Around The Corner

from theweeklybrew

Oktoberfest lagers and fall theamed ales are already on the shelves signaling my favorite season for beer isn’t far away. Already I’m counting down the days till winter seasonals are released. In fact I got so excited the other day I sent out a text to a non-drinking friend that said “stout seasons almost here.” Needless to say they were confused.

Seriously though, winter seasonals always excite me. I always look forward to big stouts, winter warmers, and this years batch of barlywines. Can you tell I like big beers? The funny part is that by the end of winter I will be longing for a variety of sessionable summer ales. Despite this fact though winter is still the only seasonal I get excited about.

I know there are geeks that read this blog and probably have their favorite fall/winter seasonals picked out, but there’s also non-beer geeks that read this. I know this because they give me a hard time on some of my geekier posts. So here’s a list of beers I watch out for.

Pumpkin Ales– Not the biggest fan of these, but I still find an enjoyable one occasionally. Homebrewed pumpkin beers tend to have better flavors then commercial ones. I prefer a full flavored amber or brown ale as a base. Some of the commercial ones use a lighter base to highlight the spices, but a good pumpkin beer needs a strong malt profile to work with the spices in my opinion.

Milk Stouts– Some Imperial Stouts, Chocolate Stouts, Oatmeal Stouts, and Coffee Stouts are available year around now so I don’t group them as winter beers anymore, even if there is a better selection in winter. Sweet stouts a.k.a. Milk Stouts generally tend to be restricted to winter though. My big addiction last year was Oatis from Ninkasi. Yes I’m aware it’s listed as an oatmeal stout, but it is still a fairly sweet, malty stout. Snow Plow also come to mind though as a good winter stout. I know Widhook haters will love I tossed that one out.

Winter Warmers– You can’t really peg this category solidly in my opinion. The only unifying characteristic seems to be higher alcohol. I like this style though because you find alot more experimenting with herbs, spices, and things like raisins in these beers. It can be hit and miss though since there is so much diversity.

Spruce Ales – Spruce tips seem to be more common in winter beers. I’m not sure why, but they are. Personally I like a well constructed spruce ale.

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4 Responses to “Around The Corner”

  1. jrbox says:

    From the first few words of this entry I expected to read about Marzen lager, the traditional Oktoberfest beer.

    I enjoy the information regarding autumn/winter theme beer; but, further to Marzen bier.

    I searched for Marzen beer brewed by Oregon craft craft brewery. I found three.
    1. Bobtoberfest – Heater Allen, McMinnville
    2. Maggie’s Marzen – Seven Brides, Silverton
    3. OKTO – Widmer Bros, Portland

    I welcome the name of others Pacific NW renditions.

  2. Jared says:

    Your right on about Marzen lager being a big fall beer. There are also some great fall theamed browns that come out about this time too. Truth be told though I’m just not a huge lager fan. Give me an english style ale and I’m happy 🙂 I did enjoy a pils at venti’s last night though. Then they drained that keg and put on the Seven Brides one. Not nearly as good.

  3. jrbox says:

    Venti’s most competent bar manager, Thane, has noticed pilsners are selling well. Pils will likely be a routine Spring/Summer offering.

    Pilsners and its milder/blander derivatives are probably the mostly widely drank beers.

    I too prefer Pilsner over Imperial Pilsner. Rogue and 7Brides are the only Oregon brewers I have noticed producing Imperial [2X] Pils.

    I appreciate that 7Brides is bold enough to produce something out-of-the ordinary/edgey. I look forward to trying their Märzen lager.

    ==
    You have mentioned your affection for stouts. Save you pennies. Go to Dublin. Partake of Guinness and Murphy’s near the font. You will regard it as money well spent.

  4. […] for winter seasonals? Keep in mind I’m looking forward to winter beers. I even did a post on the ones I’m waiting for. My question though is is it to early for Deschutes to release […]

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