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Friday, August 31, 2012


SEASONAL SENSATIONS IN SUDS--Showcasing the creativity and versatility of America’s small and independent brewers,—the consumer-oriented site of the Brewers Association (BA)—released its list of fall seasonal craft beers, provided by its members. Offering a cornucopia of choices from all over the country, the list provides taste profiles as well as product availability by state.

“While summer cookouts and picnics are coming to an end, fall brings new opportunities for craft beer lovers to enjoy the season’s natural ingredients and flavors,” said Julia Herz, publisher of and craft beer program director of the BA. “The variety of craft beer styles really lends itself to seasonal offerings, and this year many craft brewers have created delicious, unique beers that usher in the tastes and aromas of autumn.”

Many of the fall seasonal craft beers featured on offer flavor profiles that include pumpkin, squash, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, oatmeal, cocoa and even espresso.

A sampling of some of this year’s craft beer fall seasonal offerings includes Karl Strauss’s Oktoberfest from San Diego.
• Big Boss Brewing | Harvest Time Spiced Pumpkin Ale | Raleigh, NC
• Bonfire Brewing | Gyptoberfest| Eagle, CO
• Cambridge Brewing Company | The Great Pumpkin Ale | Cambridge, MA
• Flying Dog Brewery | Dogtoberfest Marzen | Frederick, MD
• Karl Strauss Brewing Company | Oktoberfest| San Diego, CA
• Lavery Brewing Company | Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale | Erie, PA
• Rogue Ales | Chatoe Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale | Newport, OR
• The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery | Mecktoberfest | Charlotte, NC
• Terrapin Beer Co. | Pumpkinfest| Athens, GA

The following mini-reviews of seasonal beers available in San Diego we turn to Meghan Storey, the web editor at the Brewers Assn. Here’s her call on three tasty brews:

--Oktoberfest (Karl Strauss Brewing Co.)—Vienna and Munich malts produce the deep golden color, nutty undertones, and toasted malt flavors characteristic of this renowned Bavarian beer style. Perle hops imported directly from the Hallertau region of Germany give the beer a smooth balanced finish. This celebratory lager puts the “fest” in October.

--Velvet Merlin (Firestone Walker Brewing Co.)—A decadent oatmeal stout teeming with cocoa and espresso aromas. This beer features a rich, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth-feel and wonderfully dry finish. A judicious addition of Fuggles hops contributes the perfect amount o bitterness to this wonderfully balanced beer.

--Double Bastard Ale (Stone Brewing Co.)—This deep amber brew is heavy, bitter, beast of a beer, and absolutely not for the benighted masses, says Stone brewers, who also add “…we brewed it just for us—and for those very few worthy individuals who have the temerity, nay, the arrogance, to rise above the quagmire of the mundane…” Double Bastard Ale was originally released to commemorate the one-year anniversary of its predecessor, Arrogant Bastard Ale. Pure amp.

Images: from brewery webpages.

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