The Fall Beers… It’s Time

I’m sitting here, watching the Yankees try to avoid choking their season away, while also keeping track of my Fantasy Football team.  At the same time, I’m sipping on an Allagash Black (a Belgian Style Stout).  You wouldn’t think these things would be related, but they are.

You see, it’s just about Fall.  (Or, in the beer world, it’s been fall for about 3 weeks).  The weather is getting cooler, the beer is getting heavier, boozier, and more delicious.  In fact, it’s almost Stout season (a more winter beer, but I’m kinda like the beer industry, I rush it.)  But I do like Fall beers, even though I’m a hop head.

Samuel Adams Oktoberfest:  This was the start of the craze, wasn’t it?  This malty beer, darker in hue, really sets the tone.  It’s the classic version of the Marzen beer, flavorful, but not overwhelming in malt.  You can drink it, but it’s a bit heavier, so expect a heavy stomach.

Southern Tier Harvest:  This is a new one for me.  A bitter that leans more toward a pale ale.  The hops are toned down, but they’re evident.  This is a beer you can drink all day long, as the leaves are falling around you.  This is a tasty, tasty beer.  Delicious.  Highly recommend tracking this one down.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler:  A traditional Brown Ale.  Not hoppy, and heavier.  Another very drinkable beer.  Perfect for a football Sunday.
But, you ask, what about the millions of pumpkin beers out there?  Not for me.  I don’t love flavoring my beer that way.  I can try one or two, but if it’s not sessionable, it’s not for me.  The flavor overwhelms me.  Dogfish puts together a good one, but that’s about the only one I’ve had.

Pumpkin isn’t for beer, it’s more for coffee… and even that’s pushing it.


Autumn is Coming

If you’ve been in a liquor store, beer store, gas station, or bottle store in the past week or so, you’ve probably noticed something on the shelves.  Oktoberfest beers.  Beers labeled Harvest beers.  Pumpkin beers.  And then, after making your purchase, you step outside and remember it’s still August and it’s 157 degrees out with 110% humidity.

It’s confusing.  Beers can’t seem to get their timing right.  Pumpkins don’t really get ripe until October, so you know all those pumpkin beers are using last year’s pumpkins. 

And no one is in the mood to buy a heavier, malty beer, when they know it’s just going to sit in their stomach and make them sweat even more.  Me?  I just picked up a case of Narragansett Summer, because I’m really not ready to let go quite yet (and I love Autumn).

But what’s the story?  Why so soon?

As we all know, Samuel Adams sets the tone for all craft beer.  And if you remember, they released their Summer Ale back in like… March (maybe April).  It must be their bestselling beer. 

So, once that hits the shelves, everyone tries to catch up.  That moves the market up.  Which means, the breweries have to kind of plan ahead with their brewing of the fall beers.  And because, to them, summer starts in March, then Fall must start in August.

And here we are.  Trying to hold on to the last strains of summer, as the beer community is telling us… let it go.  Embrace cold weather.

But, I’m still a sweaty mess.

I’ll stick with my summer ales until September, then.