Until now, craft brewers were more likely to be producing ales than lagers—the kind of light, golden beer that Coors, Miller, Anheuser-Busch, etc. make. But recently they’ve been playing with more flavorful, playful versions of the style.

Spotted: Shmaltz Brewing’s Freaktoberfest beer, which pours red and may or may not contain zombie blood; Moonlight Brewing’s Death & Taxes, a superdark, chocolaty, coffee-tasting beer that’s light-bodied and lower in alcohol than you might think; Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils, featured as a top pick in CHOW’s Summer Beers with Brains story. We called it “the type of light, crisp pilsner you’re used to from Budweiser and Tecate, but classed up with a malty backbone and low-key spice from the hops.”

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