When it comes to breweries fall seasonal lineups, Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers reign supreme. There are some breweries that shy away from these two traditional styles of beers, instead crafting styles not always associated with fall. We would like to highlight a few of the beers that fit this bill.
Goose Island and Southern Tier both make a beer called Harvest Ale, both being excellent choices for someone looking for something a bit hoppier than a traditional Oktoberfest beer. While both of these brews share some noticeable characteristics with Oktoberfest beers, such as their copper color and toasty malts, both are quite a bit more bitter than anything with and Oktoberfest label on it.
In favor of Tumbler Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada nixed their Anniversary IPA, which had been their fall seasonal for the past 3 years. Probably not a bad idea considering Sierra Nevadas winter seasonal is Celebration Ale, one of the most celebrated IPAs around. Tumbler possesses the classic nutty, toasty, and caramel traits associated with a brown ale, but perhaps has a little more of a hop presence than many of the brown ales out there.
New Belgiums Hoptober Golden Ale could arguably be the brewerys most coveted seasonal. This creamy, medium bodied ale debuted as New Belgiums fall seasonal last year. Hoptober is pleasantly bitter, clocking in at 40 IBUs, and also quite drinkable for a 6% ABV beer.
The commemorative Humming Ale joined Anchor Brewing Companys seasonal lineup this year. The first new seasonal beer in 5 years for Anchor is loaded with citrus hops, while still retaining a satisfying balance. We could not help thinking that Humming Ale is exactly what a pale ale is supposed to taste like; it seems if Anchor has yet again set a benchmark for a style.
Other breweries also make obscure seasonal beers, but we wanted to highlight the above ones not only because of their deliciousness, but because they are widely available. You shouldnt have a problem finding each of the listed beers at the majority of our stores. Do you have a favorite fall seasonal that is not an Oktoberfest or pumpkin beer?