I am certain that I am not alone in my absolute obsession with fall. Sure, summer is dandy with the heat and the patios and the ease of throwing on jeans and flip flops, but there is just something about fall that really floats my seasonal boat! The fresh chill in the air, the beautiful colours of nature as the leaves change, and don’t even get me started on mini pumpkins and cinnamon scented candles. And of course there is the cuisine; hearty stews, soul-pleasing soups, roast dinners and full-bodied wines. Yeah, fall is where it’s at. And in honour of my favourite season touching down and my love for the golden nectar, we’re giving you the rundown of the beers you need to get your hands on to celebrate all the wonderful flavours on offer at this time of year. Because beer isn’t just for sweaty afternoons on a patio, y’know…
Autumn Hop Harvest Ale | Amsterdam Brewing | Toronto
Brand new on the market for fall 2013, this seasonal sipper is made with freshly picked hops from Collingwood, Ontario. The hops are used within just four hours of being picked and are put into the beer during the whirlpool stage of the brewing cycle. The result is a beer with a fresh hop aroma and flavour. It is available now at select LCBO outlets and both Amsterdam retail locations in Toronto.
Night-Marzen | Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company | Vankleek Hill
Beau’s seasonal offering for fall is a returning contender that is based on a German beer tradition which lagers the brew throughout the summer and is released to coincide with the famous Oktoberfest celebrations in the fall. The Night-Marzen offers a deeper and darker malt and more intense flavour than some of the contemporary versions of the Marzen style. Dig out your lederhosen and pair this with a salty pretzel and some mustard. Available now from Beau’s Brewery, in select bars and restaurants, and select LCBO outlets.
Autumn Rye Ale | Walkerville Brewery | Windsor
New on the market in 2012 as a one-off seasonal, Walkerville’s Rye Ale is back for another fall season. Weighing in at 5.9% ABV, this autumnal pick-me-up offers a “portion of chocolate rye malt contributing to an aromatic whisper of roasted spice while a mix of American aroma hops present a floral, citrusy bouquet of fresh hop cones, peaches and grapefruit.” The only thing is you may have to road trip to get your hands on this one. It is available at select bars and restaurants in Windsor and the surrounding area and at the Walkerville retail store.
Muskoka Harvest Ale | Muskoka Brewery | Bracebridge
Now in its fifth year of production, Muskoka Harvest Ale offers a “rich malt backbone with a subtle grassy character” and is perfect for a crisp fall night huddled around a fire. It also packs a punch at 7% ABV. Available at select LCBO and Beer Store outlets now until November.
Rhubarb Wheat | Whitewater Brewing | Foresters Falls
These guys are still new to the brewing biz, having only opened their doors in June of 2013. This brew is their fifth offering and their first seasonal release. The team promises “a clean tasting ruby coloured wheat beer with a mild rhubarb aroma.” There is a very limited amount on sale and it is only currently available at the retail store located in the small community of Foresters Falls in Ottawa Valley, ON. This could be the perfect excuse for a fall road trip to capture the beauty of the season in our lush province.
Highballer Pumpkin Ale | Grand River Brewing | Cambridge
Nothing says “fall” like a pumpkin. Mini pumpkins, giant pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin candles and even pumpkin beer. The pumpkins used for this brew are actually grown by the brewery owner Bob in his own garden. Offering a pumpkin pie aroma with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, cloves and vanilla, I’d say this is fall, only bottled. Available in select LCBO outlets in Ontario and of course at the Grand River retail store.