‘Tis the season for Rich, Malty Beer with various Spices and Vegetables in the foreground instead of a reliance on an Abundance of Bitter Hops, yes? Now that the Rain and the Cold Winds and the Turning Leaves are dominating the landscape everybody is ready to embrace the Beers of the Dark Seasons. Last year I whined about the lack of Fall Seasonals appearing on the shelves in a timely manner though this year they were hitting the shelves before Summer was even over. But I am not complaining about it… these are some of my favorite styles of Beer and I wish they were available year-round. Hell, I even have a 6’pk of Bridgeport’s Ebenezer in the fridge already! (probably my favorite Yule-season Ale)
|That is a Great line-up for sharing! (consumed right to left)|
Any time of year is good for a Good Beer.
I’ve already enjoyed a lot of Pumking (Southern Tier) and Night Owl (Elysian), as well as a lot of other Elysian Pumpkin Ales Like Dark o’ The Moon and The Great Pumpkin. The Best Elysian I’ve had is without a doubt the 9th Beer in their "Beers of the Apocalypse" Series… Blight Pumpkin Ale. Both my partner and I were amazed and delighted by this offering… the Cinnamon is the key to this intense pumpkin ale, but while it dances all over your tongue it still does not overpower the Beer. Mighty Tasty.
|Heater Allen = Great Lagers|
I was disappointed (I mean wish I hadn't bothered, really) in the inexpensive KBC Pumpkin available at Trader Joes this year, though. Last year it was a decent ale for the price, but this year it is too sweet and watery for my tastes. The Boatswain Chocolate Stout however, while a cheap Beer at $1.99 for a 22oz bottle, has a solid flavor that doesn’t go wrong. So... as always, its hit or miss for the TJ's exclusives.
Did you know? Smoked Beers are also wonderful this time of year! (Because I love them!) Alaskan Smoked Porter, as you should already know, is one of my favorite Beers. But another worthy Beer I haven’t said much about before is Heater Allen’s Smoky Bobtoberfest. The smoked malts are well balanced with the rich appeal of this smooth autumn lager from McMinneville, OR. I'm already a big fan of their Schwarz and Coastal Common and this finely crafted rauchbier is just another reason why they are worthy of some recognition.
I’m excited to try two of the new pumpkin brews I have waiting “on deck” in the fridge… Oakshire’s Big Black Jack and Uinta’s Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin. The Oakshire is a single batch Pumpkin and Cocoa Imperial Porter. I've been looking forward to trying this one for months. The Uinta is a big 10.31% Ale aged in Oak Barrels!
I love the Richness of Squash-brewed Beer and I’m looking forward to getting my own Grinning Jack bottled this week! (this year I made it without the Rum-soaked Oak chips to see how the flavor differed, but I still roasted the Pumpkin with The Kraken.)
And what else do I have to tell you? Just that if you want to try some of the Best Beers of the Year, get out and get them now.