Ah, the fall! A chill in the air, brisk nights, and local craft beers that’ll warm you up like your favourite cardigan. As the season changes, so does the beer. Not only do autumn seasonal beers offer different flavours from your go to beers, they also ensure you're getting the freshest beer possible. So get yourself one, or a few, of my favourite fall beers.
Here are my picks for local fall beers (and a suggestion of when to drink them).
Autumn from Anderson Craft Ales, 5.5%
Autumn is an Oktoberfest-style beer, super-smooth, copper-coloured and has a malty finish. This true-to-style Marzen is hearty enough to hold up to chilly autumn drinking.
Drink one: Fireside, while that pile of leaves you spent all day raking burns down.
Find it: At Anderson Craft Ales on-site retail store, in cans or on tap, plus in the LCBO.
Full City Porter by Forked River Brewery, 5.5%
Dosed liberally with locally-roasted coffee, this smooth-drinking porter is lighter in body, but big on chocolate and coffee flavours, as well as loads of malt.
Drink one: On a fall day when you choose to sit on your patio, tied in your scarf, knowing it’s obviously too cold to be sitting outside. But the sun is shinning and you're not ready give up patio season just yet!
Find it: In 473mL cans at the Forked River Brewery retail store right now, as well as on the shelves of LCBO.
Autumn Mosaic by Toboggan Brewery, 5.8%
A stunning seasonal with a deep red-brown hue and mosaic hops to bring out a tangy citrus flavour.
Drink one: At thanksgiving dinner (if can make it lasts that long), this brew has a little something for everybody. Your beer geek cousin will appreciate its subtleness and it’s strong enough that even your Uncle Buck might throw one down before he gets into the rum again.
Find it: At the Toboggan Brewing Company's brew pub and their beer & gear store in the coming weeks – call for availability.
Fire in the Pumpkin Patch by London Brewing Co-operative, 5.5%
There seems to be more smokey notes and pumpkin flavours in this beer and less of just the pumpkin pie spiciness and sweetness found in so many other examples. Whether it is because of the very fresh self-farmed ingredients used, or just a more judicious hand in the adding of those ingredients or both is hard to say. Either way it is awesome – a truly quaffable smoked pumpkin ale.
Drink one: Look up that old pal you haven't seen or spoken to in years because of some stupid fight and bring over a couple growlers. You'll surely make an amends over this local craft, or maybe exchange blows... Anyhow, a memorable night is in store.
Find it: Soon, at the London Brewing Co-operative - Fire in the Pumpkin Patch will be released in a few weeks!
Innovative craft brewers in London, and the rest of Ontario's Southwest, are making a ton of great beers, not just the few above, that might help ease your transition from light summery beers to the more serious beverages of fall. Indeed, there's a local seasonal fall beer for every occasion.
Brian Blatnicki also writes about beer & food over at the Forest City Cookbook, London Ontario's first-ever community cookbook. Be sure to message him your favourite fall beer and invitations to jump in your leaf pile @BrianBlatnicki.