Don’t fear the reaper! Autumn’s bounty inspires these 10 must-try beers.
Philadelphia Harvest from the Hood
For the past four years, Philadelphia Brewing’s invited fans to roll up their sleeves and get picking in its urban hop field for this wet-hopped IPA that’s evolved as the Humulus lupulus crop gains potency with each passing year.
Breakside Birra Minestra
Portland’s Breakside celebrates the late summer harvest by whipping up a batch of this English mild, brewed with a few bushels of tart Oregon plums, sweet Sun Gold tomatoes and fresh basil.
Bayou Teche LA-31 Boucanée
Louisiana brewmaster Karlos Knott’s accustomed to the flavor of cherry wood: Back in the day, his grandfather chopped the wood to smoke everything from Andouille to black-eyed peas. Now, Knott uses local cherry wood to smoke wheat malt, lending subtle, fruity smoke to the slightly tart Boucanèe.
Almanac Honey Saison
This summer, California’s Almanac Beer channeled its local harvest approach to brewing into its new year-round California Table Series—the first, a saison, is brewed with Cali-grown ginger, honey and barley, then aged on French oak chips.
Ska Autumnal Molé Stout
Ska’s new seasonal stout series hits shelves in September with this first installment: Inspired by native Southwestern tastes, this roasted stout combines cocoa nibs, a blend of spices and three chilies for a boozy take on molé.
Clown Shoes Pecan Pie Porter
Capture the flavors of pecan pie by cracking open this limited-release brew, which hits shelves around Thanksgiving. To re-create the seasonal dessert, Clown Shoes blends just the right amount of organic butter pecan extract into its nutty porter.
Hangar 24 Polycot Wheat
Hangar 24’s cultish Local Field series pulls from regional ingredients (think Mourvèdre grapes from Temecula and blood oranges from Redlands). Don’t miss the just-released Polycot, a 7.2%-ABV wheat ale infused with fresh apricots from Southern California’s high desert.
Hoppin’ Frog Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale
Everyone brews a seasonal pumpkin ale, but only Hoppin’ Frog can claim its 8.4%-ABV version’s modeled after a baker’s hush-hush recipe for pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, white pepper and caramelized pumpkin herald the Thanksgiving staple.
Fullsteam Beasley’s Honey White
This locally minded wit—brewed with Carolina oats and honey—is meant to pair with the drumsticks at Raleigh, N.C., joint Beasley’s Chicken + Honey.
Maui Onion Mild
This brewpub-only release is a hit with Hawaiians: A hybrid American brown/English mild ale gets mashed with 5 pounds of char-grilled and caramelized Maui onions per batch, pitting sweet onion flavors against a nutty ale base.