tags: beer education, Fall beers, pumpkin beer alternatives