Ask the Breweries: What to Expect This Fall
As the leaves change from light and crisp to dark and brown, so does the beer. Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons, but it’s the amazing variety of lagers, Oktoberfests and stouts that really makes this season shine. As the temps change, so do the opinions of craft beer nation, which means that craft breweries around the U.S. have to be cognizant of these changes and flexible enough to adapt to the every-fragmenting taste preferences of their patrons. What’s new and hot for 2017? Is this finally the swan song of the oft-maligned pumpkin beer? To get answers to these questions – plus many more – we asked the breweries. Here is what they said:
On Oktoberfest Beers:
- “Oktoberfests can be divided into two main camps. The stronger and darker Marzen on the one hand; the golden and easier-drinking Wiesn on the other…[Our] version definitely leans towards the Wiesn style with its rich golden color, lower ABV, and delicate yet complex maltiness. An iron fist in a velvet glove. All you really need to know, though, is that it’s bier for festing.” – Dan Stavig, Lead Brewer, Indeed Brewing
- “We’re so proud of our Oktoberfest and the reputation its garnered as a world-class beer. It’s smooth, flavorful, and looks amazing in a glass. And it’s just one of those beers you can enjoy anywhere because its easy drinking feel and how well it pairs with food. Heading to a cookout or tailgate? Oktoberfest. Bonfire? Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest just pairs well with any fall activity.”- Adam Ritterspach, PR Coordinator, Great Lakes Brewing Co.
- “[Our Oktoberfest] has been very popular in our tasting room thus far and we’ve seen a lot of postings of it on social media. We think people are ready to embrace fall.” – Mark Poffenberger, Head Brewer, On Tour Brewing
The One Fall Trend You’re Focusing On:
- “[At Corridor Brewery and Provisions] We are going to make a strong push to brew some high gravity cake style Russian Imperial style stouts at Corridor. Roger Cuzelis (lead brewer) has come up with some cool ideas. Think Nutella, think pancakes and syrup… At DryHop, after much debate, we have decided to move Milkstachio, our collaboration with Hop Butcher, to a November release.” – Brant Dubovick, Head Brewer, Dryhop & Corridor Brewery and Provisions
- “At Half Acre, we’re drawn to brew the beers we want to drink. This fall, that includes some favored classics seeing cans for the first time (LagerTown, Sticky Fat) and some tap room beers that struck us being brewed again and thrown in cans for shop only releases. I’m most excited for an IPL we have in line. It’s a style I dig and I have big plans for its place within my own seasonal restoration.” – Meredith Anderson, Marketing Manager, Half Acre Beer
- “[We’ve seen] an increase in volume of demand for seasonals – partly due to our 15 packs and the success of [that format] with All Day IPA…that’s a big trend we’re seeing, people are tired of distractions…they just want great tasting, solid beers.” – Dave Engbers, Co-Founder, Founders Brewing Co.
Are Pumpkin Beers on their Way Out?
- “I think beers with gourds in them are on their way out, with the exception of those breweries that were doing them before the craze and established themselves in that category.” – Scott Cargile, Colorado Sales Manager, Great Divide Brewing Company
- “As far as fall beer trends go, it seems like pumpkin beers are dying out. You can find everything, not just beer, in pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavors, and it’s just too much.” – Josh Bischoff, Head Brewer, Indeed Brewing
- “Pumpkin beer is as dead as dead in my opinion.” – Brant Dubovick, Head Brewer, Dryhop & Corridor Brewery and Provisions
Exciting Seasonals to Look For:
- “Yeti fans will be excited to hear that we have a new addition to our Yeti series lineup coming in October. We are introducing a new Chai Yeti for the October-December season.” – Shannon Berner, Marketing Manager, Great Divide Brewing Company
- “Our fall seasonal will be Blackberry IPA… We created something a bit different than the traditional pumpkin ale. The combination of tart sweet blackberries alongside an aromatic floral bouquet of fresh Michigan hops is a great segway from fresh, citrus summer beers into the crisp air of fall.” – Lindsey VanDenBoom, Director of Digital Marketing + Media, Perrin Brewing
- “We have plans to brew a Winterland Brown Ale brewed with cherry, cranberry, star anise, cinnamon and clove around Thanksgiving — similar to an On Tour beer we did last winter called Winterland.” – Mark Poffenberger, Head Brewer, On Tour Brewing
- “Our Mosaic Promise seasonal will be in 15 packs for the first time this year…[Mosaic Promise] is our current seasonal but we are also obviously looking forward to Breakfast Stout as well… This year, Breakfast Stout will be more widely available and in higher volumes and should be hitting shelves in October.” – Dave Engbers, Co-Founder, Founders Brewing Co.
What fall beer are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers!
Featured image courtesy of Restaurant Girl