Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rambles: Checking out some new fall beer releases

In additional to the fall season bringing great running weather, there's plenty of new fall beer releases.  I've been checking out the various "macro-craft" breweries fall releases, and here's a little round-up of what I've tried.

Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA 
Leave it to Sierra Nevada to produce a hoppy fall release.  It's brewed with red caramel malt which blends which blends with the citrus and tropical hop flavor and a soft resin-like finish.  I found this one pretty satisfying.

Anchor Brewing Bigleaf Maple Autum Red 
Brewed with maple syrup, I found this one woody, a little grainy and lightly earthy with toasted malt flavors.   I've long been an Anchor fan, but I didn't find all the flavors to work for me in this particular execution.

Uinta Punk'n
From Utah's Unita Brewing, it's a dry beer  with amber malt, the slightest hint of pumpkin, a little nutmeg and virtually no hops presence.  If you don't like beers that taste like pumpkin pie, this is the one for you.

Anderson Valley Fall Hornin' 
What's great about this one is that it tastes just like a big ol' pumpkin pie, with lots of pumpkin, nutmeg and other aromatic spices sitting atop plenty of lightly sweet, toasted malt.  Another reason to be a Anderson Valley fan.

Sudwerk Harvest Lager
OK, let's get this out of the way.   Sudwerk out of Davis, CA makes pretty straightforward traditional German beers, and rarely delves into any particular creative or original.  That didn't stop me from trying their Harvest Lager, a light, clear, dry and fresh with a little toasty malt character.  No, beers like this aren't very sexy but a well executed lager like this one is an underrated simple pleasure.

Guinness Red Harvest Stout
Beer Geeks who sneer at this brew are ignorant
of beer snob history
Even Guinness is getting in the seasonal fall beer act.  These days, beer geeks tend to sneer at Guinness as a multi-national macro beer.  There was a time, maybe 20 years ago back when craft beer was a lot harder to find and ordering a Guinness Stout conveyed a certain beer sophistication, since most everyone else in the bar thought it tasted like mud.  As you might have guessed, I enjoyed many a Guinness back in the day, high on my horse and content I was in the know enjoying the good stuff, while the rest of the unwashed was wallowing in light lagers.  So for you beer geeks who insist on sneering at Guinness, please learn your beer snob history.  As for their Red Harvest Stout, it's a surprising light beer, with the classic Guinness roastiness and a touch of caramel malt, and works for me as a refreshing fall session beer. 

Stone 17th Anniversary Gotterdammerung IPA - OK, it's not a technically a "fall beer", but I loved the anniversary release from Stone.  And let's just say I've found their annual anniversary releases to be very much a hit or miss proposition.    This one has got lot's of biscuity malt, with strong spicy grapefruity punch of hops.  I like it!

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