Ultimate 6er | Halloween Beer Costumes
When I was a child, growing up in suburban New Jersey, there was a Halloween costume contest every year at the park around the corner from our house. The process involved walking around in a circle, with other eager trick-or-treaters, so the judges could get a load of everyone’s gear. The winner for each category received a $2 bill, exciting stuff for a 6-year-old in *cough cough* 1986. I am proud to say I won this contest for one category or another several times. Now that I’m an “adult” I’ll go out on a limb and wager it may have been rigged since my mom was the mayor of our town. But that’s not the point.
The point is I LOVE Halloween. Why? Well, my birthday is the day beforehand, there’s enough candy to kill a moose and you get to wear a costume! Costumes are fun for 4-year-olds drinking milk and 34-year-olds drinking beer. Nobody wants to be That Guy who shows up at a Halloween party without a costume because he’s too cool and tough. It’s the universal holiday.
In honor of my Halloween love, today’s Ultimate 6er will show off six beers that would make a good costume contest entry. Not actually wearing the beer bottle, though that is encouraged, but discussing what about the name, design and flavors of the beer make it a good candidate to turn into an absurd costume. Also, it needs to be the kind of getup that will keep the judges guessing. Anyone can wear a sheet and say “Boo!” but we’re looking for creative, odd, nonsensical.
For example, one year I dressed up as a sock tree. I wore a grey sweat suit – the kind with elastic in the ankles – and safety pinned around 10,000 socks to myself. There was quite literally no contest at that year’s contest. The judges just fainted when they saw me. Is there a craft beer out there that can top Sock Man? Questionable but we’ll find out.
The name of this beer on its own evokes feelings of fall – cast iron, oatmeal and brown. It’s a nice roasty, chocolaty brew that you’ll find fits with everything from tailgates to turkey dinner and get a load of that artwork!
Your costume would involve inserting yourself into that rolling kettle sitting between the rear wheels. If your building skills exceed Pinewood Derby ability, folks might wonder if you’ve attempted some kind of ode to Henry Ford’s first prototype. But with the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang theme song playing from hidden speakers and your goosing of unsuspecting passerby’s with those Inspector Gadget hands, they’ll really be scratching their heads.
Another beer with an oatmeal backbone but in this case a stout instead of a brown. And not only does it have coffee notes, it’s actually made with coffee. Obviously you’ll want to drink this with your pumpkin pancakes before getting ready for Halloween. Maybe two if you have children. And then don the costume!
For this treat, you’ll want to turn yourself into a gigantic French press. Be sure to incorporate some kind of bladder that allows for live pours. Offer your brew to fellow trick-or-treaters. When they realize your little teapot dispenses Beer Geek Breakfast and not coffee, you may want to consider running for the hills as you will surely be swallowed up by legions of lunatics unable to contain their ecstasy.
This beer was made for Halloween – candy in a bottle with a hilarious name. When I first heard about it I knew I had to have it. When I had it I had to have more. And now that I’ve had my fill of this decadently delicious brew, it’s time to make a costume out of it.
For this, you’ll want to create a baby basket that goes around your waist jutting out in front of you. From your neck down, go ahead and lay out a pretend baby torso wrapped in a blanket that appears to be resting within your basket. Put a pillow behind your head, a Jesus beard on your face and bottle of DuClaw’s porter in your hand. You are now the sweet baby Jesus.
I love black IPAs, the way they mix my love of dark beer with just the right amount of hops. Dark Penance is made with a hop mix including Centennial which when used on their own I find it to be a puckering, bitter variety. When Founders melds it with malt however, the combo is top shelf.
Here’s the question – is that a man or a woman on the label? I’m not sure but there is clearly something dark going on there. Just imagine if those eyes popped open and turned to look at you? For this costume, a creepy old lady mask and a weird old sweater should cover you. Nightmares for weeks.
It is Halloween so we must have pumpkin beer. And everyone can rest happy drinking orange beer in October instead of *GASP* August! This was a tough choice because I thoroughly enjoy pumpkin beer but O’Fallon really stands out in this space. Their “regular” pumpkin is excellent but the imperial version is eye-popping. In a word, it’s creamy. You get a nice pumpkin spice kick but with a velvety vanilla finish that just kills it.
This costume creation can be done on the cheap. Cardboard crown from Burger King, two plastic trick-or-treating pumpkins, length of twine and some nice long straws. Loop the twine over your shoulders and tie it to the handles of each pumpkin. Plop the crown on your head. Fill those plastic buckets with O’Fallon’s brew, insert straws and win that costume contest and also, life.
The other big holiday not to be missed this time of year is of course Oktoberfest. If you didn’t make it to München this year, that’s ok, Left Hand has you covered. Start chanting polka music, find a giant glass stein and fill ‘er up with their tasty tribute to a centuries old German tradition.
This costume may take the cake. As a boy, in between winning all those two dollar bills, I was a part-time marketer for my grandmother’s florist. During Easter, she would dress me up in a homemade bunny costume so that I could stand out on the sidewalk to wave like one of those Liberty Tax goofballs for hours at a time. I was paid in lollipops. I bring this up because said bunny had an amazing paper mache head. It was hot as…, well, it was hot. But it was legit.
For the Left Hand version, we’ll go ahead and whip up a snow leopard (?) head which will be super cool in its own right. Then we’ll don some authentic lederhosen and run around singing in broken Deutsch. After a few hours of märzen and mettwurst, you may not even know what your costume is supposed to be let alone anyone judging you but that’s ok, it’s Halloween!