Samuel Adams Octoberfest is one of the more popular brews on this list, finding its home in many fall festivals and football parties around the country. The Boston-based brewery behind this signature seasonal beer has recently ramped up production due to popular demand, ensuring that fans will have something to sip well into the spring. And for beer aficionados, this one is well worth the wait. This take on the classic Oktoberfest-style lager blends five malts and boasts a smooth finish without too much of the bitter aftertaste, accented by sweet touches of caramel and glowing with a rich, golden hue. Other seasonal offerings from Samuel Adams include Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Winter Lager and Cranberry Lambic.
Six seasonal brews to get your fall rolling
Story by Casey Hilder
Food & Entertaining | Drink | October 2013
Blackstone’s seasonal offering comes via a group of craft brew connoisseurs right in the heart of Nashville. Balanced and light-headed, this blend leans heavy on the spice and light on the honey for a more natural take on traditional pumpkin ale. Hints of cinnamon and spice bring forth an aroma of Thanksgiving in a bottle wrapped in a clear orange coat. The pronounced flavors of this seasonal beer are more akin to the taste of pumpkin pie, right down to the airy crust.
Brooklyn’s festive, full-bodied brew boasts a light amber color and earthy aroma with hints of spices and pine to round out the body. This lager-style beer packs a hoppy taste with a smooth, well-balanced finish and medium carbonation. Not quite a light beer and not quite an IPA, Brooklyn’s Americanized take on the classic Oktoberfest brew is perfect for lazy Sundays packed with football and bratwurst. Other seasonal offerings from Brooklyn include summer and winter-themed ales and a black chocolate stout for the holiday season.
This classic Marzen-style lager hails from the sleepy town of Shiner, Texas. While lighter than many similar beers, the German Hallertau and Hersbrucker hops lend this lager a pleasant nose with a taste to match. Sweet caramel and mild hops mingle to produce the perfect middle ground among traditional beers and Oktoberfest lagers, making this a perfect introduction to heavier, German-style concoctions. Other seasonal offerings from Shiner include Holiday Cheer, a peachy brew sold around wintertime.
New Belgium Pumpkick
The second pumpkin brew of note packs a titular “kick” in the form of a splash of cranberry that adds just a hint of tartness to a sweet blend of pumpkin juice, nutmeg and cinnamon. A touch of lemongrass ties the affair together. A compelling blend of pale, Munich and caramel malts keep this seasonal selection from being too busy in the flavor department, while the light pumpkin flavor blends well with the accompanying spices to avoid stealing the show.
Abita’s three-malt blend is produced with German Hallertau hops, adding a bit of authenticity to this fall flavor. This Oktoberfest-style lager comes wrapped in an amber tint and proves bit less spicy and fruitier than similar offerings due largely in part to caramel malts used in production. Earthy flavors like nuts and a light honey finish round out this annual offering from Abita Springs, LA. Other seasonal offerings from Abita include a summery Lemon Wheat beer and a Christmas Ale for the holiday season.