Fall Beer: 10 Must Have Beers This Season

Beer in the fall season.Hello Autumn! 

The season of colorful crunchy leaves, pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides and of course fall brews.

Whether you’re carving Jack O’ Lanterns or watching your favorite scary movie, here’s a list of our favorite beers to have this fall.
Oktoberfest Beers

Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival held each year. And while we can’t really do as the German’s do this year, we can at least pretend!

We’ve got 3 great beers to kick off Oktoberfest.

Copper Legend – Jack’s Abby

ABV: 5.7%

This beer has a smooth body with a malt that’s crisp and sweet. *This pairs well with soft baked pretzels. Yum!

Avery Brewing Company – The Kaiser

ABV: 8%

This beer was a favorite during last year’s Oktoberfest. It’s low on hop bitterness, and instead carries more of a toasted bready flavor.

Left Hand Brewing Co. – Oktoberfest Marzen Lager

ABV: 6.6%

This beer gives a roasted grain and herbs aroma, and has flavors of spice, caramel and mild hops. By allowing it to age longer, this beer has a rich, full, and bready brew.

Pumpkin Ales

Who doesn’t love a perfect pumpkin beer during the cool, crips months?! 

Here’s some pumpkin ales that pair perfectly with any fall activity.

Iron Hill – Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Iron Hill’s pumpkin ale is a fan favorite! Instead of using flavoring hops, Iron Hill uses pumpkin and vanilla spices to create this brew.

Blue Moon Harvest – Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 5.7%

This popular beer has multiple fall flavors mixed together for a nice smooth taste. These flavors include nutmeg, allspice, cloves, wheat, and of course, pumpkin.

Evolution – Jacques Au Lantern

ABV: 6.3%

The aroma of Jacques Au Lantern consists of fresh pumpkin, lemon grass, bready malt, and fall spices. Its taste has pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, nuts, and toasted malts.  

Amber/Malt Ales

Malty beer with the warm amber color (also known as red ale) fits right into the fall theme. These beers go great with some Halloween candy!

Bear Republic Brewing Co. – Red Rocket Ale

ABV: 6.8%

Red Rocket ale is the perfect color of the brown leaves that fall during this season. It offers a sweet caramel flavor that also includes bitter hops to create an even balance in taste.

Victory Brewing Co. – Festbier

ABV: 5.6%

Festbier has a combination of German and Austrian grains to create a taste of chocolates and nuts, though this brew also has caramel, and a hint of pine.

Alesmith – Evil Dead Red

ABV: 6.66%

If you really want to get into the Halloween theme, this beer is for you. The color of the beer is blood with a ABV of 6.66%. (Spooky!) It has a well balanced taste with citrus hops and caramel hops.

Autumn/Maple Ales

Autumn ales carry the most maple taste out of these 4 categories, making this beer sweeter side. 

Here are our favorites.

Ever Grain Brewing Co. – Whitetail

ABV: 8.6%

This amber colored beer is known as earthy, crispy, and bready. It is lightly carbonated so it gives a refreshing taste.

The Bruery – Autumn Maple

ABV: 10%

To get this bold and spicy Belgian-style ale, The Bruery uses maple syrup, yams, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, molasses, and a Belgian yeast strain. 

We hope you enjoy these recommendations! 

Make sure to try these beers during all your fall festivities, and let us know which ones you liked most. 




Low Calorie Beer: Light and Refreshing for the Summer

Low calorie beer for the summerAs summer is nearing an end and we reflect on the last few months, it’s hard to believe we’re closer to the end of 2020 than the beginning.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t have made it this far without the help of my tried-and-true friends, Beer and Wine. And though these delightful libations have been great company, the “Quarantine 15” has definitely made its debut. 

For those looking to cut back on the LBs while enjoying the remainder of summertime fun, low-calorie beer (AKA light beer) could be for you!

What is Light Beer?

Light beer has nothing to do with the color of the beer, and everything to do with the calories. 

