The Best New England Fall Brews To Crack Open For Octoberfest
The dark, rich beers we’ve come to associate with Fall were historically brewed in March, then kept in cold storage over the Spring and Summer to be debuted at Germany’s yearly Oktoberfest celebrations. These lagers were referred to as Märzenbiers or festbiers and with the recent surge in popularity of craft breweries, they are making a big-time comeback here in the states.
This year, breweries across New England are putting forth their best brews with a variety of pumpkin ales, malty Märzens and full bodied fest-beers. You may have to go straight to the source to enjoy some of these Fall favorites so let’s break them down by state.
Oxbow Brewing‘s Oxtoberfest (Newcastle and Portland, Maine)
Brewed in small batches out of a renovated barn, this brew is considered a smoked biere de garde, meaning a strong pale ale.
Monhegan Brewing Company‘s Trap Stacker Special Ale (Monhegan, Maine)
The Monhegan website describes this one as a “malt bomb! with a hoppy bitterness and warming aroma. Wanna try it? You’d better have a boat – their beers can generally only be found on the island.
Atlantic Brewing Company‘s Leaf Peeping Ale
An English style red ale with German noble hops. Smooth and mildly sweet on the finish with a ruby red color that will remind you of lovely fall foliage.
(Atlantic Brewing Company distributes to Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey.)
Rockingham Brewing Company‘s Gourdy (Derry, New Hampshire)
A dark pumpkin ale packed with malt and spices – the recipe must be good because that’s all the info I could find on this one!
(You can find Rockingham beers throughout New Hampshire at restaurants and liquor stores, as well as at the brewery.)
Moat Mountain Smoke House and Brewing Co.‘s OPA’s Oktoberfest
A bitter semi-dry lager with mild sweetness, toasted bread, dried grass and faint spice flavorings.
(You can find Moat Mountain beers in restaurants and retail spaces in Maine and New Hampshire.)
Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest (Hampton, New Hampshire)
This classic, true-to-style Oktoberfest Märzen beer is described as “malty with Sterling hops and a deep golden color.” I hear they also make a mean Pumpkin Ale.
(You can find Smuttynose at various locations throughout the country.)
White Birch Brewing’s Nyx (Hooksett, New Hampshire)
The Fall beer for those who despise the pumpkin spice craze. Nyx is a medium bodied, dry, pitch black beer with flavors of chocolate and bitter American hops.
(White Birch is distributed to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware.)
Night Shift Brewing‘s Falling Apple (Everett, Massachusetts)
A light, spiced golden ale with notes of delicious New England Fall apples.
(You can only find Night Shift beers at their brewery and at other restaurants and liquor stores in Massachusetts.)
Sam Adams’ Octoberfest (Boston, Massachusetts)
Sam Adams has become known the world over for brewing some of the best seasonal beers and their classic Octoberfest blend is no exception. A blend of hearty malts with notes of caramel create a deep, smooth Fall flavor.
Sam Adams’ 20 Pounds of Pumpkin (Boston, Massachusetts)
According to the Sam Adams website, 20 Pounds of Pumpkin blends “Real pumpkin & warming spices like ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg to give this brew a smooth, hearty, and inviting character perfect for the crisper days of fall.” ‘Nuff said!
(You can find Sam Adams distributed across the country.)
Cape Ann Brewing Company’s Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout (Gloucester, Massachusetts)
A dark blend of real pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice makes this beer a robust favorite of the season.
(Cape Ann beers are distributed to Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.)
Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island’s Autumn Winds (Westerly, Rhode Island)
An Octoberfest ale with 5 premium German malts, this full-bodied beer has a moderately dry finish, a bready aroma, a dense creamy head and a brilliant garnet red color that all makes for a unique Fall drinking experience!
(Grey Sail Brewing beer can be found in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.)
Revival Brewing Company‘s Bushido Pumpkin Ale (Cranston, Rhode Island)
This strange brew is fermented with saki and Octoberfest yeast, then seasoned with ginger, lemongrass, rose hips, and pumpkin.
(Revival Brewing Co. beer can be found at the brewery and throughout Rhode Island and Connecticut.)
Tilted Barn Brewery’s Pumpkin Beers (Exeter, Rhode Island)
You can only get your eager little mitts on these artisanal beers directly from the source. They are Rhode Island’s first farm brewery where every concoction is made fresh from fruits grown on site, including their variety of pumpkin ales.
(You can only get Tilted Barn beer at the actual brewery.)
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company’s Octoberfest Lager (Bloomfield, Connecticut)
This Bavarian-style Märzenbier dates all the way back to 1810 and is described as full-bodied, malty and luxuriously smooth!
(Thomas Hooker beers are currently distributed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania)
Two Roads Brewing Co.’s Ok2berfest Märzen (Stratford, Connecticut)
Modeled in the traditional style of the original Munich Oktoberfest, this beer has a smooth, toasty malt profile with crisp German hops.
Two Roads Brewing Co.’s Roadsmary’s Baby (Stratford, Connecticut)
A traditional pumpkin ale aged in rum barrels to intensify the flavor, this smooth ale is known for its notes of pumpkin, spices, vanilla, oak and a touch of rum.
(Two Roads beers are currently distributed in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the U.K.)
Stony Creek Brewery’s Crum (Branford, Connecticut)
An interpretation of a traditional apple crumb cake – in beer form! Apple cider, oats, fruit juices, cinnamon and nutmeg blend together in this full bodied amber ale for the perfect Fall treat.
Better late than never, for October, we are featuring @stonycreekbeer #crum as our Beer of the Month. Instead of another pumpkin beer, Crum is their take on an apple crumble, another fall favorite. Check it out at brewct.com #brewct #beerofthemonth #october #fallbeer #applecrumble #applecrisp #stonycreek #stonycreekbrewery #branford #ctbeer
(Stony Creek beers are currently distributed in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.)
Veracious Brewing Company’s Jack’d Up Pumpkin Ale (Monroe, Connecticut)
An English ale blend boiled with a secret recipe of spices creates a bright American style harvest beer.
(Veracious beer can be found at the brewery and on tap at some select restaurants in Connecticut)
Kingdom Brewing’s Maple Nut Brown Ale (Newport, Vermont)
Made from real, locally sourced Vermont maple this brew is sweet, smooth and earthy.
(You can only get Maple Nut beer at the brewery on draft, but you can find their other beers on tap in restaurants throughout Vermont.)
Prohibition Pig‘s Oktoberfest (Waterbury, Vermont)
This classic Märzen is only available at the Brewery/Restaurant in Waterbury, but rumor has it the burgers, sandwiches and sides are worth the trip – and of course the beer!
Otter Creek Brewing Company’s Overgrown APA (Middlebury, Vermont)
An American pale ale overflowing with hops and a sweet malt backbone. The APA is lighter than your average Fall brew.
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(Otter Creek is available in a variety of stores and restaurants along the east coast.)