Since the craft beer movement turned the beer world on its head – beer drinkers have undoubtedly become more adventurous. And how could they not be with the massive variety of options consistently available to them? Gone are the days when beer makers wanted their brews to taste the same. Customers drinking the same thing day in and day out. The new generation of beer drinkers is curious, adventurous and sometimes downright brave. We’re talking brews like Omnipollo Shploing!!, a mango and s’mores IPA (yeah, we said mango and s’mores) that flys off our shelves.
Today’s beer drinkers are more interested in finding something new than more of the same. That’s where the seasonality of beer comes in. A seasonal beer could be based on the structure of the beer itself. For instance, summer beers are light and refreshing, winter beers are dark and complex, while fall and spring beers fall somewhere in between. Sometimes it is not the style, but the flavors that dominate a particular brew that makes it seasonal. Seasonal beers will often incorporate holiday-specific flavors or be designed to be paired with particular seasonal foods. Still, other seasonal brews are driven by seasonal ingredients, reflecting the changing growing season by incorporating ingredients that typically become available during different times of the year.
Regardless of the reason, seeking seasonal brews is a perfect way to force yourself to try new things while also providing you with a broad knowledge concerning the ever-expanding world of craft beer, and that’s something we love to give our customers. That’s why at Mason’s Cellar you’ll find our shelves stocked with dozens and dozens of fall seasonals for you to try. The only thing you have to worry about is getting your hands on them before the seasons change. But don’t worry, a brand new selection of winter seasonal brews quickly follow. Here’s a guide from our friends at PourMyBeer.com with some autumn brew highlights you shouldn’t overlook.
“Things start to cool down come autumn. Fittingly, the beers of the season are less concerned with being refreshing — as such, many will start to play with a heavier body and more autumnal spiciness. Obviously, the flavors of Thanksgiving also come into play as well as seasonal ingredients. In fact, in many ways, autumn beers were the first seasonal beers to gain popularity.
- Pumpkin — It should come as no surprise that pumpkin, that most autumn-inspired food, dominates the seasonal beer scene every fall. Pumpkin beers allude to their pastry counterparts, often featuring large amounts of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Pumpkin also creates a heavier body, giving these beers a more dessert-like feel. In fact, these seasonal beers are so popular, they are starting to be released earlier and earlier every fall.
- Maple — More recently, maple has become a popular flavor addition for fall beers. The syrupy flavor goes well with brown ales, making these beers less heavy than pumpkin beers, meaning they’re perfect whether you’re drinking them before or after dinner.
- Amber — Amber beers, whether they are ales or lagers, are slightly darker than pale beers. This slightly heavier maltiness is perfect for the fall, especially if you’re spending the day watching football. Supremely drinkable, they come in a lot of different varieties, so you can cater your amber beer to your specific tastes.
- Belgian — Belgium is famed for its Trappist beers, which can only be legally made by Trappist monks. These beers have long been hailed as the best in the world. They tend to be spicy and boozy. If you want to spend some time sipping on one beer and really exploring its flavor profile, Trappist ales are perfect come autumn.
- Oktoberfest — Autumn is also the time when Germany’s famed Oktoberfest, probably the greatest holiday dedicated to beer in the world, is celebrated. So it only makes sense that many breweries offer their own Oktoberfest beer. Oktoberfest beers are typically heavier brews that are well-aged with a deep amber color. If you want to really celebrate like a true Bavarian, find one of these beers and raise your stein.”