Harvest Ale

7 flavourful craft beers that are perfect for fall

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Fall is one of my top four seasons to drink beer. And thankfully, brewers recognize that—they’re constantly coming up with new flavours to try, and the tastes are not exclusive to summer. Cool temperatures and longer nights mean light lagers don’t taste quite like they did in July and August. That’s why we’ve rounded up these new offerings, which compliment this colourful season perfectly.

Neustadt Springs Brewery’s 456 Marzen Lager

Touted to be the oldest brewery in Ontario, Neustadt Springs has stood the test of time for a reason. Their interpretations of beer styles are fairly traditional, but they’re well executed and taste delicious. Their Oktoberfest Marzen uses Munich area malts for an authentic tasting beer. Medium bodied and well balanced, this beer goes great with sausage and pretzels—obviously. More info: www.neustadtsprings.com

Muskoka Brewery’s Harvest Ale

One of the first seasonal beers offered by Muskoka Brewery, the Harvest Ale is released every fall, so if you didn’t get the chance to try it last year, now is your chance. Using local ingredients, this dry-hopped American pale ale is dark amber, with a strong malty flavour and a grassy character. It’s the perfect celebration of the harvest season. And for such a big beer, this one goes down easy. More info: www.muskokabrewery.com

Kichesippi Beer Companys Logger

The strangely named Logger isn’t actually a lager, but it does use lager yeast. Confused? Your taste buds won’t be. Coming out of Ottawa’s Kichesippi Beer Company, this is a British-style porter combines the clean dry finish of lager yeast with some light hopping, giving you the perfect beverage for a cool, fall evening. More info: www.kbeer.ca

Northwinds Brewhouse’s Sweet Potato Beer

While pumpkin tends to be the favoured fall ingredient among brewers, Collingwood’s Northwinds Brewhouse is highlighting the delicious sweet potato this season. Wet-hopped with hops from the local BigHead hopyard, this Belgian ale was made with roasted sweet potatoes in the mash. At 6.1% this burnt orange coloured beer is dry with a little earthiness and fruity esters. More info: www.northwindsbrewhouse.com

Niagara Oast House Brewers’ Bière de Garde

The Bière de Garde beer style (literally translated as “beer for keeping”), was traditionally brewed in France during the winter or spring to avoid fermentation issues during the heat of summer. Oast House Brewers’ interpretation of this beer is as good as any. But don’t let its easy quaffability fool you—at 7%, this highly carbonated dark amber beer is a strong one. While it is available year-round, the beer’s rich, malty character makes it a perfect choice for fall. More info: www.oasthousebrewers.ca

Collingwood Brewery’s Vintage Ale

This ale won bronze in the Special Honey/Maple Lager or Ale category at the Canadian Brewing Awards. Featuring hops from the BigHead hopyard in nearby Meaford and honey from the Beaver Valley, this golden beer has a floral, nutty, and peppery aroma, with an initial flavour of honey and fruit. Brewed just once a year, you’ll need to get yourself a 750ml bottle fast, before it disappears. More info: www.thecollingwoodbrewery.com

Central City Brewing’s Patrick O’ Pumpkin Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale

This pumpkin ale has a lot going for it; an imperial strength beer at 8%, it was then aged in a bourbon barrel. Dark amber in colour with bourbon and vanilla essences, it also features a coffee flavour. This robust ale is rich and flavourful and was brewed for the seasoned craft beer drinker. It’s guaranteed to warm your insides on the coldest of fall nights. More info: www.centralcitybrewing.com