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7 Beers to Try this Fall While You Still Can

October 27, 2015

Fall is considered by many to be the best time of year for beer.  By late October, though, getting your hands on some of these delicious brews can be tricky.  That’s why if you see these in the store, make sure to snatch them up while you still can!

1) Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Photo Courtesy of Sierra Nevada

Every year Sierra Nevada partners with one of a handful of German brewers to provide an outstanding Oktoberfest experience.  This year, they have partnered with Brauhaus Riegele in Augsburg, Germany to produce what some are calling the best Oktoberfest of the year.  At 6% ABV, it is incredibly crisp and has a medium body and malt flavor attributed to the use of the Steffi barley.  

If you see this on the shelves, scoop it up while you can.  Besides it being late in the Oktoberfest season, Sierra Nevada will be collaborating with a different brewery next year.

2) Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Photo Courtesy of Dogfish Head

The name goes well with the tradition of “Punkin Chunkin” where competitors vie to launch their gord the furthest.  The Dogfish Head Punkin Ale will seem as if a “punkin” is being launched directly into your mouth.  Brewed with the meat of the pumpkin in the brown ale style, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar, you may feel like you are eating a slice of pumpkin pie when you crack into this one.  

If you’re a fan of a pumpkin ale, then the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is definitely for you.  Even if you’re indifferent or on the fence, consider giving it a try.

3) Sam Adams Octoberfest

A good all-around Märzen style beer, Sam Adams’ offering is the everyday Octoberfest.  It features sweet malt and spice flavor with an easy hop finish that can be difficult to separate from the rest of the flavors at times.  Sam Adams Octoberfest is flavorful in its own right but shines as an introduction to the style to non-beer lovers. It is a reliable go-to that shows up in stores before many other offerings and keeps providing its Märzen goodness well after most other Oktoberfest beers are long gone.

4) Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

The moment you get your nose close to this beer you’ll be hit full on by the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and, of course, pumpkin.  This St. Louis brew is sweet, not as sweet as the typical pumpkin ale, but still enough so that you will feel like you just indulged in a large slice of pie.  While available in August through October, it’s definitely worth keeping a six pack around for Thanksgiving dessert.  While it is a St. Louis local brewery, distribution is growing rapidly across the nation.

5) Deschutes Brewing Hop Trip

Deschutes Brewery Hop Trip

Photo Courtesy of Deschutes Brewery

This fresh hopped pale ale definitely lives up to the fresh hop hype.  Typically, brewers have up to 24 hours to get the hops from picking into the kiln for a fresh hop brew.  Deschutes steps this game up by getting the hops into the brew kettles within 4 hours of picking.  The result: bright and citrusy hop experience with hints of spice.  All things considered, this wet hop brew is rather mild on the hop front, which lends itself to being a great introduction to the hoppier side of things.

6) Figure 8 Oktoberfest

While this Northwest Indiana brewery is typically known for its hoppier fare, this Oktoberfest fits the Märzen style nicely.  The initial caramel malts transition into a mild bitterness.  Winner of the 2014 USBTC National Championship in the Vienna/Lager Category, this smaller offering will not disappoint.  

7) Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Yes, this is second Sierra Nevada on this list, but for good reason.  With a mild sweetness and a fresh hop zest with notes of pine and citrus, this beer is a flavorful seasonal treat.  While this beer is fresh hopped, it is not overpowering, but rather refreshing.  This beer will satisfy your late fall cravings without being too heavy on the palate or stomach.