The main difference between light beer and “regular” beer is the alcohol content. Light beer contains less alcohol, putting the calorie count at less than 100. Average beers normally have more than 100 calories per serving. 

Low calorie beer became prominent in the 70s and was originally marketed to people who enjoy beer, but also enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The jury’s still out on whether light beer is truly healthier, but there’s no doubt it contains less calories.

Best Low Calorie Beers:

Here are some of the best low calorie beers and our favorite ways to enjoy them!

Kona Light Bond Ale

  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Calories: 99 per 12oz
  • Style: American Pale Ale

Originating from Hawaii, the packaging gives off a tropical vibe and tropical flavors.

This American Pale Ale pairs well with a spicy dish. We recommend an ahi poke rice bowl to keep with the theme.

Yuengling Light Lager

  • ABV: 3.8%
  • Calories: 99 per 12oz
  • Style: Lager

At 99 calories, Yuengling Light Lager is made from a combination of Cluster and Cascade hops. 

Lager style beer is best served with food made on a grill, such as a classic American burger. Yum!

Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty

  • ABV: 4%
  • Calories: 95 per 12oz
  • Style: IPA

This beer maintains its low calories by using monk fruit instead of regular sugars that creates immense flavoring in the beer. 

IPA’s intense flavor profile is best paired with other strong flavors. Taco Tuesday anybody?


  • ABV: 3%
  • Calories: 79 per 330ml
  • Style: Lager

Gen!us created this 79 calorie beer specifically for those who want to drink “smarter”. It’s available in select UK bars, but you can order this beer online and have it shipped to you. 

Since this is another lager style beer, it’s best paired with a juicy steak.

Tennents Light

  • ABV: 3.5%
  • Calories: 66 per 330ml
  • Style: Lager

Coming in at a shocking 66 calories (!!!)is Tennents Light. This beer originates from Scotland, and is mostly found in European countries. 

If you’re able to get your hands on one of these, try pairing it with a shrimp fettuccine alfredo! 

Whether you believe it’s healthier or not, these brands above are definitely tasty. Give these low calorie beers a try and let us know your thoughts.


Nut-Flavored Beer: The New Trend Worth a Taste

Stuck at home? Pass the time with a new brew.

Woman reading and drinking beer

Spending time at home can get a little stale, which is why you need a new companion by your side as you organize your closet or watch mindless hours of television (no judgments). 

We recommend taking this time to try something new, daring, and exciting, like… nutty beer. It’s a rising trend in the beer community, definitely worth a taste, and a great way to pass the time. 

Of course, if you or a family member has a peanut allergy, please do not try this at home. Check out our other ideas instead here.

Popular Peanut Butter Beers

It’s important to note that many breweries craft their nut beer differently, so you can’t go wrong as you experiment. There are a variety of nut types, textures, and flavors to use, so grab whatever you have at home!

Here are some popular peanut flavors from breweries around the United States to help you get an idea of where to start:

Rusty Rail Brewing | Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold is Rusty Rail’s best-selling beer in Pennsylvania. It’s an imperial peanut butter hefeweizen combining banana esters and peanut butter to make a distinct, popular nutty brew.

If you’re ever in Pennsylvania, try it out. They are the largest brewpub in the state too!

Mast Landing Brewery | Gunner’s Daughter

Gunner’s Daughter is a best-seller for a reason. With peanut butter and milk stout flavors, this brew pays homage to a beloved Halloween candy – Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups.  This beer was supposed to be a one-time special release, but it quickly became a year-round staple. 

If you have Reeses’ at home, consider adding them to your recipe.

Lakewood Brewing | Peanut Butter Temptress

Peanut Butter Temptress was a popular brew that constantly sold out because it was delicious, but difficult to make. They used a combination of dry peanuts and milk stout to capture the rare taste.

DIY Nutty Brew

Since you can’t go to the brewery, we’re bringing the brewery to you. Let’s look at how a couple different breweries make their batches so you can see how to replicate it at home. 

