Last week, we launched into #FallVibes with a grand opening of the season, rounding up all the different events, seasons-with-a-season, holidays, occasions, and activities that make autumn the best time of year--along with, of course, everything to drink for every single one of those situations. Fall is fleeting but that’s all the more reason to soak up every last drop of football, Halloween, Oktoberfest, apple-picking, sweater-layering fun, and really drink it in. And when we say drink it in, we mean it literally--fall just really shows off with so many options, from things you can already drink all year that are great September to December, too, plus special, autumn-only beverages to look forward to, like festbiers and pumpkin beers.
With all of these options and all of this fun, we also wanted to hear from the experts. We’re lucky to work with so many great brands and breweries, and there’s no one we trust more to inspire us with seasonal imbibing ideas. So, this week, we’re turning the tables and hearing from them on some fantastic fall drinking ideas. Here’s how they crack open and pour the season.
Victoria Schnauder, Brand Activation Manager at New Belgium Brewing
Victoria is ready to kick fall into high gear with a pumpkin beer, and New Belgium happens to make one of the most exciting versions that heats things up fast.
“My go-to fall beer favorite is Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin. This pumpkin ale features cinnamon and habanero chili peppers giving it a spicy twist compared to traditional pumpkin beers.”
If you’re feeling pumpkin-spired now, too, keep an eye on all our coming pumpkin beers!
Masq Hard Tea
The Masq team embraces the coziness and complexity of tea to start fall on a warming and delicious note. Their pick takes that drinkable hug and makes it thirst-quenching and invigorating.
“Our Lemon Ginger is great in the fall. The lemon provides a refreshing zest and is finished by the warming of the ginger.”
What does the Masq team like to do in the fall while sipping on Lemon Ginger?
“We love tailgating at college football games. We also like hiking. Masq is perfect for football games as it’s flavorful and lower ABV. Its also great for outdoor activities as its easy to drink and doesn't bloat like a beer so you can continue to be active.”
Sonny Lemmons, Sales Manager at Fegley's Brew Works
Over at Fegley’s, Sonny is painting a beautiful autumnal picture using the brushstrokes of a truly special-sounding pumpkin ale--and we are so here for it.
“While I will personally never turn down a great märzen, our Devious Imperial Pumpkin Ale, clocking in at a respectable 9% ABV, is always a perennial favorite. Flavored with real pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg, clove, & allspice, this deviously enticing brew blends pale, Munich, & caramel malts for an amber-hued ambrosia reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Notes of nostalgia & snuggling by the fire will stay on your palate with each sip.”
Until you can find the Devious Imperial Pumpkin Ale, get to know Fegley’s with beers like the Supersonic Whirlpool, and see firsthand how well Fegley’s balances big, bold, irresistible flavors. And you can also follow Sonny’s lead and grab your favorite pilsner for one of the most exciting fall activities: taking in a football game. Sonny says when it comes to fall, he looks forward to “Football, football, football. All the way. I'm a diehard SEC fan, having grown up in the south, so nothing just breathes life into a crisp, fall day like watching the leaves change color, wearing a sweatshirt from my favorite college team, and sipping on a killer pilsner while doing so.
Christy Vaughan, Marketing Manager at Banville Wine Merchants, helping to market Menabrea
How do you say, “Cheers to fall” in Italian? With the beautiful beers of Italian brewery Menabrea, of course, loving odes to iconic styles achieved with painstaking attention to detail and tradition. (Also, “Saluti a autunno,” if you want to be literal--that’s probably Italian for “Cheers to fall” if Google is to be believed.) And Menabrea has just the classic for fall sipping, warming up with autumnal flavors but still oh so refreshing.
“The Menabrea Ambrata is a wonderful fall beer,” Christy recommends. “It’s rich and flavorful.” Christy adds that the Ambrata is a great choice for fall activities she loves like pumpkin-picking and corn mazes--a wonderful swap for apple cider.
Looking for a low-sugar, vegan, gluten-free, certified kosher way to jump into exciting fall flavors? UpDog Kombucha, a women-founded brand that emphasizes better-for-you methods and ingredients alongside boundless creativity, harmoniously blends dreamy flavor combos, fusing fruits, botanicals, and spices into hard kombuchas that are like cracking into a cocktail--but better. And course, they’ve got a variety especially ready for this new season.
“Our fall pick is our Ginger Turmeric! It's a little spicy and a little earthy.”
Dimitri Yogaratnam, CEO of Oslo Brewing Company
“We have a märzen beer that we make gluten-free for Oktoberfest,” Dimitri says. “An amber lager...refreshing, but with caramel notes that are just perfect for fall.” We know an amber lager--and any beer, really--would be delicious in Oslo Brewing Company’s hands. We’ve even interviewed Dimitri about the brewery’s expert use of kveik yeast. And to this CEO, the most fall-perfect time to enjoy any beer is on a hike. “Once we reach the top, it’s always beer time.”
Maria Littlefield & Jennie Ripps, Co-Founders of Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea
What are Owl’s Brew co-founders Maria and Jennie most looking forward to sipping this fall? That’s easy.
