Editor’s Note: This column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).
Autumn isn’t just about Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers. There are plenty of seasonal ales released during the fall and I take it as a responsibility to make sure I taste as many of them as possible for our customers. (I love this job.)
Everyone knows that fall is harvest time, and that goes for hops as well. Ninety percent of the world’s supply is harvested between the beginning of September and the end of October. Brewers are taking advantage of this fresh supply of hops and have started crafting harvest ales, which capture the true, fresh flavor of this flowering plant.
With the area’s weather changing rapidly, here are a few fall seasonal brews I recommend for the colder nights coming through.
Weyerbacher AutumnFest Ale — Easton, PA
Weyerbacher has become one of my favorite breweries. If I could give out a prize for best all-around fall season brews, Weyerbacher takes the cake. Following its incredible pumpkin beer, Weyerbacher released a smooth, Oktoberfest-style AutumnFest. AutumnFest is the perfect beer for the fall. It provides a nice transition between the lighter beers of summer and the darker, heavier beers of the winter.
The Bruery Autumn Maple — Placentia, CA
Patrick Rue went from a home brewer in law school to owning one of the best craft breweries in the U.S.. The Bruery brews high-quality, Belgium-inspired complex beers. The Autumn Maple is no exception. This beer is brewed with yams — 17 pounds of it per barrel. Brewed also with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup, this brew is perfect with a hefty meal on a cold night.
Flying Dog Secret Stash — Frederick, MD
All the ingredients in this beer are a celebration of Maryland’s agricultural roots. Everything is sourced from local Maryland farms. You can’t find a beer with fresher ingredients in our area than Flying Dog’s Secret Stash. A wheat-based beer brewed with Cascade and Chinook hops, it’s perfect for a fall harvest party!
Ommegang Scythe & Sickle — Cooperstown, NY
Even though Ommegang has been a great brewery for years, it’s now in the mainstream due to its partnership with HBO’s Game of Thrones. They have a great line up of year-round beers that are great sellers at any craft beer store due to a competitive price. Ommegang’s Scythe & Sickle really brings out the quality and value Ommegang is known for. Brewed to honor the harvest season, this beer is balanced, smooth, creamy, lightly toasted and has a gentle sweetness.
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