Anyone who has grown up in the Midwest knows that surviving the harsh winters of the Heartland is worthy of a medal. It could be sunny and slightly warm one day only to have Snowpocalypse bearing down on you with the next sunrise. Free State Brewery’s Winterfest IPA perfectly embodies the grit it takes to make it through the unforgiving and unpredictable season.
The beer pleases the palate with citrusy hints atop a wheat base. It calls to mind a warm, fireside while a snowstorm blazes outside. Even the medium-dark coloring resembles a burning yule log. Winterfest pairs nicely with most soups, red meats, and chili. If you can find it near you, it is worth it.
Location: Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas or find it near you here.
It’s that time again, folks! I’ve been slaving away going from pub to pub in search of the Craft Beer of the Month. This month’s honor goes to Granite City’s Falling Leaf. While this tasty harvest ale was technically tapped in October, I didn’t taste it until November.
Falling Leaf is a subtle dark amber that makes a big impression. It hits the tongue with a smooth introduction and leaves a lasting impression of seasonal spices and caramel. To say that I enjoyed this simple yet charming brew would be an understatement. Sometimes seasonal ales are too laden with spices or too thick to enjoy more than one glass, but Falling Leaf was brewed for the “more-than-one-glass” drinker in mind. It’s the perfect middle ground of light and dark, and if you get the opportunity to try this beer, seize it. Be sure to let me know if you too enjoyed Falling Leaf.
Available: Granite City Brewery (October-November) Click here to find a location near you.
October: named because it was once the eighth month of the year on the Ancient Roman calendars. It is a time of post season baseball, Halloween, cooler weather, and warmer clothes. All of these things are glorious tidbits that make the beginning of fall fabulous. Perhaps the crowning glory of October are pumpkins. Why, you ask? Pumpkins are the world’s most versatile squash plant. They can be used for entertainment such as carving or smashing. They can be baked into pies or impersonated to artificially spice up your coffee. Most importantly, they can be brewed into some palate-pleasing craft beers.
Of all the pumpkins brews I have tried this spooky season, I have to hand it to BJ’s Brewhouse for doing it right. It offers all the yummy goodness of that uniquely fall flavor that only a pumpkin can produce without overwhelming the taste of the ale. With just the right amount of maltiness, perfect coloring, and spicy after notes, Pumpkin Ale moves to the head of the class.
Available: BJ’s Brewhouse (October-November)