No segment of the craft beer market has exploded more than the fall seasonal/pumpkin trend. Breweries large and small all across the country are producing dark, robust beers that pair excellently with Thanksgiving dinner. The beer isle can be overwhelming this time of year, so here are Chef Diesel’s choices for the best beers of the season.
Woodstock Inn Autumn Ale Brew
This is not only my favorite fall beer, but a top ten overall brew for me. I wish they produced it year round. The Autumn Ale (pictures) is sweet with a strong cinnamon and nutmeg nose, but not overpowering when tasted. It’s smooth and at 4.6% ABV, very sessionable.
Southern Tier Pumpking
Pumking is intense. The beauty of this imperial pumpkin ale is its balance. A gorgeous copper color with vanilla and clove notes that is surprisingly smo0th. Southern Tier specializes in beers that pack a punch but don’t sacrifice taste.
Cody Brewing Cider Donut
I had the pleasure of sampling this beer at The Tap’s Brewfest in late September and it was easily a top three beer of the day for me. It combined all the typical fall flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon and apples with a wheat yeast that created a cloudy complexion and hints of banana. I need me a growler of this ASAP.
When I toured the Shipyard brewery this summer, they were already cranking out Pumpkinhead. Our guide told us its easily they’re most popular beer and growing every year. It’s pretty obvious why. It’s a crisp beer with a great finish. It’s the lightest seasonal on the shelf but still delivers on taste. Shipyard may not want to be known as only a pumpkin beer maker, but this beer is nothing the be ashamed of.