Of all the seasonal beers, the ones that arrive in autumn cause the most anticipation. Note: autumn begins in early August, according to the breweries, like it or not. Of course we like having these beers, they are highly popular. Many people prefer these rich beers in cooler weather, but most breweries seem intent on getting an early start on the season. Lay in a supply now, if you want these beers for Thanksgiving.
Octoberfest means celebration, as we come to autumnal equinox. Originally it marked when cool weather returned and brewing in Germany could begin again, good reason to celebrate. The brews typically show marked freshness with strong malt presence, though not as strong as the coming winter brews. German examples will arrive later, the following are the quick ones out of the blocks.
Octoberfest, Harpoon Brewing Company
Great for late season barbecues, Harpoon’s entry has mellow malt sweetness with a nice balance of hops. Full-bodied with mid-range alcohol (5.5%) it is a typically delicious entry from one of our two iconic local breweries.
Hex Ourtoberfest, Magic Hat
Five malts including rye and cherrywood smoked, this is a lively brew from a customer favorite. Hops subtly present at 20 IBUs.
Five malts carry the day in this rich but food-worthy brew. Again, hops add a subtle spice behind the robust malt flavors.
Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada has carried the craft beer torch for some 30 years, even as more and more breweries crowd the stage. He’s a big brown ale, well-malted with just a hops of hops.
Octoberfest, Wachusett Brewery
Euro-styled with complex malt flavors given added liveliness from the hops. Fresh yet rich, and delicious.
In colonial days, cane sugar was at a premium. Maple syrup, sorghum, and other sources of sweetening were used instead. People discovered that the mighty pumpkin served well as a fuel for the yeast cells that merrily produce beer’s alcohol and carbonation. The pumpkin is generally roasted to begin the breaking down process, then added to the grains. Your basic pumpkin pie spices are often added: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, and allspice. Hops are usually not prominent.
The following represent only the first to arrive in the stores. More are pouring in (almost literally).
Pumpkinhead, Shipyard Brewing Co.
Clearly the most avidly-awaited of the pumpkin brews in our stores. Malt and hops marry with the pumpkin spices in aromatic splendor. Add a modest 4.7% alcohol and refreshing crispness for a compulsively drinkable potation as you watch the Boys of Autumn on the football fields of glory.
Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Samuel Adams
Of course this a consummately made brew, that’s a Sam Adams trademark. The pumpkin spices balnce with smoky malt aromas. Sweet, rich, and expressive of the season.
UFO Pumpkin, Harpoon, Brewery
From Harpoon’s line of unfiltered beers. It is rich, full-bodied with earthy sweet flavors from the pumpkin and subtle hops (20 IBUs), and delicious.
Pumking, Southern Tier Brewing Company
Personal favorite. Rich and intense, with a well-handled 8.6% alcohol. Big enough to stand with hearty cheeses, it shows spices melded with the malt and the pumpkin for a big, powerful glass. Bottled in 22 oz. bottles.
Note: We get deliveries throughout the week, often with new items. We probably carry what you are looking for, or can order it.
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