Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In autumn our thoughts turn to beer

Well, autumn is not alone in that respect. But the autumn seasonals are some of the most celebrated beers. I already wrote about High Point Brewing Company's Ramstein Oktoberfest release, but my mom sent me a link to CityGuide's list of Ten Great Fall Beers.

They have a nice selection put together, including my favorite pumpkin ale, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. That's #2 on their list, and for the money, this brown ale is my pick for best pumpkin beer. Sure, you can get a stronger flavor with Southern Tier's Pumpking, which tastes like pumpkin pie liqueur- but it becomes less drinkable. It's a sippin' drink. Wolaver's organic pumpkin ale, which I had at my cousin Lou's 50th birthday bash, is nearly the match of the Punkin. If you prefer lighter ales, this may be for you. I prefer the brown ale's heavier body and smooth mouth feel. They also recommend Smuttynose's Pumpkin Ale, and since I like their Porter, I'll give this one a try.

Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen is one of the benchmark beers of the type, and I agree with its inclusion on the list. I've yet to try Ayinger's Märzen, but will when I see it. Brooklyn Oktoberfest also makes the cut, and it's a fine beer. I wouldn't overlook Samuel Adams' Oktoberfest either. It should be easily available in most areas. I think Sammy gets the brush-off sometimes because they've been around a long time and have gotten pretty big, but they still make a great beer and we owe them for helping kick start the craft beer obsession.

Another beer I'm intrigued by in writer Bret Stetka's list is Original Flag Porter from the U.K. Apparently it is made from yeast salvaged from a ship that sunk in 1825! Sure, Fossil Fuels Brewing has them beat by a few million years, but they both sound delicious. The "bold, malty" favors of Flag are right up my alley as winter creeps in, and who wouldn't want to try Jurassic beer?


Geof said...

F'n love Paulaner! Been hooked since I tried it overseas last summer. Thankfully there is a distributor down the road who sells it when I need a fix.

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