“Spiced Chai! We launched our Spiced Chai & Cranberry Boozy Tea last fall, and we’re bringing it back again! It is seriously delicious and recently won a gold medal at the Sip Awards, and a bronze medal at the NY International Beer Competition. It’s made from fresh-brewed chai spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger) with a splash of cranberry and apple. It’s the perfect fall sipper (and really great with a shot of whiskey as well…just saying!).”
Brb, just adding this delicious, refreshing yet warming, award-winning boozy tea to our carts. And with a little updated boilermaker option, to boot! Jennie and Maria’s preferred setting for enjoying the Spiced Chai & Cranberry sounds like a perfect autumn evening.
“We love a lot of things about fall, but sitting by the fire on those crisp fall nights, with a cozy blanket and a Spiced Chai & Cranberry might top the list.”
AMASS has set itself apart in the world of hard seltzers by taking this thoughtful, expert, creative approach with botanicals. They craft unexpected and just lovely flavor combinations, and it’s no surprise they’ve got one that captures the new season perfectly.
“Our Surfer Rosso Botanic Hard Seltzer is perfect for fall,” says the AMASS team. “Ripe, tart hibiscus, sweet quince, and a bright squeeze of citrus cut through the warm haze of ginger, clove, turmeric, and star anise, making this seltzer a delightful earthy compliment to autumnal weather.”
AMASS’s tip? Have Surfer Rosso on hand for elevated get-togethers. “Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan loves hosting in the lush backyard of her Echo Park home year-round, but there's something particularly magical about Los Angeles in fall. And of course, nothing pairs as well with crisp California air as an AMASS Botanic Hard Seltzer.”
Tomas, Richie, and Bruce, “Triumvirate” of EBBS Brewing Co.
At Brooklyn-based EBBS, the mission is simple: keep it simple, keep the focus on simply good beer. EBBS applies all of its attention to crafting perfect examples of all your favorite styles, creating crowd-pleasers and standing out in the crowded craft beer scene. When we asked them how they’re welcoming fall, they took a signature straightforward route and told us their beer Winter No. 1--so keep an eye out. (In the meantime, you can get to know EBBS with Gose No. 1.) And what is the EBBS team doing while enjoying their beer? “Hanging out at Tailgate in Williamsburg watching the pigskins fly.”
Tara Hankinson, Co-Founder of TALEA Beer Co.
TALEA is serious about artful flavors, elevating classic styles with fresh twists, and the kind of creativity that welcomes newbies to beer and thrills long time beer connoisseurs. True to form, the Brooklyn brewery is rolling out a whole repertoire of beers ready to take your fall up a notch.
“We are releasing five seasonal beers this fall,” Tara says. “Hallo Helles, Prost Hefeweizen, Festie Festbier, Dirndl Dunkel, and Basically Pumpkin, our Autumn Ale with Pumpkin Pie Spice. We'll have a flight with four of these beers to maximize your fall drinking experience!”
Obviously, with so many great seasonal beers, the possibilities are endless for how to enjoy these delights from TALEA--but Tara has one idea off the bat. “I love sitting by a fire whether indoors or outside. Our Dirndl Dunkel is perfect for that--it has lovely chocolate notes without too much bitterness of a dark beer.”
John Ross Cocozza, Founder and President of Ross Brewing
“Without a doubt we are basic af and love looking at the fall foliage throughout Central New Jersey as well as up and down the Hudson Valley in New York State,” John said when we asked about what he and the Ross Brewing crew are excited about this fall. “And we learned about a fall drink we absolutely LOVED last year called a Kentucky Mulled Cider that we look forward to enjoying again this year when out on the river among the trees. You basically combine your favorite bourbon with your favorite hot apple cider (the Ross Harvest Cider works wonderfully here) and add some allspice and a cinnamon stick. Absolutely wonderful!”
But that’s not where John’s fall drink recs end! You’ll be imbibing on a whole new level with these treats. “We love both pumpkin beers and Oktoberfest/märzens, which is why we decided a couple of years ago to mash 'em together for our fall seasonal Jacktoberfest! Imbuing our traditional märzen which lagers for two months with an array of pumpkin spices and real pumpkin seemed crazy at the time we came up with it, but the results speak for themselves--sold out on TapRm, sold out in the stores, everyone demanding more and more! It's why we doubled the batch size this year, so hopefully everyone that wants to enjoy this delicious beer can find it. Pro tip: After enjoying the beer throughout September and October, stick a four-pack somewhere deep in your fridge and hide it--then bring it to Thanksgiving dinner and be the hit of the family celebration!
“The other fall beverage we love are ciders! Our own Ross Harvest Cider is of course one of favorites, taking freshly picked NY-state apples and adding to it our curated array of seven different fall spices. Absolutely delicious on its own, it also has been the subject of numerous fan recipes combining it with spirits and liqueurs in all sorts of delicious combinations, both hot and cold! Other fall ciders we're big fans of are fellow NJ shore brewery Ship Bottom Brewing's Cider Donut Hard Cider, and Cigar City's Home Made Apple Pie Cider.”