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. 

Cheers!

 

 

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?

Gen!us

  • 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.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pickle Beer: A Sour Summer Favorite

Pickle beer in the summerAhh summer. 

There’s nothing like a cold, refreshing drink on a hot, sunny day in the thick of this beloved season. 

As the country slowly begins to reopen, our summer is off to a sluggish start. But that doesn’t mean your favorite summer drink has to be put on hold.

So, let’s crack open a cold pickled beer.

What is Pickle Beer?

We admit, pickle beer sounds… weird. 

But it is a surprising new trend that is loved by many. This sour beverage has the taste and aroma of pickles. 

Here are some popular pickle beers, and recipes to make your own!

Sweet and Sour

We all know pickles can taste sweet or sour depending on the fermentation of the cucumber. This also applies when crafting your pickle beer. The most popular version of pickle beers are the ones that are sweet, but pack a sour punch. 

Here are our personal favorites:

El Gran Pepinillo

  • ABV: 5.8%
  • Mexican-style beer made with Best Maid pickles and Mexican chilli peppers. This beer has a spicy kick, but is light and refreshing.

Best Maid Spicy Pickle Beer

  • ABV: 4.7%
  • This beer has spice at first sip! This is best for those who really like a kick. 

Urban Artifact Pickle 

  • ABV: 4.3%
  • German-style goose beer using cucumber, fresh dill, sea salt, and coriander. Try this beer with a burger or rueben to enhance the flavor. 

New PKL FKR Pickle Berliner  

  • ABV: 3.2%
  • This brew uses refermented Berliner weiss ale with bacteria and wild yeast. Pickle juice is added to the blend after fermentation.

Making Pickle Beer

There are many different ways you can make your pickle beer ranging from quick and easy, to long and challenging. 

Depending on time and skill level, give one of these two recipes a try!

Just Add Pickle Juice

The easiest way to make pickle beer is adding pickle juice to your favorite beer.

If you’re brewing your own batch at home, simply add the pickle juice to your mixture. This is the most common way home brewers make their pickle beer. 

*Pro tip* – Add spices such as coriander, chili pepper, etc to give your beer some extra flare.

Fermenting Cucumber

If you want to get really creative, make your pickle juice from scratch! 

Here is a step by step on how to create various types of pickles and pickle brine

After making your own pickle juice, you can add it to your beer’s fermentation process. This creates a stronger aroma and taste. 

If you’re new to brewing beer, check out our blog just for beginners!  

Cheers!

 

6 of the Strangest Beer Recipes You’ve Ever Seen

Glowing BeerEvery homebrewer likes to experiment. That’s part of what draws us to the hobby. But sometimes that experimentation can get a little out of hand. Just how far is too far?
Personally, I feel that every batch of homebrew is an opportunity to learn something new about making beer at home. Whether the beer turns out great or you have to dump the batch, there’s always something to be learned about ingredients, techniques, and yes, maybe even yourself. So in that respect, it’s impossible to go to far or make a beer that’s too weird.
But if you want to brew a strange beer that’s actually drinkable, try a recipe that’s been tested before. Here are six strange beer recipes to get you started:

  • Sweet Potato Buckwheat Ale – This is a gluten-free beer recipe I devised for my girlfriend. More than anything else, she misses hoppy beers, so the sweet potato and buckwheat in this recipe offer a gluten-free backdrop for some Willamette hops. I highly recommend roasting the sweet potatoes before mashing. This recipe also lets you take a shot at malting some buckwheat. If you’re not gluten-free, you might consider swapping the molasses for some light DME.
  • Gruit (Partial Mash & All Grain) – Gruit is an ancient style of ale flavored with herbs and spices instead of hops (though hops can be used as well). Based on the number of herbs out there, there are an endless number of possible variations of gruit. This blog post features three gruit recipes for you to choose from.
  • Pomegranate Wheat Dopplebock (Extract)This strange — but intriguing — beer recipe that combines at least three different beer styles: fruit beer, wheat beer, German bock. It’s a relatively simple recipe, using 9 lbs. of wheat DME along with a small variety of specialty grains and 1.5 lbs. turbinado sugar. The trick here is extracting the juice from the pomegranate. You’ll find it easiest to just add pomegranate juice to the secondary fermenter.
  • Wild Root Brown Ale (All-Grain) – The bulk of this brown ale recipe is normal enough: pale malt, roasted malts, and chocolate malts, Cascade hops, Galena hops, Nugget hops, American ale yeast. What’s really strange about this beer recipe is the pound of wild rice, mashed separately, then mixed with the other grains, and the use of roasted dandelion root, which contributes a roasty, nutty, slightly licorice flavor to the beer. Sounds pretty good!
  • Smoked Pumpkin Seed Saison (Partial Mash & All-Grain) – This beer recipe requires the brewer to smoke some pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. These ingredients are simply mashed along with the grains in the mash. For additional complexity, the recipe adds cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, all towards the end of the boil. Keep this in mind for after you carve that Halloween pumpkin!

