Fall means cooler temps and the changing of the leaves. It also means a change in seasonal beers. See what our beer-ficianados would put in their fall craft brew six pack.
Tamre Mullins, Certified Ciccerone Beer Server
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
Smuttynose is a fairly new arrival to the Midwest and they have one of the best pumpkin beers available. You can really taste the pumpkin pie spice but it still tastes like a beer and has a bit of a bite on the finish. I definitely enjoy drinking this on a rainy afternoon at my favorite craft beer bar.
Sun King Wee Mac Scottish Ale
Okay, you could drink this anytime of year but it is perfect for fall. This beer isn't too sweet or too dry and it's easy to drink when the temperature starts to drop. The caramel and toffee notes of this beer pairs well with burgers at a tailgate or a rich and creamy bread pudding.
Sam Adams Octoberfest
I probably started drinking this one a little early, around Labor Day, but I couldn't help it! This smooth Marzen-style brew only comes out once a year. You'll taste some roasted malt flavors and a hint of spices but it's an easy drinker. This year, it's even available in cans! I'll be hauling some with me to a tailgate for sure.
Kathleen Slauzis, Craft beer lover and blogger at IndianaBeer
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
Breckenridge is one of the first breweries that I had the pleasure of tasting when I first started getting into craft beer. Their vanilla porter is well-balanced, not overly sweet and the vanilla flavor is still impactful. The flavors pair well in this malted porter. This beer is available year around, but I personally enjoy it when the leaves are changing and the temperature has gotten cooler.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
People in Kentucky know how to make bourbon and it shows in this ale that has been aged in bourbon barrels from some of the finest Kentucky distilleries. Aged for six weeks gives the ale its deep, rich oaky flavors. When I drink it, I instantly get warm and fuzzy. It is a nice sipping beer to enjoy on a fall night.
Rob Hawks, Beer aficionado and blogger at KungFood.com
Widmer Brothers Reserve Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout
If there's anything I like better than comic book shopping, it's beer shopping. A few years ago, I took a chance on what looked to be a divey liquor store nestled firmly in a neighborhood that could go either way.
Happily, after that initial encounter, this store has been my go-to for craft beers from surrounding states. In fact, I stopped there on my way home from the dentist this afternoon and found my new favorite stout, Widmer Brothers Reserve Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout '13.
This brew is a limited edition, and like its impressive name, this concoction is long on yummy. It is a thick and meaty full-flavored stout that is worth a chunk of your paycheck (or direct deposit).
The malt, coffee and chocolate flavors are in equal harmony with the roasted barley finish. It's almost a meal in itself. Keep in mind it isn't cheap, but once you taste it you'll be glad you made the investment. Plus, there's a nifty wax seal over the pop-top which adds a hint of civility.
This beer would go well with Sunday brunch or after a walk on a crisp fall day. Widmer Brothers really knocks it out of the park with one.
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