Autumn brings us more than the start of football season; as any beer lover knows, this is also a time of year which heralds the arrival of some great seasonal brews. If you’re a home brewer, you may want to try making some of these autumn beers at home with your beer brewing kit. There are several different styles of beer which are associated with this time of year, largely because of the harvest season – and for those so inclined, autumn is also a great time to brew up some hard cider.
Oktoberfest (more properly known as marzen) beer is one of the first that comes to mind for most beer lovers. This is a slightly stronger, full-flavored beer which is traditionally brewed beginning in autumn through the beginning of spring and cellared over the summer – and of course, ready in time for Oktoberfest. This is a perennial favorite which is relatively easy to make with a beer brewing kit and it’s actually pretty easy to make at home with a kit.
The autumn hop harvest means that fall is a time when many pale ales are made. Often known as “green hop” ales, these beers feature fresh (rather than dried) hops, allowing their full complement of fresh, floral and fruity flavors to shine through along with a refreshing kick of bitterness. If you’ve never tried making one of these ales before, or never even tried one, maybe it’s time to give it a try.
Smoked beers (or rauchbier, German for “smoke beer”) are a fall and winter favorite. The smoky, malty flavor of these beers makes them the ideal warmer for autumns increasing chill. They’re a truly one of a kind brew and well worth making if you’re lucky enough to own a beer brewing kit.
Pumpkin ales are a relative newcomer, but have quickly become a fall favorite with many beer lovers as well as with home brewers. This is a uniquely North American style of beer which has become commercially available in the past few decades. Sometimes made with actual pumpkin along with the usual malt, hops and yeast and sometimes simply with the sort of spices usually associated with pumpkin pie, this is a beer which many enthusiasts look forward to all year. There are plenty of recipes and ingredients available to help you make this seasonal favorite yourself with a beer brewing kit, so it’s definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of pumpkin ale.
Finally, we have hard cider. While not beer, strictly speaking, fall’s apple harvest almost begs the home brewer to brew up a batch of cider. It’s pretty easy to make and again, hard cider recipes and ingredients are widely available, especially in the autumn months when apples and apple cider are in abundance. If you can make beer with your beer brewing kit, you can easily make hard cider this fall as well.