Remember, making the perfect nutty brew takes time, so be patient.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

Tin Whiskers uses PB2 powdered peanut butter by pressing the nuts to remove most of the oil. It’s important to get the oil out so the head retention does not reduce. 

Once the peanuts are powdered, this brewery adds the mixture into the brew after fermentation when the temperature of the brew is cooled. 

Key Ingredients: Nut Goodie Porter and Salted Nut Roll Ale candy from Pearson’s Candy Company. 

If you don’t have this candy at home, no problem. Although it’s a little messy, you can use organic peanut butter as a substitute, and add it after fermentation. (Just make sure it’s not too hot!)

O.H.S.O Eatery & Nano-Brewery

This brewery does a three step process when making their nut-flavored beer. You can choose to do all three or just one! 

The team uses powdered, whole, and extract peanuts for their three layer nutty beer. The first step they take is adding honey, lactose, and sea salt to the boil, and then finish by adding PB2. 

Similar to dry hopping, the next step is to add dry honey roasted whole peanuts after fermentation, and then let this mixture sit for no more than five days. After this, they add a little bit of peanut extract to enhance the aroma of the beer. 

If you don’t have peanut extract or PB2, regular peanut butter and nuts will work fine for this recipe. Just add the peanut butter to the boil, and the nuts after fermentation. You can also substitute the peanut extract with vanilla extract and see how that goes! (Either way, it will be fine without it). 

There are many different combinations of nuts and methods you can try in order to achieve the brew you want, just keep trying different flavors from your pantry!

Stay safe, always practice good kitchen hygiene, and let us know how you’re enjoying your nutty brews in the comments below. 

Happy brewing!

Get Ready for the 2015 AHA Big Brew

Beer Fest MovieEvery year for National Homebrew Day, the American Homebrewers Association organizes a “Big Brew.” The idea is that homebrewers across the country – and even around the world – celebrate homebrewing by all brewing on the same day. In 2014, it’s estimated that over 8,000 homebrewers from 49 states and 14 countries brewed some 17,550 gallons of beer!
Find a Big Brew Event Near You
Register Your Own Big Brew Event
Each year, the AHA selects a handful of recipes for the Big Brew, just to increase the sense of community among homebrewers. This year, the recipes come from Gordon Strong, President of the BJCP. The recipes are soon to be published in Gordon’s new book, Modern Homebrew Recipes.

Columbus Pale Ale
(5-gallon batch, all-grain)
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 43
SRM: 6
8.5 lb. Pale two-row malt
8 oz. Munich malt
4 oz. Wheat malt
8 oz. CaraVienne® malt
4 oz. 20° L Crystal malt
4 oz. Victory malt
8 oz. Orange blossom honey (added during the boil)
0.5 oz. Columbus whole hops at 60 min
0.5 oz. Columbus whole hops at 15 minShop Barley Grains
0.5 oz. Columbus whole hops at 5 min
1 oz. Columbus whole hops at flameout
1.5 oz. Centennial whole hops, dry-hopped for 9 days
Wyeast: 1272 American Ale II or Safale US-05
Directions: Mash crushed grains in about 4 gallons of clean water at 152˚F. Hold for 60 minutes, then raise to 168˚F for mash out. Sparge to collect 6.5 gallons of wort. Boil for 75 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Add the honey during the last 5 minutes of the boil. Chill and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch at 68˚F and ferment at that temperature for 9 days, then transfer to a secondary fermenter and dry hop. After 9 days, bottle or keg.
Extract option: Replace the 2-row, Munich, and wheat malts with 7.5 lbs. light LME. Reduce boil time to one hour.

