BY: WILLIAM ODIS MARTIN & RYAN CONLON
Happy October my beer drinking friends. The start of the fall season signifies the end of summer, the changing of the leaves, the beginnings of sweater weather and most importantly: FALL BREWS!
You may be asking yourself: Why should I care about our opinions? Well, Will’s sheer age and years experiencing the creation and growth of craft brews, has shaped his beer palate. Ryan, on the other hand, has numerous years experience working in bars and restaurants. If he hasn’t served it, he’s tried it.
Here are definitions to vocabulary we use:
- ABV stands for a beer’s alcohol percentage.
- Hops are what gets you buzzed.
- IPA is an India Pale Ale.
Hangar 24 Oktoberfest:
Hangar 24’s Oktoberfest Fall Lager is incredibly smooth with a classic clean and balanced malt finish. This Amber Lager comes straight out of Redlands, CA and possesses a modest 5.7 percent ABV, which makes it acceptable to have midday with a hamburger or bratwurst. The German inspired brew is definitely a 4 out of 5 in overall drinkability.
This beer was extremely enjoyable. It had a golden brown color with a good body to it. The taste was everything you want in an Oktoberfest lager: light in body, but strong in hoppy flavor. The overall hoppiness of the beer affects the drinkability, I would not be able to drink more than 3 of these.
Ballast Point’s Pumpkin Down:
Although I am not the type to hop on the pumpkin everything bandwagon, I might just have to after trying Ballast Point’s Scottish Ale infused with Pumpkin called Pumpkin Down. It was the second most expensive beer in the assorted six-pack we assembled at Total Wine, but was definitely worth it. Pumpkin Down turned out to be one of my favorites even though I was a skeptic going into the taste test. It is kind of on the heavy side considering it only has 5.8 percent ABV, but nevertheless the delicious taste makes you want to pound that Pumpkin Down. I would have to give it a 4 out of 5 beers in overall drinkability.
Everything you want in a pumpkin ale. The pumpkin flavor was rich, yet the beer was a smooth drink with a strong pumpkin smell. When it comes to drinkability, the beer is a little heavy in body, making it be a filling beer. I'd probably have to switch beverages after 2 of these.
Abita’s Peach Lager:
Georgia peaches wish they were as sweet as Abita’s Peach lager. Made with Louisiana's freshest peaches, this harvest series brew is one of the tastiest and easy to drink beers I have tried in a long time. This is the type of beer I would give to my mom, who likes to occasionally drink in a social setting but can’t ever get past the bitterness of hoppy brews. It is a 5 out of 5 beers on my overall drinkability scale-- meaning you could literally chug these all day long, but with its 4.5 percent ABV you might have to if you want to catch any form of a buzz off these bad boys.
One of my favorite thing about fall beers is the harvest series. It's not everyday you get to enjoy a peach lager. Every sip gives the feeling like you just bit into a fresh, juicy peach. The beer was on the lighter side, and I could drink it all day.
Stone’s Enjoy by 10-31:
Stone has always had special place in my heart. The trailblazing beer company was a beacon for the west-coast craft beer movement ever since its conception twenty years ago in San Marcos, CA. Stone’s Arrogant Bastard was my first beautifully rude introduction to the cult of craft beer connoisseurs back in 2004 (yes I am old). Stone’s beer is quite probably responsible for up to 90 percent of my chest hair, but this Tangerine IPA is not harsh like others. It has a bold hop-driven citrus finish that hides its high 9.4 percent ABV well enough to be able to put 3 or 4 of these guys down the hatch before you get 86’ed out of your local watering hole. 3.5 out of 5 beers in overall drinkability.
Stone Brewery always has certain “Enjoy By” beers. The fall season enjoy by is a tangerine IPA. Personally, I am not a huge fan because the hops are too much for me. However, this beer is good for beginners experimenting to find a place for IPAs.The beer has a lingering citrus taste, which makes it easy to drink. However, the large body of this beer makes it difficult to sip on. Drinkers would have a difficult time drinking more than 2 of these, before switching to another option.
Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Wiesn:
aulaner’s Oktoberfest Wiesn tasted like piss that was bottled and aged since the turn of the 18th century. This German classic Wiesn has 6 percent ABV and I would give it a 1 out of 5 beers in drinkability.
Yikes....that's about all I have to say about this. It has a skunk taste, and had the consistency of Coors Light. Probably the least enjoyable beer I've had in a very long time.
Uinta’s Punk’N Pumpkin ale:
Utah’s Uinta Brewing is one of my new favorite breweries. They never let me down. Their Punk’N Pumpkin Ale will make any beer guru’s top 10 Fall beers. Its amber color and smooth pumpkin finish would pair nicely with most Thanksgiving grub. This beer is a 4.5 out of 5 beer in overall drinkability.
In contrast to the Ballast Point Pumpkin Down, this ale is very light and easy to drink. It does not have the full pumpkin flavor that Pumpkin Down brought, but the presence of pumpkin is still there. This is a very drinkable beer due to its light body. This would be the lighter beer you'd change to after a few Pumpkin Downs.