While Bell’s Oberon holds a special place in my heart, there’s nothing quite like the craft beers produced in the fall.
If you ask me, pumpkin ale is what makes the autumn season so great–along with the changing leaves, of course. While Sam Adam’s Pumpkin Jack is a great choice, why not try a seasonal beer brewed somewhere in Metro Detroit? Also, by no means limit yourself to just the pumpkin flavored options this fall (even if they are the best).
Now that the weather is beginning to cool off (with the exception of today’s sudden heat wave), heavier beers are hitting the shelves and replacing the light, citrusy ones we sipped (or guzzled) all summer long.
Step away from the generic six-pack and take a look at the following list of local breweries, along with the beers they are offering this fall.
Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, 311 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
- Bam Noire, with plum, toasted raisin, coffee and cacao flavors, is available now
- Fuego del Otono is an amber malt with hints of caramel and is available in October
- Maracibo Especial, a brown ale with real cacao, spiced cinnamon and orange peel, will be on tap in November
Bell’s Brewery, 8938 Krum Ave., Galesburg
- Best Brown Ale, a malt beer with caramel and cocoa notes that isn’t overly heavy, is available now
- Hell Hath No Fury… Ale is a stout with hints of coffee, dark chocolate, fruit and clove. It’s released mid-fall
- Octoberfest is light and not too sweet, with hints of caramel. It’s best when kept refrigerated; so don’t let it sit out! Available now
Atwater Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau St., Detroit
- Bloktober is a malty (not bitter) beer, and is perfect for enjoying as the temperature cools. Available now
- Blueberry Cobbler Ale, a beer-dessert hybrid, is available now
Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit
- Oktoberfest, a traditional malt beer, is available in late September
- Pumpkin Ale is made with pumpkins and spices grown right here in Detroit. It’s available in October
Woodward Avenue Brewers, 22626 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
- Pumpkin Ale is full of (you guessed it) pumpkin, spices and caramel flavors. Available now
- WABtoberfest is a new release this year, and is WAB’s cleverly titled Oktoberfest selection. Available now
Arbor Brewing Company, 114 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor
- Hoptoberfest is available now and has complex hop flavors without being bitter
- Oktoberfest Bier is both sweet (malty) and spicy (hoppy). Available now
- Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel is a dark, Belgian style beer with notes of toffee, dark dried fruits and spicy hops. Available in October
- Night Stalker Pumpkin Cream Stout is brewed with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. It’s available around Halloween for a limited time
- Dark Side Black IPA is nearly black in color and is similar to an IPA. Available on Halloween
- Phat Abbot Belgian Tripel, a strong, malt beer with a note of sweetness. Available as a fall release
Short’s Brewing Company, 121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire
- Autumn Ale is an extra special bitter ale, and according to Short’s, it’s the best of both worlds between malty and hoppy. Available now
- Noble Chaos is an Oktoberfest beer brewed several months in advance in order to age. Available now
Liberty Street Brewing Company, 149 W. Liberty St., Plymouth
- The brewery’s popular Punkin’ Pie Ale made it’s seasonal debut in early September, and will remain on tap until February
Griffin Claw Brewery, 575 S. Eton St., Birmingham
- Screamin’ Pumpkin is full of spices like nutmeg and ginger. Available now
Arcadia Brewing Company, 103 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek
- Jaw-Jacker is free of pumpkin flavors, opting instead for a brilliant blend of spices that creates a delicious amber-wheat ale. Available now
New Holland Brewing Company, 66 E. 8th St., Holland
- Available since late August, Ichabod is brewed with real pumpkin and a generous amount of spices
I wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to try all of these before the taps run dry. Just don’t do so all in one day! And, if you go to the brewery itself or somewhere out on the town, make sure you have a safe ride home. Happy drinking!