October 4, 2010 | 12:48pm
To everything there is a season -- a phrase that applies especially to beer. Take a hint from nature. As the leaves begin their annual shift from gold and green to deeper hues, so should your drink. Fall is the season of maerzens, oktoberfests, harvest ales and pumpkin beers, and the ones on this list are the best you can get.
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen
The Bruery Autumn Maple
Skip the dessert of sweet potato pie this Thanksgiving and go straight for this dark Belgian-style ale, which is brewed with 17 pounds of yams per barrel along with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup. At 10% ABV, this sugary, spicy brew's the perfect nightcap to a cold autumn evening.
Dogfish Head Punkin
Dogfish's off-centered take on a pumpkin ale made its debut in 1994 at Punkin Chunkin, an event in southern Delaware that involves pumpkins being hurled more than 4,000 feet through the air. A full-bodied, 7% ABV brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar, Punkin Ale's brewed with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices.
A traditional Oktoberfest bier from Surly? Nein! A single hop, dry hopped, rye lager bier? Ja! Surly's fest-inspired beer is brewed with imported malted barley, rye and a German lager yeast strain. It's then hopped and dry-hopped with a single variety, making this 6% brew one of the spicier lagers you'll find.