Now that it’s Autumn (and even though I can see it’s lightly snowing outside), we’ve likely started making the switch from desiring Summertime shandy’s and beers to cool us down, to darker ambers, increased mouthfeel, and a higher ABV (learn about what that means in my Craft Beer 101 post). So what kind of beers are traditional to Autumn? Let’s find out.
(Descriptions go in order from left to right in the photo)
(Pictured above are all michigan beers)
Red ales – Red ales have never been my favorite, sorry reds! They use roasted malts to produce a sweeter flavor profile and the bitterness from the hops is low. They’re more medium bodied then a pale ale but they’re easy drinking.
Amber ales – This and the next beer make me think Autumn more than any others. Ambers are the colors of the changing leaves and compared to an ESB it’s going to be just a bit heavier bodied with a little more hops and malt.
Pumpkin Ales – A pumpkin beer is the first beer “style” I ever brewed with Steve! Naturally I wanted to brew a pumpkin beer first because I love all things pumpkin, but not all pumpkin beers are created equal. The can range from ambers to stouts, to IPAs…the main adjuncts are usually pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice, etc. You’re going to get some that are sweet like pumpkin pie and some that overdo it on the spices.
Wet hopped IPAs – Wet hopped IPAs are released in Autumn because late August to September is harvest time for the hops. If you’re using hops within 24 hours of harvesting, you’re using them to wet hop a beer. A wet hopped beer is not meant to sit on your shelf and “age.” You want to enjoy the fresh flavor and aroma the hop cones bring before they begin to break down in your beer.
Oktoberfest (Märzen) -Märzen is the German word for March because this is when they begin to brew this style so it can be enjoyed during Oktoberfest. These beers are full-bodied lagers, bold malty flavor but finish clean/dry. The aroma is not from the hops added but rather from the malt. The color will range from gold to a light amber color.
These are the common beers to start seeing around this time of year and I think it’s partially why I love living in Michigan. Number one, we have some of the best beer in the U.S. Number two, we have all four seasons so these seasonal brews fit right in with the cooler temps.
What’s your favorite beer to enjoy this season?