‘Tis the season to be jolly. And what could make a person jollier than the seasonal beers being released left and right this fall? There’s nothing better than sitting around with friends or family and drinking something that goes so well with the twinkling lights or cold temps of the season. The Whole Foods in Tenleytown has a “Make Your Own 6-Pack” wall that boasts quite a few domestic seasonal beers, so my friends and I set out to find the best, so you wouldn’t have to. We’ll consider it taking one for the team.
The Beer that (Really) Tastes Like a Pumpkin
Go for Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale. This beer is in the middle of light and dark, and has a strong scent of cinnamon and cider. When you taste it, it’s a pleasant mix of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and beer; no flavor gets lost in the mix. It really felt like the alcoholic version of a PSL.
The Beer to Turn Your Place into a Log Cabin
The Starr Hill Snowblind Doppelbock Lager might be a mouth full to say, but once you get a mouth full of the beer, you won’t be sorry you bought it. This beer is one of the darker ones, but it’s not shocking or overwhelming. It’s kind of sweet, with a smooth taste of molasses. This is a sitting-around-a-cabin kind of beer, but it sort of has the power to make anyplace into the right place to drink it.
The Beer to Drink with Dinner
The Saranac Long John Lager bridges the gap between the regular beer and the seasonal beer. It’s the kind of thing that would taste perfect next to a burger or pizza, but it still has a nutty, woody taste that feels like fall. It balances creamy and bitter in a way that just tastes… classic.
The Beer to Pre-Game Christmas Dinner
The Anchor Brewing Company makes a new Christmas Ale every year, so this is their take on what Christmas 2014 will taste like. It’s dark and rich, so maybe not the best for pre-gaming actually, but it’s just so damn Christmasy. It seemed to really embody the idea of the Christmas tree, with a scent of pine. It also is a bit reminiscent of a good black tea with strong spices, and similarly good to curl up on the couch with. This beer says “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” with a taste, and literally— it’s written on the bottle.
The Beer to Celebrate Movember With
You don’t have to be a man to drink Secret Spot Winter Ale from Evolution Craft Beer, but it might help. This beer was dark, rich and bitter. That might sound like a coffee review, and you wouldn’t be wrong— this one definitely has notes of dark roast coffee, and felt like an interesting mix between these two college student staple beverages with its bubbly, bitter aftertaste. This wasn’t the favorite of the night, but worth a shot if you like something that knows who it is and isn’t afraid to tell you.
Now it’s time to go out and grab yourself a beverage mimicking the winter season. Whether you’re kicking it back at home with the family over Thanksgiving or Christmas break, or just need to unwind in the midst of the dreaded fall finals, try out one of these. It might just become your new fall favorite.