With Halloween only a couple days away, we pulled together a list of some of the scariest beers out there. Terrifying names and frightening labels make these brews perfect for setting the scene at your Halloween party — you’ll get the chills before you even take your first sip.
Halloween candy is just fine, but come fall, I crave creamy, chocolatey oatmeal stout. These beers are silky-smooth thanks to the oaty addition, and the flavors tend to evoke roasty coffee with cream. They’re ideal for serving with all sorts of autumnal meals: roasted root vegetables and pork shoulder, slow-braised beef stews or chili. When dinner’s over, oatmeal stouts can stand in for coffee alongside whatever you’re offering for dessert.
I asked our crew of beer experts—all Certified Cicerones—about the best of the bunch. Which oatmeal stouts should you seek out? Here’s their list.
Maybe it’s the cooler, darker afternoons. Maybe it’s the wind, rain, and drifting foliage. One way or the other, fall makes us craft autumn beer styles—märzen, a.k.a. Oktoberfest, especially. But one oft-overlooked beer style (or collection of related styles, actually), is the humble brown ale.
Derived from English, German, and Belgian origins, the tawny colored ales get their color and malty backbone from roasted barley. They range in flavor from hoppy to sour to biscuit-bready and even nutty.
And read on for five recommendations of five different brown ale styles from around the country.
Cave-aged Gruyere + saison
Gruyere is a Swiss cheese, but a nap in a cave takes it beyond the holey slice you know with more must, earth and tang. An effervescent saison brings life to the bite with a stream of lemon flavors that play up the tang, though the beer’s subtle barnyard notes also nicely complement the cheese’s musty taste.
Brewers are always tinkering with new ways to get the most out of hops. It’s particularly noticeable this time of year, when breweries source just-picked “wet” or “fresh” hops from the annual hop harvest; they’re able to extract more oil, which boosts a beer’s hop flavor and aroma. These are called fresh hop IPAs, and are easily my favorite seasonal offerings. But, Sierra Nevada is working on a process that would bottle up that vivid once-a-year fresh hop character for year-round use: steam distilling.