Fall is around the corner with its cooler weather and shorter days. Fall is the time to put aside those summer thirst quenchers, you know the ones, the beers you put lemons and limes in and drink by the pool. Fall is the time for the flavors of the harvest, rich, dark, and warming. You should start to notice a change in the beer isles with the additions of Oktoberfestbiers, Pumpkin Ales, even the hoppy "fresh hop" beers made with hops just harvested the day before. Here are a few of my favorite fall beers: (Notes from the brewers):
Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing-Like a fine port, Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1.100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round-out and mellow with age. It's brewed with classic Maris Otter malt and Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops, all imported from England.
Style: Old Ale
ABV: 12.5% (2008)
Bitterness: 36 IBU's
96 Points, Rated
"Superlative" by the Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
Octoberfest from Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company)-Brewed with five varieties of malted barley for a big, rich flavor.
The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.
Aventinus Weizenstarkbier from Schneider Weisse & Sohn Brewery-wheat doppelbock. Bavaria from its strongest side. Dark-ruby, almost black-colored and streaked with fine top-fermenting yeast, this beer has a compact and persistent head. This is a very intense wheat doppelbock with a complex spicy chocolate-like arome with a hint of banana and raisins. On the palate, you experience a soft touch and on the tongue it is very rich and complex, though fresh with a hint of caramel. It finishes in a rich soft and lightly bitter impression.
* Dark-ruby colored, wheat doppelbock
* Complex spicy chocolate arome
* Pure top-fermenting yeast
* Original bottle fermentation
* Created in 1907
* Creator: Mathilde Schneider
Wheat doppelbock 8.2 % vol. alc.
Original gravity 18.5%
Old Rasputin Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing-
Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia's Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It's a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9%Bitterness: 75 IBU's
91 Points, Rated "Exceptional"
Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company-This year marks the 25th release of Bigfoot®. Our award-winning barleywine boasts a dense, fruity bouquet, an intense flavor palate and a deep reddish-brown color. Its big maltiness is superbly balanced by a wonderfully bittersweet hoppiness.
“…Bigfoot® captures the imagination, and its character is as big as the name implies, with a huge hoppiness in its earthy aroma, a chewy palate, and a great depth of flavor.”
– Michael Jackson,
Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion
GOLD MEDAL WINNER
California State Fair (Strong Ale/Barleywine: 2005, 2000, 1997)
Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival
(Barleywine Style Ale: 1998)
Great American Beer Festival (Barleywine: 2005, 1995, 1992, 1988; Ales: 1987)
Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale-The cornerstone of our Harvest series is the beer that started the modern-day fresh hop ale phenomenon in America, our original Harvest Ale.
Created in 1996, Harvest Ale features Cascade and Centennial hops from the Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington. These hops are harvested and shipped as “wet” un-dried hops—the same day they are picked—to our brewery in Chico where our brewers eagerly wait to get them into the brew kettle while their oils and resins are still at their peak.
Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale from Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company-
Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale is the first beer in the world, to our knowledge,
made with whole roasted pecans. The pecans are used just like grain and provide
a nutty characteristic and a delightful depth to the flavor profile. This beer is very
lightly hopped to allow the malty, caramel, and nutty flavors shine through. The
color is dark mahogany. Southern Pecan won a Bronze Medal in the 2006
World Beer Cup in the Specialty Beer category.
These are just a few of the many great beers you can find locally in the Lafayette area (Some may not be shipped until later in the season). Even if you don't know what you like, try some of the different beers that are hitting the shelves this fall season. Look for beers that have the words harvest, "October", pumpkin, Christmas, Imperial, "wine", and fall on the label. These beers are usually higher in alcohol, much more malty in the flavor profile, and you know they will be fresh because they are seasonal offerings.
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