Boots. Frost. Halloween. Leaves. Apple Cider. Rain. Pumpkins. Sweaters. Autumn. The seasons are changing. It’s that time of year to put on our boots and sweaters, grab our umbrella in one hand and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte in the other - it’s fall.
In Germany, the shift to fall means one big celebration - Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival and the world’s largest fair with over 5 million people attending every year.
So with fall and Oktoberfest in mind, we were curious to see what kind of beers are popular in the fall season. When the chill of fall sets in people naturally move to warm pumpkin pie, apple cider, soup and comfort food. So we found the best beer pairings for the fall season.
The beginning of fall is often marked by warm panini sandwiches and hearty soups at the dinner table. Amber ale is the perfect match because it pairs great with foods that aren’t too sweet. It also compliments pizza and is a great thirst quencher for barbecue or Mexican plates. Phoneix’s Sun Up Brewery says their Sun Up Amber is a great pairing companion to any of your favorite foods. A mellow hop finish balances out this brew.
Fall harvest ales can be wet hopped (straight from the field) and have freshly malted grain. In general these beers have a higher alcohol content to help warm the pipes and traditionally feature ingredients that are harvested in Autumn (thefullpint.com). These fresh-hop beers are tasty with rich foods like pastas and bold sweet desserts.
Because fall also marks hunting season, you can pair you lamb, beef or game with a pale ale or German pilsner. The fruitier pale ales work best with these hearty meats.
Meat dishes with gravy (think Thanksgiving turkey) are complimented best when drank with porter or stout beers. Both these beers and the brown ales will stand up to stronger cheeses such as sharp cheddar and blue (beertravelers.com). A local favorite, Four Peaks Brewery Oatmeal Stout beer is dark, rich and “velvet” smooth.
Desserts in the fall often include pumpkin pie, rich chocolate cakes, chocolate and fruit desserts and cheesecake with raspberry sauce. This calls for cream or imperial/sweet stout beers. Bock beer is great for spicier desserts like pumpkin pie and gingerbread.
Lastly Vienna lager/Oktoberfest/Mäarzen and dark lagers are beers that beer great with close to all foods. These beers aren’t as filling as ales and lagers cut some heaviness out of sauce-based meat dishes which are common during the fall and winter. The lagers also stand up to the strong meat flavors.
Because it’s fall that means it’s time for pumpkin beers! Pumpkin beers come in all flavors and strengths and pairs amazingly with pork chops, roasted corn and chicken chowder and of course, pumpkin pie. Try Four Peaks Brewery Pumpkin Porter, only availably seasonally October through November!