The old adage, “If it grows together, it goes together,” has long been a philosophy of farm-to-table restaurants. Brewers around the world employ the same idea when they add fruits and vegetables to their beers. While numerous year-round offerings feature grapefruit, cucumber or chile peppers, these five take a decidedly more autumn-harvest focus.
One of the most recognizable names in Belgian beer, Lindemans has experimented with different flavors in recent years. This blend of one-, two- and three-year-old lambic is fermented in oak with fresh ginger. Assertive and pleasantly sour, it’s lovely with real vanilla ice cream, or even a hearty roast dinner.
House of Fermentology
Aged for more than a year in oak barrels stuffed with black mission figs and a touch of star anise, this wild ale has the slightly earthy, sweet, rounded flavor you’d expect from the fruit. It gets a smooth, licorice-like boost from the spice and also boasts a moderate alcohol level. It’s a perfect after-dinner beer.
New Glarus Brewing Co.
The brewery best known for the easy-drinking Spotted Cow is also celebrated for its fruit-infused ales. Wisconsin is one of the world’s largest producers of cranberries, and they make an annual appearance in this slightly tart, red-hued beer made in the lambic style. Effervescent and refreshing, it’s an ideal replacement for canned cranberry.
Ballast Point Brewing Company
A beer that’s appealing in the glass will immediately pique interest, and this nitrogenated, red-hued oatmeal stout with a fluffy white head resembles its dessert namesake. Brewed with beets to impart their distinct color, the result is more sweet than earthy. No fork required.
As with pumpkin, some people enjoy the spice medley attached to sweet potatoes, others don’t. For the latter, there’s this lager. It uses 200 pounds of sweet potatoes per batch, but not the spices. The result is a crisp, refreshing beer with a touch of earthy sweetness and slight hop bitterness on the finish.