There are two main styles that the most popular autumn seasonals fall into: Märzen/Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ales. Märzen style beer gets it name from the month it was traditionally brewed. Before refrigeration, March was the the last month available for the beer making process – brewing in the summer was impossible due to hot weather and bacterial infections in the mash. The beers would age during the summer and be enjoyed around the time of the fall harvest. The Märzen style became a mainstay of the annual Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany.
Pumpkin ales are a more varied bunch. Each brewery takes a different approach to their pumpkin beers – some drop hand-cut pumpkins into the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. The usual spices include the same things you would find in pumpkin pie: ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, or allspice.
Click on the tabs below to see some of the very best fall seasonals that we distribute.
Foothills Oktoberfest (NC) – A German-style amber lager dark amber to light brown in color with a sweet caramel and toffee aroma. Taste of caramel and toffee sweetness with notes of toasted bread and hints of roasted cashews and almonds.
ABV – 5% IBU – 29 86 on BeerAdvocate
Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest (NC)- A lightly colored, but toasty, rich and full-bodied Marzen style lager, brewed with traditional German malt and the finest noble hops. A spicy hop finish and aroma balance out the abundance of malt flavor.
ABV – 5% IBU – 25 83 on BeerAdvocate
Olde Mecklenburg Mecktoberfest (NC)- A classic Maerzen style amber lager. The original Oktoberfest Bier and quintessential Ueberseasonal. Rich and malty up front, which transitions to a smooth, satisfying finish courtesy of the noble Bavarian hops and a flavor profile produced by an outstanding yeast strain from the oldest brewery in the world. If there were a season for beer, fall would be it. And for beer season, nothing beats Mecktoberfest!
ABV – 5.4% 90 on BeerAdvocate
Samuel Adams Octoberfest (MA)- This beer has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.
ABV – 5.3% IBU – 15 83 on BeerAdvocate
Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin (CO) – The first nationally available pumpkin beer, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin is a deep amber-colored ale with brilliant clarity and a rich, white head. The taste starts out with assertive malty notes and is quickly balanced with the right amount of harvest spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. There’s a small amount of bitterness to keep the malt sweetness from building up.
ABV – 5.7% IBU – 16 71 on BeerAdvocate
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale (NC) – This crisp, dry ale uses cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger brewed with real pumpkin and a blend of North American and British malts to give Mom’s pumpkin pie some serious competition. A fall favorite skillfully brewed by Foothills.
ABV – 5.3% IBU – 5.2 87 on BeerAdvocate
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (DE)- A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. Brewed with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with. Punkin Ale is named after the Delware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin.
ABV – 7.0% IBU – 28 88 on BeerAdvocate
New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale (MI)- Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. A rewarding complement to many dishes, Ichabod pairs well with autumnal foods such as poultry and root vegetables. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert!
ABV – 5.2% 78 on BeerAdvocate
Terrapin Pumpkin Fest (GA) – This seasonal brew encompasses your Thanksgiving spread in one tasty sip. Perfectly balanced pumpkin (real pumpkin!) and spices are added to, without overwhelming, this German style brew. Expect a pumpkin pie nose followed by a strong malt backbone, low hop bitterness and authentic fall taste, all wrapped in a light bodied beer.
ABV – 6.1% 86 on BeerAdvocate
Abita Pecan Harvest Ale (LA) – Brewed with pale, Munich, biscuit and caramel malts and Willamette hops. Real Louisiana roasted pecans are added in the brewhouse and give the ale a subtle nutty flavor and aroma. This ale is excellent served with both red meat, seafood and, no surprise here, it’s also great with nuts! Try Pecan® Harvest Ale with Gouda cheese.
ABV – 5% IBU – 20 77 on BeerAdvocate
New Belgium Red Hoptober (CO) – Shining like autumn leaves in a globe glass this beer pours a dark and lovely garnet as it builds a bright, inviting head. The Eldorado hops are bold and present with a distinct, piney flavor while the caramel malt and roasted barley provide a backbone to stand Red Hoptober upright. Centennial and Cascade hops offer hints of citrus, tickling the nose, while the tongue carries a subtle, roasty tone that pairs pleasantly with the warming bite of bitter.
ABV – 6.0% IBU – 60 84 on BeerAdvocate