12 Fall Beers to Welcome Sweater Weather

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The autumn leaves are shifting into peak enjoyment season. And for some, that signals the return of pumpkin spice lattes. For us, though, changing leaves signals the return of Oktoberfest brews, pumpkin ales and other fall beers.

But when confronted with the dozens of options at your local beer shop or grocery store, finding the right beer can be daunting. But thankfully, many of these brews contain flavors of allspice, brown sugar, roasted coffee and other fall-friendly notes.

Ranging from light and refreshing lagers to dark stouts, we have you covered with a list of 12 seasonal beers we love this fall, so you can find your new favorite.

The Wildest Flavored Beers—and the Brewers Behind Them

North Coast Barrel-aged Old Rasputin (California)

96 Points Wine Enthusiast

Sweet dark fudge with earthy hops and robust coffee mix well together on the nose and palate. A full-bodied imperial stout, this benefits from a kick of spicy whiskey that comes on mid-palate and stays until the finish and then some. This is a proper nightcap. #17 Top Beers 2021 —John Holl

$32 / 750ml Wine-Searcher

Blackberry Farm Mountain Lager (Tennessee)

95 Points Wine Enthusiast

There are end-of-summer nights where there is a chill in the air, a slight cooling that is the promise of seasons to come. We put on a sweatshirt or sweater and reach for a beer like this. This shows a caramel malt-forward grain bill and a noble hop character that ends on a nutty and spicy flourish. This is a treat around a firepit or campfire. —J.H.

$12 / 12oz 6-pack Wine-Searcher

3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek (Belgium)

94 Points Wine Enthusiast

This cherry-forward ale carries accents of smoke, leather and wet tobacco. It is deep and brooding, with a rustic use of cherries that is more tart than sweet. It is just right for a rainy autumn afternoon at home in a comfortable chair, or at a small café with a fireplace nearby. —J.H.

$30 / 750ml Total Wine & More

Exhibit A Briefcase Porter (Massachusetts)

94 Points Wine Enthusiast

This is a minerally, light-bodied ale that starts off with low roast in the aroma but builds in flavor as the beer is consumed. It offers tones of roasted coffee, with whiffs of walnut and almond. It’s a satisfying beer that lands just right after an autumn hike. —J.H.

$13.99 / 16oz 4-pack Total Wine & More

Southern Tier Imperial Pumking (New York)

94 Points Wine Enthusiast

The bottle reads, “Bewitched and brewed with pagan spirit,” and man do I believe it! This is a true pumpkin beer, for any lover of the style. Golden orange in color with amber highlights throughout and a creamy head. The bouquet is beautiful and immediately inviting: sweet spice, sweet citrus resin oils, brown sugar. Full and robust in the mouth with nice baked pumpkin flavors, allspice, vanilla, hop spice and oil. The finish is long and delicious, and with the weight and complexity, the higher ABV is barely noticeable. Wow. —Lauren Buzzeo

$12.99 / 12oz 4-pack Total Wine & More

Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel (Germany)

93 Points Wine Enthusiast

This shows a lovely combination of worn leather, sweet tobacco, dried sweet cherry and a dusting of chocolate. It’s dessert in a glass that won’t weigh you down. With effervescent carbonation that keeps each sip lively, this well-crafted lager remains crisp from start to finish and shows a Sherry-like depth woven throughout. It would be a wonderful pairing with a slow-cooked beef and root vegetable stew. Merchant du Vin. #24 Top Beers 2020 —J.H.

$3.99 / 500ml Drizly

Alaskan Pilot Series Pumpkin Porter (Alaska)

92 Points Wine Enthusiast

This is a welcome new addition to Alaskan Brewing’s Pilot Series lineup, and worth searching out. It pours a dark-brown, almost black color, with subtle amber flecks when held against light. The pumpkin pie spice aromas are front and center, alongside incredibly attractive notes of roasted malt and charred pumpkin slices with caramelized sugar on top. With over 11 pounds of pumpkin added to every barrel, the gourdy flavors are abundant, and the creamy mouthfeel is complemented by assertive baking spice, molasses and sweet-smoke flavors that carry through to the long finish. —L.B.

$8 / 750ml Wine-Searcher

4 Noses Foeder Oktoberfest (Colorado)

91 Points Wine Enthusiast

This is an autumn seasonal lager that gets a turn in wood before being packaged. The result is a clear and bright dark-bronze pour, with a touch of earthiness and a hint of light brown sugar. Overall, a crisp malt and a noble hop character lend a bite to the finish. —J.H.

$11.99 / 12oz 6-pack Drizly

Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel Authentic Bavarian Dark Lager (Germany)

91 Points Wine Enthusiast

Rich brown in color, this dunkel pours with a fluffy tan head that falls quickly to a thin cap, but then shows good staying power. The malty core is at the forefront of the nose and mouth, with notes of lightly toasted brown bread, walnut skins and brown sugar all balanced by a soft, floral hop note that keeps the richness grounded. Smooth but robust, with full malt flavor and an approachable style. Hints of caramel, toast and soft hops grace the medium-length finish. —L.B.

$3.49 / 16.9oz Total Wine & More

Rosenstadt Festbier (Oregon)

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

This is a strong, semisweet Oktoberfest lager, with a subtle hop presence and a full body. At home alongside grilled sausages or lightly fried potatoes, it’s a hearty lager that will fill your stomach and soul. —J.H.

$4 / 16oz Wine-Searcher

Samuel Adams Octoberfest (Massachusetts)

91 Points Wine Enthusiast

Vibrant amber color with a substantial cream-colored head. Offers rich aromas of roasted malt, portobello mushrooms and fresh-baked bread with hints of apricot jam and hop florals. The palate is full and creamy with flavors of clean cereal and malt backed by hints of maple, sweet spice, and hop oils. Exhibits excellent balance and integration, with a touch of grapefruit pith on the finish. —L.B.

$15.99 / 12oz 12-pack Total Wine & More

The Bruery So Happens It’s Tuesday (California)

89 Points Wine Enthusiast

Boozy and warming with a ton of roasted chocolate character, this imperial stout grabs the taste buds by the lapels and gives a few firm shakes. For those looking for bourbon and barrel character, French roast coffee, soft vanilla and a touch of toffee, this is a stout that will not disappoint. —L.B.

$12.99 / 16oz Drizly
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Published on September 23, 2022
Topics: Buying Guide