I enjoy several different varieties and styles of beer year-round, but my choices of what to drink tend to change with the season. During the summer, I'll most often choose session IPAs or other "easy drinking" beers. In the fall, my beer cravings drastically change towards heavier, darker ales, brews that are spiced and amber-colored ales.
I even look forward to trying out different pumpkin beers each fall (and even host an annual blind pumpkin beer tasting at my house!). Oktoberfest varieties are also always present in my fridge during the fall months, which are Marzen style beers that are typically malty, slightly sweet and amber in color.
I've put together a list of six of my favorite fall brews, which include five beers and a cider. I chose each of these brews based on their flavor and relevance to the season while trying to give a little bit of variety. If you have strong (negative) opinions about pumpkin beer, no need to worry; there's only one pumpkin beer on this list.
Get to know a little more about each of my six fall seasonal beer selections below:
Upslope Brown Ale
I may be a little bit biased in choosing this Brown Ale to add to the list, because Upslope is my absolute favorite brewery in Colorado. I start breaking out the Brown Ale as soon as the weather turns cooler and enjoy it through the winter months. Upslope only produces its beer in cans, making it perfect for packing in (and easily packing out) for all of your fall hiking and camping adventures. This beer is medium-bodied, malty and perfectly balanced with a smooth hop finish. ABV: 6.7%
Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown
I've yet to find a beer from Alaskan that I don't enjoy, and this Heritage Coffee Brown is no exception. This English-style brown ale was first introduced on a limited release last year. Due to overwhelming response, it was added to this year's fall lineup. Alaskan Brewers worked with an Alaska-based coffee company to find the perfect beans for this brew, which included notes of chocolate, caramel and honey. This ale has super rich coffee flavor and aroma and will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. ABV: 7%
Ballast Point Dead Ringer
Ballast Point is another brewery that (in my opinion) can do no wrong. When I first opened this bottle of beer, I was overwhelmed by the delicious, subtle aroma of caramel and spice, and the taste definitely met my expectations. It's a malty, slightly sweet Marzen-style Oktoberfest with a very subtle fruity, hoppy finish. This beer also has a beautiful, clear amber color. ABV: 6%
Wild Cider Hard Pumpkin
I rarely, if ever, drink ciders, and I probably wouldn't have ever heard of Wild Cider had I not been introduced to them at a local beer fest in 2015. When I think of ciders, I remember the cheap, sickeningly sweet brands that I drank in college. This cider is anything but! Wild Cider's lineup includes ciders that are sweet, yet subtle, light, crisp and refreshing. The Hard Pumpkin variety is addictively delicious and a blend of their Hard Apple variety, which includes pumpkin and fall spices. All of their ciders are Gluten-Free. ABV: 5%
Southern Tier Imperial Pumking
Pumking has been a standard in my fridge each fall for at least half of a decade. This beer is by far the "heaviest" on my list. It's intense, bold and basically dessert in a bottle. Pumking is loaded with unique character traits made up of graham cracker, vanilla, caramel and pumpkin pie spice. I like to enjoy this beer after dinner (and it actually pairs well with most pumpkin desserts!). ABV: 8.6%
Santa Fe Brewing Oktoberfest
I'm not very familiar with Santa Fe Brewing Company, and honestly, I first picked this can up because its design caught my eye. I decided to try it out- and am glad I did! This Oktoberfest is lighter, mild and a gorgeous gold/ light copper color. The flavor is slightly sweet and malty, but not overpowering. ABV: 6%
Are there any fall beers I missed that you'd like to add to the list? Add your favorites in the comments below!