Fall for These: A Guide to Autumn Beers in New

Summer, unfortunately, is on its way out. And with it, you can say goodbye to a lot of the delicious seasonal beers that grace the shelves for but a brief window of time—when the weather’s warm and the sun is shining.

But let’s look at this a bit more optimistically, shall we? Fall is here! And what does fall bring? Fall brings football and foliage, blankets and bonfires, hayrides and Halloween. And yes, fall brings new beer! And not all of them rely on pumpkin as their main ingredient (but, of course, no fall beer guide would be true or complete with appeasing the pumpkin heads out there).

Phil DiCarlo, co-owner of Craft Beer Cellar in The Fenway, is a bit of an expert on the subject. He was kind enough to share with us his top beer (and cider) picks for autumn. So button up your favorite flannel, lace up your weather-worn duck boots, and go give him a visit. He’s got you covered.

Roadsmary’s Baby, 6.8% ABV
Two Roads Brewing, Stratford, CT

Roadsmary’s Baby from Two Roads is a great entry in the vast (and vastly growing) pumpkin category. At 6.8% ABV, it’s low enough in alcohol content to please casual pumpkin beer drinkers. But by aging it in rum barrels, Two Roads imparts on the beer a sense of oomph that more adventurous drinkers will relish.

Phil says, “No category of beer divides people so much. Generally, people take a hard line that they either like pumpkin beer or they don’t. It really shouldn’t be that cut and dry, as there are many different styles of pumpkin beer. Give a few a try: Roadsmary’s Baby from Two Roads, Pumpkin Down from Ballast Point, Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head, or Pumking from Southern Tier.”

Copper Legend, 5.7% ABV
Jack’s Abby, Framingham, MA

Jack’s Abby has solidified itself as one of the best breweries in the country, and, lucky you, they’re based right here in Massachusetts. Copper Legend pours a crisp orange and gives way to pleasant biscuit and caramel aromas. It’s a touch sweet and dry, and, like everything Jack’s Abby does, this beer is an exemplary take on a classic style.

Phil says, “A style of beer that everyone seems to agree on is Oktoberfest. Their rich, toasty flavors and copper color just scream ‘fall beer.’ There are many great choices here, whether you prefer them from German breweries, like Weihenstephaner, Ayinger, Hofbrau, or Paulaner, or some great domestic offerings, like Jack’s Abby Copper Legend, Two Roads Ok2berfest, Ballast Point Dead Ringer, or Von Trapp Oktoberfest.”

Morph, ABV varies
Night Shift, Everett, MA

As the name “Morph” suggests, this Night Shift staple is actually a rotating IPA that varies in ingredients from batch to batch, month to month. As such, the alcohol content varies, but you can usually count on it clocking in somewhere between 5% and 6.5% ABV. That doesn’t mean Morph isn’t consistent, however. It’s consistently a fan favorite, no matter which version they’re trotting out.

Phil says, “Is there a bad time for a great IPA? Fall tailgating, raking the leaves, watching football, there are just so many great IPAs to go with all that. Try one of Night Shift’s great hoppy beers (Morph, Santilli, or 87), Lord Hobo Boom Sauce, or Keeper from Castle Island.”

Hop Harvest IPA, 7% ABV
Ipswich Brewing, Ipswich, MA

The healthy dose of Ella hops lends Hop Harvest’s delicious grapefruit and tropical fruit-like flavors, bringing you back to summer for a moment. The beer is reminiscent of some of the more critically acclaimed West Coast beers. But lucky for you, it also comes with a more palatable price tag.

Phil says, “Harvest ales are more of a marketing name than a style of beer, referring to the hop harvest in the fall. No less, Troegs Hop Knife is an absolute must for fall seasonals. Ipswich Hop Harvest IPA is another really good one.”

Ember, 8% ABV
Far From the Tree Cider, Salem, MA

Far From the Tree, a relative newcomer to the craft booze scene in Massachusetts, ages Ember on toasted chai spices, smoked vanilla beans, with a touch of burnt sugar, and uses all locally sourced apples to create a delicious alternative to beer. And they’ve got a great tasting room to boot. So you can give them a visit, and hit Notch Brewing, less than a mile away, in the same afternoon. Win-win!

Phil says, “We can’t forget ciders, as nothing says New England fall quite like apples. Salem’s Far From the Tree follows up their other two great seasonals with the fantastic fall release, Ember. Pack a couple of these for a day of apple picking.” 


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