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As the kids march back to school and the leaves begin to turn vibrant autumnal colors, the beer industry releases highly sought-after fall beers. Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ales of all sorts are filling the shelves, and though I love those styles, here are two old and two new favorites that I find irresistible this time of year.
Goose Island Harvest Ale
This harvest ale is an Extra-Special Bitter in style, brewed with Cascade hops and rich malts. The fruity, bitter hops and sweet, toasted malts make it a perfect pairing for the rustic dishes of the season.
Bell’s Best Brown Ale
With a name like Best Brown, it better be darn good! And it is. Nothing is out of line on this beer, and that is why it is a success year after year. Malty richness is lightened by modest, slightly bitter American hops. With so many IPAs competing to be the hoppiest, it’s nice to have a drinkable, flavorful brown ale to fall back on.
The Bruery Autumn Maple Ale
Brand new to Michigan, The Bruery is a California brewery known for experimental beers that utilize unique and pure ingredients. Instead of making a classic pumpkin beer, their Autumn Maple Ale uses 17 lbs. of yams with loads of traditional pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla along with molasses and maple syrup. Though this brew would be perfect with Thanksgiving dinner, I doubt any of this limited release will make it to Turkey Day.
Vander Mills Totally Roasted Cider
Though this blog focuses on fall seasonal beers, I had to mention this year-round cider. Michigan-made Vander Mills ciders are all absolutely delicious, but the Totally Roasted screams autumn! The underlying apple cider flavor creates a base built upon by adding homemade cinnamon-roasted pecans and vanilla beans to the mix. You might think it would be too sweet, but it’s bright and refreshing with balanced acidity.
No one wants to say goodbye to summer, but fall beers make it a whole lot easier to let go! So whether you are reaching for an old favorite, or trying something new, stop by the store and pick up a tasty fall beer!