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October 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Craft-beer pairings for your favorite October (and November) fests

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Stone Brewing Co. Levitation Ale (Matthew Mead / The Associated Press)

By Michael Felberbaum / The Associated Press

localbeers_1006_300Fall is a fine time to sample a wide variety of craft beers, because no matter what your autumnal activity, there is likely to be a seasonal beer to make it better.

Whether you’re having a Halloween gathering, hosting a Thanksgiving feast, enjoying the fall foliage or taking the family apple picking, there are plenty of brews to help celebrate.

By nature, craft beers can be hard to come by due to limited production and an often smaller distribution footprint. These autumn-friendly craft brews are more widely available.

HALLOWEEN

Beer: Schlafly Beer Pumpkin Ale (St. Louis, Mo.)

Style: Pumpkin ale

Notes: Pounds of pumpkin are combined with clove, cinnamon and nutmeg to create what Schlafly refers to as “liquid pumpkin pie.” This full-bodied, deep amber ale is ideal for a Halloween party or pumpkin carving.

Local pick: Elysian Brewing Co. Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

Beer: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Punkin Ale (Milton, Del.)

Style: Spiced brown ale

Notes: While other pumpkin beers can be overpowering with their spices, Punkin Ale is first and foremost a brown ale, complemented with more subtle flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Local pick: Populuxe Beersnob Brown

 

THANKSGIVING

Beer: Oskar Blues Brewery Ten FIDY (Longmont, Colo.)

Style: Imperial stout

Notes: With a perfect 100 score on RateBeer.com, Ten FIDY is coveted by many craft beer drinkers for its combination of roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel flavors. It’s perfect for a long day of playing and watching football with family, entertaining friends and enjoying a bountiful Thanksgiving meal.

Local pick: Fremont Brewing Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Beer: Avery Brewing Co. The Kaiser (Boulder, Colo.)

Style: Imperial Oktoberfest

Notes: Avery Brewing Co. took a traditional Oktoberfest beer that balances malty sweetness and the spiciness of hops, but intensified it to highlight more toffee and caramel flavors. It’s crisp and clean, but certainly packs a punch.

Local pick: Pyramid Breweries Oktoberfest

 

LEAF PEEPING

Beer: Stone Brewing Co. Levitation Ale (Escondido, Calif.)

Style: Amber ale

Notes: This amber ale has a lower alcohol content, which makes it just right for a hike through the woods. But Levitation Ale still packs a lot of flavor, blending malty sweetness with pine and citrus flavors from the hops.

Local pick: Two Beers Brewing Co. Immersion Amber

Beer: Boulevard Brewing Co. Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest (Kansas City, Mo.)

Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen

Notes: Bob’s ’47 is an amber beer with toasted malt and nutty, caramel flavors, with hints of hops to balance it out.

Local pick: Georgetown Brewing Company Tomtoberfest

 

APPLE PICKING

Beer: Green Flash Brewing Co. Green Bullet (San Diego, Calif.)

Style: Triple IPA

Notes: The beginning of fall usually ushers in malt-heavy beers for Oktoberfest, but there are still IPAs out there for those who enjoy hoppy beers. Green Flash’s Green Bullet is a concoction that starts out sweet, with the tastes of pine, citrus, mango and pineapple, but finishes on the bitter side.

Local pick: Reuben’s Brews Imperial Rye IPA

Beer: Bell’s Brewery Best Brown Ale (Kalamazoo, Mich.)

Style: Brown ale

Notes: Brown ales walk the line between medium-bodied malty-heavy beers and stronger beers like porters or stouts. Bell’s version of this traditional style is highlighted by toasted malts that impart subtle cocoa flavors balanced with mild, floral hop flavors and a nutty finish.

Local pick: American Brewing Co. Brave American Brown Ale

Local picks by Sunday Market staff

 

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