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THE BEER NUT: Pumpkins are for pies; A six-pack of fall beers worth a taste

By Norman Miller/Daily News Staff

Posted Sep. 9, 2015 at 10:37 AM

There’s too many pumpkin beers taking up space on store shelves, but if you look you kind find some good fall beers worth a taste.

To many, fall means it’s pumpkin season. Pumpkin everything – pies, lattes and beer.

If you’re a longtime reader of my column or blog, you’ll know I’m not a fan of pumpkin beers. There are too many of them taking up the space of far superior beers. But, if you look through the liquor store shelves, you can find some good-tasting options to drink this season.

So, if you’re like me and can’t abide pumpkin beers, here’s a six-pack of fall beers for you.

Ayinger’s Oktober Fest-Marzen

Oktoberfest beers are probably my favorite seasonal style. I love these full-bodied, malty lagers that originated in Germany. The best is the Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen, a German-example of the style that is nothing less than phenomenal. There are many good examples of the style (Spaten, Hofbrau, autumn_pint_bottleBerkshire Brewing Company and Samuel Adams, to name a few), but Ayinger stands above them all. Buy it now.

Baxter Brewing Company’s Hayride Autumn Ale

There’s a lot going on in this beer from Maine. It’s brewed with rye malt, giving it a pleasant spiciness. It also is brewed with ginger, black pepper and orange peel, giving it a myriad of flavors that you don’t usually find in a fall beer. Baxter does several really good beers, but this is the best beer they brew. And, for those that care, Hayride Autumn Ale is sold in cans.

Long Trail Brewing Company’s Harvest Ale

Brown ales aren’t my favorite style of beers, but Long Trail of Vermont brews one of the better versions. This is brewed with locally harvested maple syrup. The result is a sweet, but slightly roasted version of a brown ale. If you’re more a fan of malty beers than hoppy beers, this is definitely worth a try. It’s also low in alcohol (4.4 percent alcohol by volume), so it’s a good beer to enjoy while spending the day raking leaves.

Mayflower Brewing Company’s Autumn Wheat

Mayflower Brewing Company has been killing it lately with their Cooper Series of beers, but the Plymouth brewery’s Autumn Wheat has been a beacon of goodness on liquor store shelves full of pumpkin beers for a few years now. The Autumn Ale is a dark wheat ale, an underrated and underappreciated style. Like other wheat beers, it has a fruity and bready aroma, but it adds the roasted wheat malts add a roasted character that makes it a standout.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Northern Hemisphere Wet Hop Ale

Originally, seasonal beers were a necessity. They were brewed when the ingredients were available. Sierra Nevada’s Wet Hop series of beers are a throwback to those days. These beers are brewed with freshly picked hops, still wet and fresh when used, instead of transformed to hop pellets, which are used in most beers. Although all IPAs should be enjoyed fresh, if you want to get the wet hop flavor drink this one as soon as possible.