Old School Barleywine Shop Hops
(5-gallon batch, extract with grains)
OG: 1.109
FG: 1.033
ABV: 10%
IBUs: 95
SRM: 13
13 lbs. Light LME
4 oz. Biscuit malt
8 oz. CaraVienne® malt
8 oz. Crystal 40˚L malt
4 oz. Crystal 60˚L malt
2 oz. Crystal 120˚L malt
2 oz. Special B malt
1 lb. orange blossom honey
1 oz. Cascade whole cone hops (first wort hops)
2 oz. Columbus hops at :60
1 oz. Centennial hops at :15
1 oz. Cascade hops at :5
1 oz. Columbus hops at :2
1 oz. Cascade hops at :0
1 oz. Centennial hops at :0
2 oz. Cascade hops, dry-hopped for nine days
1 oz. Centennial hops, dry hopped for nine days
Wyeast: 1272 American Ale II or Safale US-05
Directions: Steep the specialty grains (in a grain bag) and the 1 oz. of Cascade first wort hops in two gallons of 160˚F water for 30 minutes. Remove the grain bag, allowing the wort to drip back into the pot. Mix in malt extract and bring to a boil. Boil for 75 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Add the honey during the last 5 minutes of the boi. At the end of the boil, strain the wort into a sanitized fermenter with about 2.5 gallons of pre-boiled, pre-chilled water. Top off to make 5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68˚F for nine days, then transfer to a secondary fermenter for dry hopping. After nine days, keg or bottle.
All-Grain option: Replace the LME with 12 lbs. two-row pale malt and 6 lbs. Maris Otter malt. Mash these grains at 152˚F for 90 minutes, then mix in the specialty grains listed above during the vorlauf and sparge. Collect 6.5 gallons of wort in the brew kettle and proceed with recipe above.

Killer Kolsch
(5-gallon batch, all-grain) 
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 16
SRM: 3
8.5 lb. Pilsner malt
3.1 oz. Vienna malt
3.1 oz. CaraVienne® malt
0.3 oz. Liberty hops (first wort hops)
1 oz. Hallertauer hops at 30 min
0.3 oz. Crystal hops at 5 min
Wyeast 2565: Kolsch yeast
Directions: Implement a step mash as follows: 10 minutes at 131˚F, 45 minutes at 145˚F, 20 minutes at 158˚F, 10 minutes at 168˚F for mash out. Sparge to collect 6.5 gallons of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Chill and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch yeast at 58˚F and ferment allowing temperature to rise to 68˚F after 4 days. Lager for two months at 40˚F, then bottle or keg.
Extract option: Replace the pilsner malt and 0.8 oz. each of the Vienna and Caravienne malts with 6.5 lbs. pilsen LME. Reduce the 30-minute hop addition to 0.8 oz.
All of the recipes can be found in their original form, both extract and all-grain, here, along with more information about Big Brew 2015.
We’ll be homebrewing for the Big Brew – will you?

David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Our 10 Most Popular Homebrewing Posts on Pinterest

Pinterest is a visually oriented social network for people to discover and share interesting content. Over the past several months, we’ve been putting together various collections of pins including beer recipes, homebrew techniques, homebrewing books, and more. I, for one, have found dozens of great beer recipes on Pinterest.
As an indication of what other people have found most helpful and interesting, these are some of our most popular homebrewing posts on Pinterest. The links below take you to the pin on Pinterest. Just click the image for each one to take you to the blog post.

