Fall beers seem to arrive on shelves sooner and sooner each year. For example, this year I tried a pumpkin beer brewed by Ballast Point, Pumpkin Down, for the first time in early August. With autumn beers making up a large part of business for breweries, according to the Brewers Association, they’ll keep hitting store shelves in summer in full force. These types of beers always prove divisive amongst beer drinkers. Below are some beers (both local and not, though all are attainable in town or close by) you should seek out.
any Minnesota brewery
Hops are picked from August through September, meaning craft beer fans can look forward to a bevy of fresh-hop beers very soon. If you like hoppy beers, seek these out immediately and don’t wait to crack them open, otherwise you’ll lose some of the flavor potency.
Forager Brewing Co.
Autumn Harvest doesn’t overpower with pumpkin or spice. That may seem odd, but the combo allows the vanilla flavor to lead and stay present throughout. It will be back on tap soon, and my taste buds consider it to be tied for best Minnesota pumpkin beer.
Lakefront Brewing Co.
Lakefront Pumpkin Lager is the first pumpkin beer that didn’t inspire me to immediately seek out and smash pumpkins in furious retaliation for the affront on my taste buds. This is due to a light pumpkin profile that finishes with just a hint of spice, forming a pumpkin pie flavor in your mouth, and a refreshingly thin mouthfeel. If you like barrel-aged beers and brandy, check out Lakefront’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale.
Bauhaus Brews Labs
Schwantoberfest is one of the best Bavarian-style festbiers I’ve had (though some beer nerds debate whether or not it is actually a festbier), because it shucks off style guidelines and uses its hop variety to finish with a citrus twang after the initial biscuit flavor. A fresh take on an old beer style.
sweet yamma jamma harvest ale
Indeed Brewing Co.
Sweet Yamma Jamma Harvest Ale was originally known as Yamma Jamma, but regardless of the name, one thing remains the same: it tastes like a perfectly spiced yam dish at Thanksgiving Day dinner. It’s delicate in mouthfeel, and not overbearing with spice, but won’t be for everyone.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.
Schottky Pumpkin is now being packaged in cans, meaning you don’t have to visit the brewery for this autumn treat (although it’s not a bad reason to visit the hopping St. Paul brewery). Light pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and a tasty malty base all hit the tongue before the beer finishes sweetly, giving off a pumpkin spice latte vibe.
New Glarus Brewing Co.
A perfect marriage of Midwest barleys and German yeast creates a melted caramel, lightly toasted bread, and dry hay Octoberfest sensation available just cross the border in Wisconsin.
vienna marzen oktoberfest
Grand Rounds Brewing Co.
Roasted malt and toasted cracker combine with just enough sweetness to put a bow on top of the flavors.