There’s nothing like a cool pint to keep you toasty in fall, as the leaves turn and the wind whistles down the chimney. Put down that hefeweizen: These eight American brews are as cozy as that wool pullover you fish from the back of the drawer about this time every year.
1. Elysian Brewing's The Great Pumpkin (Washington state, 8.1 percent ABV)
Nothing says fall like pumpkin beer. With roasted seeds and extra pumpkin in the mash, this imperial pumpkin ale has deep flavor, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
2. Abita's Pecan Harvest Ale (Louisiana, 5.1 percent ABV)
This American brown ale is brewed with four different malts and toasted Louisiana pecans, giving it a delicately nutty flavor that pairs well with seafood, red meat, and Gouda cheese.
3. Thomas Hooker's Octoberfest Lager (Connecticut, 5.7 percent ABV)
Traditionally brewed at the beginning of the German brewing season in March (Marzen in German) and left to cool in lagering caves through the hot summer months, this seasonal beer comes with toasted malt flavor and just a bit of caramel.
4. Deschutes Brewery's Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA (Oregon, 7.2 percent ABV)
Deschutes Brewery hunts down John I Haas growers' Mosiac hops, creating a bright, bold flavor that captures the essence of the hop flower.
5. Founders Brewing Co.'s Breakfast Stout (Michigan, 8.3 percent ABV)
Made with flaked oats, bitter chocolate, and Sumatra and Kona coffees, this stout tastes like a rich, grown-up version of the first meal of the day. Guaranteed to warm you up no matter what time you drink it.
6. Bell’s Best Brown Ale (Michigan, 5.8 percent ABV)
This English brown ale is smooth and toasty with hints of caramel and cocoa. Thanks to American hops, it tastes right in chilly weather without being too heavy.
7. Rogue Ales' Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale (Oregon, 5.6 percent ABV)
This pumpkin ale is brewed with hops, barley, and pumpkins grown on the Rogue Ales farm. It’s spiced with ginger, cloves, cardamom, and vanilla bean.
8. Bronx Brewery's Autumn Pale Ale (New York, 6.5 percent ABV)
Created in part from five varieties of fresh-pressed local apple juice, this pale ale is fruity and crisp with a tannic finish. The whiff of mint comes from Northern Brewer hops from the West Coast.
Photo Credits: Beer Tasting / Mystic Seaport, The Great Pumpkin / Leaf and Yeast, Pecan Harvest Ale / Brew Kettle Times, Octoberfest Lager / Dornenburg Kallenbach Advertising, Chasin' Freshies / Average Bro's Brew Review, Breakfast Stout / Hop-Files, Best Brown Ale / Bell's Brewery, Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale / Outside Online, Autumn Pale Ale / The Manual
Leena Trivedi-Grenier is a Bay Area food writer and cooking teacher with an undying love for pot stickers. She earned her master's in gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu. Her writing appears on her blog Leena Eats and in various food-based encyclopedias.