It’s almost the culmination of sPoOkY sZn, friends, and you can feel the excitement in the air. With the undeniable fun offered by kooky costumes, themed parties, movies that have you sort of hiding under your blanket (we won’t tell), and, of course, a full-on sugar rush that starts when your local drugstore tosses the first pack of mini Milky Ways onto its shelves and ends weeks after October 31 when your trick-or-treater stash is tapped out, we’d argue Halloween has us feeling more like a kid again than even the Christmas season can ever hope to. Halloween is no pressure, all fun. In fact, there are so many ways have fun, that we wanted to start making some plans and figured you would, too. We turned to our trusty experts--aka some of our favorite brands and brewers--to chat Halloween traditions. What are their favorite horror movies to watch and rewatch this time of year, to get into the creepsville spirit? What are they dressing up as this year? What’s their must-have candy choice? And, duh, what are they drinking to make this Halloween season the most festive yet?
Masq Hard Tea
The Masq Hard Tea team pointed out to us that, hello!, their very branding and identity is absolutely perfect for a little Halloween fun.
“We've hosted several Masq / mask parties at bars and restaurants,” they say. Just looking at that pretty and mysterious mask label art is enough to get the ol’ inspiration wheels turning when it comes to Halloween costumes. How fun, too, would it be to go a little fancy with your Halloween party this year and do your own version of a masquerade ball? Whatever you decide to do, Masq’s hard teas are so flavorful yet so easy-drinking, they’re just effortlessly and naturally perfect for all-day and all-night festivities.
Sonny Lemmons, Sales Manager at Fegley's Brew Works
Over at Fegley’s, Sonny filled us in on the three Halloween essentials: horror movies, candy, and costumes.
“Personally, I'm a sucker for those cheesy horror B-movies that straddle the line between just horrible and horribly funny. Usually I have a nice single-malt Scotch or Bourbon while laughing myself silly watching these wrecks of cinema.” You could take your drink cue from Sonny with something just a little indulgent while you relish in all the camp of a B-movie, like Wild Ohio’s Black Cherry Bourbon Barrel hard tea.
“My favorite candy, of all time, would have to be a Milky Way--and it pairs shockingly well with our Devious Pumpkin Ale (must be the one-two punch of caramel malts and caramel).” Chocolate, caramel, and pumpkin sound like a devilishly good combo--try it out for yourself with Southern Tier’s Pumking.
“I will probably have my traditional costume on this year: I will be adorned with regular clothing and a sign that reads ‘Nudist On Strike.’” We stan a creative jokester. Put on your most innovative and/or your comfiest costume and crack a Fegley’s Supersonic Whirlpool DIPA for a drinkable version of that creative-flavor-but-oh-so-easy delight.
Christy Vaughan, Marketing Manager at Banville Wine Merchants, Assisting in Marketing Menabrea
“The only horror movie that I have ever seen is The Exorcist,” Christy says. “I hate horror movies!” (Hmm, the only horror movie Christy’s seen is, like, the classic horror movie, and Menabrea is a timeless classic, too--coincidence?)
“But I love candy,” Christy adds. “Menabrea Bionda and candy corn...a match made in heaven!” The sweetness of candy corn reflected by the Bionda’s subtle malt sweetness and balanced by a hint of floral, citrusy hop bitterness? Yeah, we’re definitely going to remember that one.
The UpDog team is embracing a theme for Halloween costumes this year and, folks, we do love a theme. How absolutely perfect is it when your own delicious beverage happens to go with your costume idea? (And when your costume idea is a fun Nickelodeon nostalgia moment?)
“I'll dress up as Ginger from ‘As Told By Ginger’ and our ginger turmeric kombucha will be an accessory!” Now we’re in the mood for thinking about other costumes that will match our favorite beverages. Maybe UpDog’s Sphinx mojito with a little Cleopatra moment?
Dimitri Yogaratnam, CEO of Oslo Brewing Co.
Oslo CEO Dimitri laughs that he does not love horror movies, but he does have a favorite candy--including a candy-and-beer pairing!--and a fun twist on costume ideas.
“My favorite candy is (at risk of me sounding like a senior citizen) Charleston Chew and a milk stout would go great.” That sounds so tasty--and you can see for yourself with 902 Brewing Company’s Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli Milk Stout. Or, you can cut the sweetness and bring out some fruity brightness with Oslo’s Oslove passionfruit blonde ale. “Halloween is not so big in Norway,” Dimitri says of costumes, “But if I do dress up I love going as a group and doing a theme. Maybe the Oslo Vikings and we would grab some mead and head out to party.” Skål!
