In my estimation, there is no better time for beer than the fall. Naturally, it’s imperative to keep a steady supply of quaffable, refreshing brews on hand in the heat of summer, but once cool weather arrives, we can adjust the contents of our beer fridges accordingly. Out with the bracing IPAs and citrusy wheat beers, and in with the sweeter, maltier beers that warm the bones, whose copper hues perfectly match the changing leaves that we New Englanders can’t stop raving about. Winter will be here soon enough, and fall beer season is fleeting; here our beer buyer, Sean, provides his top picks for your fall beverage pleasure.
Shacksbury Hereford Cider
Autumn isn’t complete without cider, so we’re happy to sneak this one into the lineup. Shacksbury’s mission is to make ciders that are “daring and complex,” using little-known apple varieties. Shacksbury collaborated with Simon Day of Once Upon a Tree in Herefordshire, England to create this fruity, full-bodied cider. Made from Brown’s, Ellis Bitter, Dabinett, Michelin, and Somerset Redstreak apples grown by Dragon Orchards, it packs a peaty, gently tannic flavor.
Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin
Small-batch brewed with pumpkins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, this beer manages to be significantly less spicy than many other pumpkin beers, instead letting malt and hop flavors shine through. And, at 8.0 ABV, it has far more muscle than your typical pie-flavored brew. It is, as Sean says, a pumpkin beer for people who tend not to like pumpkin beers.
Unlike the average Oktoberfest beer, Weihenstephaner’s offering sports a light golden color and pronounced hop presence. Pils malt is still in play, adding bready sweetness, but the lemony, herbal hop flavor is the beer’s hallmark. Clean and easy-drinking, it’s perfect for afternoon gatherings and back porch relaxing.
With these three bottles in tow, you’ll be perfectly equipped to raise a glass to autumn, to leaf peeping, and anything else the season might bring you. Cheers from all of us!
Questions about beer? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jesi Nishibun is a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge. When she’s not behind the cheese counter, you can find her with her nose in a cookbook, or experimenting in her home kitchen.