The Best Autumn beers on Beer Merchants
13 October 2015, By Jonny Garrett
It’s finally autumn. Summer has given up on its death throws, stopping the random warm days and letting the leaves go crisp, dry and burning red. From here on in it’s huddling by the fire with friends in wood-panelled pubs, and breathing in over sticky stews and hot soups.
Just like food, beer should be drunk seasonally. A session on imperial stouts in summer is a recipe for disaster, while an IPA on Christmas morning might be more than your stomach can handle. But more than that, the ingredients used and flavours created all match the seasons. Pumkins are tastiest in autumn, so pumpkin beers are too – and nothing goes better with a rich, sticky stew than a roasty, toasty stout.
Made with the epic sounding Cerro De Jesus coffee beans, this coffee porter is comfort in a can. Lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate and spicy coffee aroma, before a smooth and warming body that brings a smile to your face.
This incredible Barley Wine is one of the world's best, and has had American beer bloggers shouting expletives at how good it is. Sweet, smooth and loaded with dark fruit it has a slightly naughty boozy edge and lots of vanilla from the Maker's Mark barrels. A stunning fireside beer.
Is there anything more comforting than the smell of warm toast? Beer is sometimes called liquid bread, and that’s exactly what this beer is. You get that lovely biscuit sweetness and crisp hop finish that all good German lagers have, but also a layer of burnt toast and raisins that smells like an afternoon by the fire as a child.
You couldn’t make an autumn list without including a Belgian dubbel, and we believe that the best one comes from this abbey just a short drive from Gent. Still made under the supervision of the Benedictine monks who founded the brewery, it’s a dark brown beer with lots of hazy and even more raisin and banana notes before a sweet brandy like finish. Enjoy with bread pudding or a sticky beef stew.
It’s not the most famous of the Scheideweiss varieties, perhaps because of its huge 8.2% abv, but anyone who lets that get in the way is a fool. This beer, particularly served decadently in a port glass with some mature cheese, is one of our favourite beers ever. Notes of plum, banana, raisins and clove leap out of its deep red body, and its smooth wheaty sweetness hides the alcohol completely save for a warming sensation in your belly.
Everyone raves about Evan’s IPAs but we think his best beer is this. It’s still got that in-your-face hoppiness, but it’s balanced with a dark liquorice and coffee aroma and smoothed out by those flavours on the palate. It’s truly sensational with oysters, beef and dark stews, or just on its own in an armchair by the fire.
With it’s big passion fruit and mango aroma this red ale may seem an unlikely entry into autumn beers, but the joy of Tiny Rebel cwtch for me is that while it smells of summer, it tastes like winter with its dry earthiness and hint of sweet fruits that seem more like peaches than anything exotic. And given that this beer won Champion Beer of Britain, there’s no denying it’s tasting better than ever.
Stingy Jack is the lead in a curious old fairytale about a man who tricked the devil and got himself barred from both heaven and hell. Now it’s said he stalks the earth and is up to no good. Well we don’t care because he inspired Beavertown’s delicious spiced pumpkin ale, brewed with flaked oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pimento, crystallised ginger, Demerara sugar and cardamom. Need we say more?
This balanced and slightly hoppy American red ale has been brewed with lots of maple syrup, which adds a sweetness with a Demerara or caramel-like depth. This smooth, syrupy beer is then given a lift by the addition of lots of bold, aromatic hops including Nelson Sauvin, famous for its almost grape-like aroma. A gorgeous, complex and wintery ale.