There are plenty more strange beer recipes out there – what are some of the weirdest beers you’ve ever made?

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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.

Beer Brewing: Understanding the Various Types of Brews


It is likely you have come across hundreds, maybe thousands of different beers in your lifetime, all with a special taste and unique history. The differentiation between the third most popular drink in the world starts with the beer brewing process. The two main types of beer are lager and ales, which are characterized by the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.  There are endless types of ales and lagers, as well as specialty beers that all can be brewed from the comfort of your own home with a home beer brewing kit. It is important to understand the difference between these types of beer, especially in homebrewing.
Ales: Typically served at “cellar temperature” (not too cool, around 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit), ales are more complex and full-bodied in flavor than lagers.  When brewing ale, the yeast tends to gather at the surface of the fermentation tank for the first couple of days prior to settling at the bottom.  Ale brewing must be done in warmer temperatures, between 60 and 72 degrees, which allow the yeast to multiply. Ales are usually more complex, robust, and flavorful, with higher alcohol content than lagers. After fermentation, ales are aged for a few weeks at 40 to 50 degrees.  The types of ales are many, and because of the fact that they are quicker and easier to brew than lagers, they’re great choices for home beer brewing!
Barley Wine: Despite its name, barley wine is a type of ale beer that has been around since 1903. In brewing barley wine, there is not a difference in the grain, but the quantity of grain packed into the brew.  There is around double the grain in barley than in pale ale, and more than double the grain than in a pilsner. A barley wine is boiled longer than other beers, which causes the sugar to caramelize which intensifies the color and the taste.
Pale Ale: The British are responsible for this improvement in brewing expertise, discovering that using coal instead of wood in a kiln would cause beer to amber colored and clearer than pervious British ales. Many pale ale brewers find the type of water to be the most important element in making this type of beer. They often try and chemically treat the water to make it identical to the naturally occurring water from the original brewery in England. Pale malt is naturally used to make this understated and woody brew, and some mixtures have small amounts of crystal in them.
Indian Pale Ale: In the 1700’s, several British service men and citizens resided  in India as part of the colonial rule and did not have access to British ale, which led to the creation of IPA. To protect this brew from high temperatures and motion of the British ships, generous amounts of hops were added which are responsible for its high alcohol content.  When the British occupation of India was over, the popularity of IPA grew due to a shipwreck off the coast of England. The barrels were recovered from the ocean and sold in England, which soon were high in demand because of the atypical amount of hops in the ale. The beer also has a bit of crystal malt to sweeten it up, with a golden amber body.
Porter: Porters were very popular before the creation of pale ale, and declined in consumption because of the Prohibition in the U.S. and the beer tax in Britain. Porters are very dark in appearance, with touches of roasted grains, chocolate, coffee, toffee, and licorice. This brew uses traditional English hops and is thin and mild to the taste.
Stout: This creamy brew is black in appearance, with a thick and creamy flavor. Stout is typically brewed at higher gravities than most beers because of its high density. Stout is made with black unmalted barley and specialty grains, adding non-fermentable sugars, which is responsible for the thickness.  It can be brewed with coffee, oatmeal, or milk sugar to add aroma and uniqueness.
Lagers: Lagers are smooth and crisp in taste and when serving, the colder the beer the better. In brewing a lager, the yeast sinks to the bottom of the fermentation tank instantaneously, which is why it is known at bottom fermenting. Lagers are brewed successfully at cooler temperatures, typically between 46 and 55 degrees. Light and dry are adjectives that classically describe lagers, which are the most frequent type of beer sold in the United States. Lagers have higher alcohol content than ales and are aged for longer and at cooler temperatures, on average between 32 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. There are various different types of Lagers, which are the most popular type of brew sold in the United States today.
Bock: In brewing a bock, ingredients aren’t the only important element. Decoction, a German style of heating mash, taking out parts of it, boiling those parts and then returning it to the mash is practiced when making this rick, malty beer. Munich malt contributes to a bocks deep color, and yeasts with low congealing tendencies are used so they can survive in the high gravity liquids that come from mashing the grains.
Oktoberfest: In 1872, Spaten brewer Josef Sedlmayr made a beer comparable to the Vienna lager that was a hit during the first Oktoberfest in Munich, which is now known as Oktoberfest brew or Maerzen brew. Oktoberfest is undoubtedly German and is made with Pilsner as the base malt, and Vienna or Munich malt. The hopping in this brew is classically light and uses yeast that doesn’t result in a dry beer. Oktoberfest should be malty but not nutty, with a light brown flavorful body.
Pilsner: Commanding more than half of the beer market internationally, Pilsner is undoubtedly the most admired style of beer and is brewed all over the world. Pilsner’s are made with lightly kilned malted barley and Noble Saaz hops that create a fresh and simple beer. This brew has a light grain flavor that allows for a refreshingly clean and cool beer.