Maria Littlefield & Jennie Ripps, co-founders of Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea
“We love to get BOO-ZY for Halloween!” say Maria and Jennie. And Owl’s Brew just so happens to have the best mascot for fun Halloween-costume-ing. “We’re dressing up as a parliament of wise owls, of course. ;)”
Owl’s Brew also happens to have variety packs that are absolutely ideal for hosting or attending a Halloween bash. Really, you cannot go wrong, however you’re celebrating, with the dreamy flavors of tea made sparkly and boozy--it’s complex yet easy-drinking and effortlessly festive. But Jennie and Maria aren’t resting on their party-upgrading laurels! You can get even more creative with their boozy tea cocktail ideas:
Blood Orange Margarita
- 4oz Hibiscus & Black Tea
- 1.5oz tequila
- 1oz Blood Orange
Add ice to glass (if desired). Pour in Boozy Tea, tequila and swirl. Add blood orange. Swirl.
Toil & Trouble
- 1oz Pomegranate Juice
- 1.5oz Vodka (optional)
Add ice to glass (if desired). Pour in Boozy Tea and vodka, swirl. Add in pomegranate juice. Swirl.
Tomas, Richie, Bruce, the Triumvirate at EBBS Brewing Co.
Does the EBBS team like to do a little cinematic thrill-seeking?
“Yes. We love horror movies--Wes Craven,” the team says, really setting the spooky mood by adding, “Blood is our favorite drink pairing.” For a pairing you’ll, uh, actually be excited to try? “Favorite candy: anything but candy corn. Stout No. 1 all day with Reese's Pumpkins.” A good, classic, roasty stout with notes of chocolate and coffee is perfect to both match and cut a sweet peanut butter-and-chocolate treat.
And, the ultimate costume for EBBS? “The perfect middle between Rand Paul, a checkerboard, and ‘Citizen Kane.’” It’s this kind of creativity we love to see at work, from beer to certainly unique costumes.
Tara Hankinson, Co-Founder of TALEA Beer Co.
“We encourage costumes at TALEA!” says Tara, and an impromptu brewery costume party sounds like just how we want to spend our Halloween, please. Tara and the team also get into the spirit with a foolproof and delicious pairing. While EBBS was team #nocandycorn, TALEA is repping the classic.
“My favorite Halloween candy is candy corn, which would pair really well with our new Hefeweizen (notes of sweet orange, wheat).” Sweet plus bright citrus equals irresistible. Try it with Tivoli Brewing Company’s Mile Hi Hefe, or achieve the same flawless sweetness-cutting with TALEA’s Al Dente Italian-style pilsner.
John Ross Cocozza, Founder and President of Ross Brewing
“We do Halloween BIG over at Ross HQ, and every team member is encouraged to get as creative and fun with their costume expressions as they can!” says John. “I can't tip my hand just yet as to what I'll be wearing at the moment, but I can reveal it ties in very nicely with Ross's born-on-the water motif. As we are the only brewery in NY, NJ, CT, or PA that is physically ON the water, our tasting room extends out over the river and Lower New York Bay, our working dock welcomes boats all day long, we are located inside a working fishery and seaport, and of course all our core beers are named after various rivers in New Jersey, you may be able to draw some conclusions as to what I'll be showing up as!” Okay, who’s got guesses as to John’s aquatic-based costume?
“As to what we'll be drinking at our Halloween Party, I look forward to cracking open a vintage 500ml bottle of our Brux Royale Belgian Chocolate Stout. At nearly 12% abv, this midnight-black beer has won numerous awards for us with its decidedly different makeup of Franco-Belgian chocolate malts, our Belgian abbey ale yeast strain, Bourbon vanilla, molasses, milk sugar, cacao nibs, and actual dark Belgian chocolates thrown in! We've been waiting for a bit cooler weather to begin enjoying this amazingly nuanced beer, and the night of All Hallows Eve is the perfect time!”
Bailey Spaulding, Founder & CEO of Jackalope Brewing Company
“I love Halloween but am too much of a weenie for horror movies!” Jackalope’s Bailey admits--which, tbh, same, depending on the movie! “I'm more in the ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Hocus Pocus’ school of Halloween movie watchers.” Okay, more same same same. How fun are those flicks?!
“My favorite candy is the Reese's pumpkins [editor’s note: a popular choice!], which definitely pair great with our Bearwalker. The chocolate malts and maple syrup are a great pairing with the peanut butter.” Not us over here drooling…
“We throw a big Halloween party at Jackalope called ‘The Monster Mash’ every year, and we like to call it Nashville's ‘Least Sexy Halloween Party,’ because it's really just about wholesome fun and great costumes. There's always a costume contest and one of the categories is ‘Best Jackalope Themed Costume,’ and lots of people come dressed as our different beer namesakes. It's so fun.” Love a wholesome Halloween party where we can really get into the vibe, more Cady Heron than Regina George.
This just inspired us to go all out with our costumes and eat some Reese’s pumpkins with a stout or brown ale--how about you?