Cooler fall temps call for toasty lagers, brown ales

By on September 17, 2017

By Phil Wayland

The cooler nights of fall bring with them the promise of football season and amazing fall beers to enjoy.

Fall is probably the most diverse and exciting season of the year when it comes to seasonal beer offerings. From the caramel tones of brown ales to the malty sweetness of Oktoberfest beers, great flavors abound.

Perhaps the most iconic beer of the fall season is the pumpkin- spiced style. Nearly all craft breweries begin to send out their pumpkin beers by the beginning of September.


Versions of this great style range from heavy spiced varieties such as Dogfish Head’s Punkin and Southern Tier’s Pumpking. Both have powerful spice notes that balance well with their deep malt backbone.

For those looking for just a hint of spice and pumpkin, Smuttynose’s Pumpkin Ale is a softer take on the classic style.

The traditional German Oktoberfest style begins to be available by mid-September and remains through October. Oktoberfests are actually the German Marzen-style lager.

Typically between 5-6 percent alcohol, Marzens are rich, toasty, dark copper beers that are defined by their malt character. Fantastic German imports include Paulaner, Ayinger, and Spaten.

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American craft brewers produce this style with great success as well. Give Bell’s, Flying Dog, and Weeping Radish’s Oktoberfests a try this fall.


We can’t forget about the tried and true beer of fall.

Turning leaves, football parties, and cool fall nights wouldn’t be the same without a nice brown ale. There are many takes on this style available from craft brewers.

Looking for a sweeter version? Give Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar a try. Maybe you are more of an IPA drinker? Dogfish Head’s Indian Brown Ale brings the caramel and nut notes but finishes with fantastic hop bitterness. If you are looking to stay traditional, Duck Rabbit’s brown ale is an outstanding North Carolina offering with a well-balanced finish.


Enjoy the fall and all the great flavors it brings. Give some new beers a try and expose your friends to something more than their yellow fizzy beer-flavored beers.

Have a great fall season and we’ll talk with you next month!

See what people are saying:

  • Feartheswamp

    Yes! Rogues Hazelnut Brown Nectar is highly recommended. My long time favorite.

    Friday, Sep 22 @ 5:29 pm
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