Pumpkins. They’re everywhere. On the lawn, on the stoop, in your coffee and your beer! There’s a whole world of fall seasonals out there that look past the pumpkin. In the spirit of sharing, we found the best, must-try, fall seasonal beers that eschew this beloved squash.
Autumn is the signal for the natural world to slow down and prepare for winter, and your beer should be no different. The selection below reflects fine beers that are worthy of contemplation in and of themselves. Grab a glass (recommendations included) and a few friends, and dive into these delicious brews that are perfect for sipping and quaffing.
Recommended Glassware: Birrateque Wheat
This dark amber-hued brew is the perfect fall warmer. Its malty character, dark fruity sweetness and spicy aromas are distinct and alluringly complex. The weizenbock style is a hallmark of German brewing tradition, showcasing a wheat ale at “bock” strength for the colder months. True to tradition, Moonglow weighs in at 8.7% ABV. Expect lots of caramelly sweetness with fruity esters that hint at banana, apple cider and clove.
Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Recommended Glassware: Birrateque Stout
The Eclipse series of ales that are released each fall will change your palate forever...if you can find them. These extraordinary beers garner their own release party every year, and due to high demand for futures, this beer goes on sale each spring (mark your calendar now!). One taste and you’ll see why. Eclipse starts out as an Imperial Stout before being barrel aged. Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Fifty Fifty ages Eclipse separately, in a selection of distiller-specific barrels, before release. What you get is not only an amazing comparative interpretation of how different barrels affect the same beer, but also a wonderful craft ale. Brewed in small, 300-gallon batches for you to sip and savor. Drink now or store for a snow day.
Recommended Glassware: Birrateque Seasonal
An American strong ale by any standard. This accidental, and delicious, brew is aptly labeled for the copious amounts of brown sugar that are fed to the yeast during fermentation. Brown Shugga is a must for any fan of barleywines or complex Belgian ales. As the story goes, Lagunitas began brewing a barleywine, for which they didn’t have the ingredients to complete. Their attempts to keep the brew alive resulted in something totally different and equally great (much to the benefit of craft beer aficionados everywhere). Young Brown Shugga is brash, with monstrous sweetness, piney hops and aggressive alcohol (perfect with barbecue on game night). Allowed to age, its strengths will mellow and coalesce, giving way to new flavors and aromas with greater finesse.
This superlative example of an English-style strong ale is a true treat worth seeking out. Notes of dark fruit (black plums, muscadet grapes) give way to a medley of malty sweet flavors and an almost port-like booziness that is at once sophisticated, balanced and almost overwhelmingly rich—almost. A seductively smooth mouthfeel rounds out the allure of this regal brew. Put on your favorite album (or not) and invite someone to sip with you. Old Stock will age for years to come and only get better.
Belgian/Belgian Style Ale
Recommended Glassware: Birrateque Seasonal
Released each year for the colder months, Ten Commandments is a powerhouse of flavor that exhibits the exacting finesse that has come to be expected from this brewery. Dark raisins and notes of molasses give way to tart and funky flavors, and an herbal counterpoint from the striking addition of rosemary. The saison yeast at work in this ale creates a champagne-like effervescence, and the magic of bottle conditioning means that this beer will continue to evolve and gain character.
If you think you don’t like saisons, wait until you’ve tried Fantome. This Belgian ale is world-renowned for its outrageously fruity characteristics and widely variable flavor profile due to bottle-aging and seasonal differences from batch to batch. Expect pronounced fruitiness (stone fruit, citrus, berries and melon), complex funky notes and a creamy mouthfeel so rich it might just be unmatched. Highly aromatic—you might find that its perfume fills the room. Unfiltered at its best, this unique ale will change how you think about beer.
Beer this good requires glassware to match. You wouldn’t serve the Thanksgiving turkey on a paper plate, right? The Birrateque Collection was crafted especially for amazing, inspiring brews just like the ones listed above. Dishwasher-safe and made with our proprietary SON.hyx for superior strength and clarity, Birrateque glassware carries a 25-Year Guarantee that guards against chipping on the rim, as well as discoloration or cloudiness resulting from washing. Each glass features a Foam Control System (FSC) crafted in conjunction with the organoleptic experts at Centro Studi Assaggiatori, for the ultimate in beer glassware worthy of the connoisseur.
At Luigi Bormioli, we take pride in our Italian-crafted, superior quality glassware. Your glasses, created using our proprietary SON.hyx ultra-clear formula, will retain their brilliant and transparent appearance and are backed by our 25-year guarantee that guards against chipping on the rim or foot, as well as discoloration or cloudiness resulting from washing. You will enjoy their beauty, durability and strength for many years to come. We aim to enhance your tabletop lifestyle and entertaining experience with a glass for every occasion. When the moment matters, the glass matters.