As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, the time seems right to sip a beer by the fire\u2014or at least feel like you are, with a smoked beer. The story of these brews starts in the Franconia region of Germany, in the 1400s with rauchbier, German for \u201csmoke beer.\u201d Malted barley was dried over an open flame, which resulted in a smoky flavor. The introduction of indirect heat to dry grain later lessened the smokiness. A handful of traditional German breweries still make rauchbier, however, and craft breweries all over are making smoky bottlings. Here are a few to try.\r\n\r\n\r\nAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier M\u00e4rzen \r\nSchlenkerla \r\nAn award-winning brewery in Bamberg, Germany, it\u2019s one of a handful that\u2019s made rauchbier continuously since the 1400s. With the motto \u201cPreserving tradition means to keep the fire burning, not to conserve the ashes,\u201d it proves that classics never go out of style.\r\nCoffee and Cigarettes \r\nCellarmaker Brewing Company\r\nWith a name inspired by a Jim Jarmusch film, this coffee porter is flavored with beechwood smoked malt, not cigarettes. \u201cI like how clean the beechwood smoke flavor is,\u201d says Tim Sciascia, Cellarmaker\u2019s co-founder/head brewer. \u201cIt blends in with the coffee and dark malts.\u201d\r\nPumpkin The Bear \r\nHanging Hills Brewing Company\r\nIn Hartford, Connecticut, Hanging Hills teamed up with local barbecue joint Bear\u2019s Smokehouse BBQ to reinvent pumpkin beer. The result is a doppelbock made with smoked pumpkin. \u201cI always believe that what grows together, goes together,\u201d says Joe Ploof, the founder/brewer. \u201cIn this case, pumpkins are harvested in fall, and hogs get butchered right around the same time.\u201d\r\nSmoked Porter \r\nAlaskan Brewing Company \r\nSmoked beer was uncommon in the U.S. until 1988, when this beer was created. It\u2019s a dark delight that uses local, glacier-fed water and native alder wood, also used to smoke salmon. It takes \u201cdrink local\u201d to another level, and the vintage-dated bottles are ideal to cellar.\r\nSmoke & Dagger Black Lager\r\nJack\u2019s Abby Craft Lagers\r\nJack\u2019s Abby, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, brews this smoked schwarzbier, or black lager, with traditional old-world ingredients while also using modern lagering techniques. Smoky yet sessionable, it\u2019s a robustly flavored yet surprisingly crisp pour that\u2019s a great campfire companion.