With the fall season comes the flurry of seasonal brews just in time for Halloween. As a self-proclaimed beer connoisseur, I aim to find the best beer for the season.
What makes one beer better than the other? Simple, it’s all about the two forms of flavor: the flavor of the beer itself, and the flavor the beer brings to Halloween. Pumpkin beers are a dime a dozen, but a beer with a spooky ghost on it? Now that’s some prime time Halloween flavor.
After searching for the seasonal brews, I proceeded to rank each beer’s taste and Halloween spirit. Beers with a 5 are the top of the class, while beers with a 1 are those guys in class that didn’t apply themselves.
Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Flavor: 4, Halloween Spirit: 1
Blue Moon always brings great flavors to their brews, so it’s no wonder why the HPA tastes so good. Even though it doesn’t give off that true Halloween feel, the pumpkin flavor is still delicious, and I still would recommend pre-gaming with Blue Moon’s seasonal draft.
Flavor: 5, Halloween Spirit: 1
A great Oktoberfest beer is like finding that one house that leaves the bowl on their porch. We should just have one, but everyone is going to grab more. Sadly, Leinenkugel delivers an unbelievable taste at the expense of its Halloween Spirit.
Flying Dog Gourd Standard
Flavor: 3, Halloween Spirit: 3
Finally we get a beer that reminds me a little bit of Halloween. The unsettling splatter-paint face really brings a hint of Halloween flavor I’ve been looking for. Its actual flavor is definitely an acquired taste, and at 6.7% ABV, this is a very strong beer. You’ll certainly be able to think of a crazy costume after a few of these bad boys.
Magic Hat Wilhelm Scream
Flavor: 3, Halloween Spirit: 4
Not only does it reference the most iconic scream of all time, the Wilhelm Scream gives us a carved pumpkin on the bottle to really accentuate its Halloween flavor. It’s also a pretty tasty drink to boot.
Flavor: 5, Halloween Spirit: 5
Shipyard brings its costume game to a whole new level. The headless horseman is a classic Halloween scary story, so it just oozes seasonal spirit. The pumpkin flavor is extremely rich, making Pumpkinhead an all-around stud when it comes to fall beers.
Coney Island Freaktoberfest
Flavor: 4, Halloween Spirit: 5
Nothing is more Halloween than a good ol’ creepy mask. Freaktoberfest just stares at you, easily making it the most terrifying beer of all time. The espresso beans are a surprising, yet really great addition to the classic pumpkin beer. I just can’t get over that thousand-yard stare. Absolutely haunting.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead may take home the gold medal, but you can’t lose with any of the choices above. So grab a brew, throw on some Hocus Pocus, and get ready for a night of shenanigans.