  1. Making Hard Cider at HomeAre you gluten-free? Have a significant other who doesn’t like beer (yet)? Cider is quickly rising in popularity, both commercially and for homebrewers. This blog post is a walk-through for making a basic hard cider.
  1. 10 Tips for a Successful Secondary Fermentation – Secondary fermentation is a period where beer conditions and ages. It’s a good time to add dry hops or spices to give you’re a beer a little something special. Learn just a few of the things you can do to make your secondary fermentation a good one.
  1. A Simple Guide to Making Fruit Beers – Most, if not all, homebrewers like to experiment by adding interesting ingredients to their beer. Want to make a cherry porter or an apricot pale ale? Learn what your options are in terms of adding fruit to homebrew.
  1. The Difference Between Two-Row and Six-Row Barley – Barley malt is a key ingredient in beer, but there are two different types of barley. Do you know the difference between two-row and six-row barley?
  1. 6 Tips for Improving Mash Efficiency – If you’re an all-grain brewer, you mash efficiency determines your original gravity, which affects alcohol content and body. Additionally, a consistent mash efficiency makes it easier to formulate recipes and plan ingredient purchases. Check out these six ways to improve your mash efficiency.
  1. Heat Up Your Homebrewing with Chili Peppers! – Yet another popular beer addition is hot peppers. This chipotle porter recipe is one of my all-time favorites. In this blog post, guest blogger Bryan Roth shares some tips for using hot pepper in your homebrew.
  1. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Clone Recipe – One of my all-time favorite commercial beers is Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. It’s a fresh hop IPA that comes out every year around Thanksgiving. The beer is made using Chinook, Centennial, and Cascade hops as soon as they come out of the field.
  1. Braggot Beer Recipe – Braggot is a mead/beer hybrid, traditionally flavored with a variety of herbs and spices. This recipe includes both an all-grain and an extract version of a braggot recipe by Randy Mosher.
  1. 5 Rookie Mistakes Made By Beginning Homebrewers – If you’re a new homebrewer, there’s a wealth of information that can help you avoid some common pitfalls and potentially ruin a batch. Learn from these five rookie mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to making great beer!
  1. How to Fill Your Homebrew Beer Keg – Serious homebrewers like to put their beer on draft, but the new equipment and pressurized gas side of the equation can make people uncomfortable. It’s easier than you think! This post walks you through exactly what you need to do to fill your keg with homebrew.

Are you active on Pinterest? Follow E. C. Kraus on Pinterest for all the latest homebrewing updates.
David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

The Ultimate Wine Pairing Guide

Not sure what wine to serve at your next dinner party? Check out our brand new wine pairing infographic for help selecting the right wine for the right meal. Throughout the month of July we will be featuring various recipes and suggested wine pairings for each food category, so keep checking back!
Ultimate Wine Pairing Guide by Adventures in Homebrewing

A History of Home Brewing: Colonial Crafting

Though it has enjoyed a recent run of popularity, the hobby of home brewing has quite a pedigree – one that stretches back over three centuries in America.
New Beer for a New World
Home brewing was once a matter of survival – when the Pilgrims arrived in the 1620s, they built the nation’s first brewery to start setting up their new home. The process of brewing killed the pathogens and bacteria that lurked in regular drinking water, making a safe liquid for the intrepid new-worlders to use for slaking their thirst.
One Nation, Drinking Beer
Home brewing became such an everyday occurrence in colonial times that several of America’s first presidents indulged in their own brews – most notably Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Like tending fields or keeping the pantry stocked, brewing was simply another chore to be done around the house – albeit a delicious one.
Banned Brews
The Prohibition Act of 1919 didn’t simply put an end to bars and public establishments serving up suds, it also dropped the hammer on home brewing efforts. Beer, wine, and other liquors were no longer allowed to be created in the home until 1933, when the 21st Amendment made at least some home-brewed products legal once more. To every beer enthusiast’s sadness, however, a clerical error left off that pair of very important words – “and beer.” This meant that home beer brewers would have to wait until President Carter set things right in 1978 through the passage of H.R. 1377.
Brewing Up the Future
Today, home brewers enjoy unprecedented access to specialty equipment, such as the bottles and kits offered on the web by home brew supplier Adventures in Homebrewing. By using these tools, any beer enthusiast can now create their very own ales, stouts, and lagers in the privacy of their own backyard or basement. Everyone, that is, except for Alabamians – Alabama is the last state in the United States that still considers brewing beer at home an illegal activity. While this is unfortunate for residents of the southern state, the rest of the nation is busily crafting their own beer while simultaneously honoring the efforts of their pilgrim predecessors.