So. It is a secret to few that I enjoy a pint of Phish Food ice cream particularly during certain times of the month, a perfectly crunchy, spicy buffalo chicken wing on football Sunday, a cold, crisp, dry glass of rose on a hot summer day, a rich, creamy bowl of mac and cheese on a cold winter night… the list goes on and on. Okay, I’m a hedonistic foodie, (commence eye rolls) which is why I run. A lot. But at this time of year, my favorite time, when the first cool breezes blow, the leaves start to twist and darken on the branches, and the promise of snow on eyelashes and holidays are on the horizon, I pull on a sweater for the first time and the craving hits: BEER. Yes, my love Daniel and I can pound a tray of Kolsch on August afternoons, and I can’t resist the siren song of a $4 can ‘o’ beer and pickleback at a dive bar, but I’m talking REAL beer, beer with big flavor profiles and UNLIMITED DELICIOUSNESS. Tom and I always playfully spar about beer versus wine, and I shall always love me a glass of vino, but nothing perfectly captures fall in a glass, to me, like certain beers. So without further ado, I am openly admitting my beer nerd status to you all, and sharing my top 5 favorite beers of the season!
#5 – Founders Breakfast Stout
Yummmmmmmmmy. Seriously, it’s coffee and vanilla and oatmeal and cinnamon and cocoa and… Everything good. There’s a bitter edge to the coffee flavors to cut through all of the crazy richness to keep it from being overwhelming, but it’s decadent and delicious and smooth. Go get some, make an omelet, crack a bottle open, and you have the world’s most kickass kegs and eggs ever!
#4 – Samichlaus
A delicious doppelbock from Austria with a beautiful russet color (Yes, I nerd out over beer color. I do the same thing with wine. Sue me.) and a nice creamy texture. It is caramel-y, full of raisin and plum and honey, slightly spicy, almost wine-like in its flavor, and it just gets better as it warms in your hand. This baby is freakin’ delish.
#3 – Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
I am a pumpkin beer whore. I’m obsessed! If I see one on a menu it’s ON. And this is my favorite ‘drinking’ version, which I should probably clarify: pumpkin beers tend to be spicy and rich and full of flavor, which can be pretty overwhelming ‘one and done’ type deals. This particular brew, however, has all of the delish in a slightly lighter, more refreshing way – it’s a session pumpkin beer, really. It’s also part of our yearly fall celebration, in which we watch ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ and ‘Garfield’s Halloween Adventure’ while carving pumpkins, eating candy and pizza in no particular order, and drinking this beer. Which is one of my top 5 favorite days all year long. Obvi.
#2 – Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Hometown pride baby! GLBC is the shit, and this is my favorite (I think… don’t make me chooooooose!) beer from them, especially when the weather FINALLY turns cooler and my taste buds scream for my stouts and porters and ales once again. It’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, with some nice hop bitterness to make it almost like a bar of super fancy 85% cacao dark chocolate only more awesome. That’s right. MORE AWESOME. CLE! CLE! CLE!
#1 – Southern Tier Pumpking Ale
As my bodacious Brazilian friend Aline would say, ‘Helloooooo, lover’. I see this bottle and salivate like a Pavlovian dog. This is a dessert beer, it’s like pumpkin pie in a bottle. Cinnamon, allspice, clove, sweet enough to keep you coming back for more without being cloying, beautiful in the glass and beautiful on the tongue, this is my favorite version of my favorite style of beer, and I can’t get enough of it. Dumb delicious in the best possible way. Shall I go on?
And that, my friends, is yet another dark secret shared with the world via this blog. I AM A BEER NERD. It’s totally Tom’s fault!!!