I’ll admit to being one of the biggest offenders of Autumn’s “LET’S PUT PUMPKIN IN EVERYTHING” phase, but I can also appreciate those psychopaths – um, I mean really awesome people – who don’t buy into the whole pumpkin fad.
While I search for every type of pumpkin beer, I acknowledge and accept that pumpkin isn’t for everyone, and I’m here to help those lost souls.
Next time your friends stock their fridge with an onslaught of pumpkin-flavored beverages, just ask them to pick up a six-pack of one of these beers and you’ll be happily appeased the entire night – even if all your friends have turned into zombies hypnotized by the fall-focused fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!).
While Blue Moon makes a damn fine pumpkin-spiced lager that I’ll gladly drink out of a cinnamon-sugar rimmed glass, this year brought a new Latin-themed beer flavored with a popular, creamy drink known as horchata. While real horchata is typically brewed mixing long-grain rice, milk, cinnamon and other sweeteners (sugars/vanilla/ect.), Blue Moon’s alcoholic version highlights a zesty cinnamon note that reminds of fall desserts. While I’m not exactly a Horchata fan as far as the white, milky mixture is concerned, Blue Moon’s alcoholic iteration presents itself as a robust, inspired option amidst overgrown pumpkin patches.
I won’t sugarcoat the fact that Shock Top is very hit or miss with me, as their Chocolate Wheat is the only drink I’ve ever refused to finish, but another flavor happens to be one of my favorite seasonal beers – their Honeycrisp Apple Wheat. Light, fresh and unfathomably sweet, I often refer to Shock Top’s candy-like release as my “Apple Soda,” almost like drinking a summer beer in the fall. For those who aren’t total sweetaholics, you might find the cider-like nature of Apple Wheat to be a diabetic sugar rush, but for those who don’t mind a cider/beer hybrid, I’m a huge fan of this easy-to-drink sweetheart.
I’m not really sure if there’s a season that calls for banana bread, but since it’s so freakin’ delicious, I’m just going to decree that fall seems like the perfect time to wolf down a loaf of that sweet, nutty goodness – or drink it down, thanks to the good brewers over at Wells Young’s. Yup, these geniuses turned a dessert into a full-bodied beer, complete with layered flavors that wash down with a supple banana hint, then a more bready, buttery note. It’s a tad bit heavier, but plays to the fall spiciness full of cinnamon and sugar flavors – overpowered by a unique bananarama. What can be more representative of fall than smelling freshly baked banana bread sitting in a windowsill? Trust me, it only gets better in beer form.
Why are there two apple beers on this list? Because while Shock Top’s tastes more like a sugary-sweet treat, Shipyard’s is more equal to their delicious Pumpkinhead iteration in that it drinks like a beer, feels like a beer, yet tastes like your Grandmum’s famous apple pie – a dreamy, homely perfection. The marriage of apple and cinnamon first strike as an inviting aroma, drawing drinkers in, yet the surprise is how vibrantly striking the same flavor profile remains in taste. I’ve been fooled by beers before, drawn in by scents that misguide, but Applehead is no tease, as I promise you’ll be wishing for some vanilla ice cream to pair with the dessert-turned-beverage. While this may technically be a winter release, it always shows up a bit early, so be sure to celebrate your apple-picking days with Shipyard’s finest release.
Maybe you’re not a pumpkin pie and whipped cream kind of guy/gal, but you still prefer something sweeter. In that case, Abita has you covered with its Harvest collection of beers, including their Pecan release. Don’t worry, Abita doesn’t jam-pack their beer with maple-glazed flavors, instead going for the nutty flavor of slow-roasted pecans followed by notes of toffee and caramel on the back-end. If you’re looking for a serious Autumn flavor but don’t buy into the whole pumpkin fad, why not give Pecan a try?