Even though the calendar reads September 7th, it is 'officially' fall. I mean, it's after Labor Day, the kids are back to school, Boston has doubled in capacity thanks to all the college students (I say thank you very, very loosely), and Fall Seasonal beers have made their way to your local package/liquor store shelves.
Part of me wants to put off drinking these beers. I'm a summer kind of guy. I mean, my birthday is July 29th, so I was kind of born to love summer. Giving in to the rash of Oktoberfests and Pumpkin beers means acknowledging that the warm weather is giving way to cool, brisk days/nights. It's something that I've hesitated doing in the past, but I have to honestly say that I really do enjoy fall - it's the dreaded season that comes afterwards that I'm not to fond of.
Anyway, if you can't be 'em, join 'em (whatever the hell that means in terms of seasons)! This is somewhat misleading, considering I've already had several Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales, but...so what? who cares? I'm a grumpy old man sometimes, and want to hang onto the warm weather for as long as I can, but it's a losing battle when it comes to the calendar.
Having said that, I'm really looking forward to fall. September usually means the unofficial official "Fest Season", with last Friday's Mass Brewers Fest kicking it all off. The Beer Summit/Sam Adams Octoberfest is THIS Friday and Saturday, and Jim Koch and crew are rolling out the cooler weather beers in awesome fashion. Tapping of the keg Friday, all day session Saturday...good stuff!
As you have probably seen, Harpoon Brewery released their UFO Pumpkin, which is an unfiltered, slightly sweet, unfiltered pumpkin ale. While it's not the best I've ever had, it's also no the worst. It has a pleasant aroma, a slightly malty and sweet body, and is fairly drinkable. If you haven't tried it, it's worth the cash for a six pack (or a pint if you see it out somewhere). I also tried the Woodstock Inn's Autumn Ale Brew, which had some similar qualities. I wasn't blown away by this beer, but it was still cool to try - and at only a few dollars at Bert's Better Beers, you can't go wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised by the awesomeness that is Brooklyn Brewery's Oktoberfest. It has the perfect blend of malty and sweet flavor, with a floral aroma, and great color. I quickly went through the six pack I bought. A full review is likely in order, and even though it's not a New England beer, it deserves some recognition for being a great beer.
Sarah and I also opted to knock back the bottles of Berkshire Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest (one of my personal OFest favorites), as well as the Southern Tier Brewing Co's Pumking Imperial Pumpkin last night. We can't say enough about either beer, and don't be surprised to see a full right up of these either. At around $5, you can't beat a bomber of the BBC Oktoberfest, and the Pumking can be had for relatively short money as well - I definitely recommend both!
What beers are you looking forward to specifically? We'd love to hear what you're drinking, or soon will be drinking!! You can comment here, but you should also check out our poll posted earlier today on our Facebook page!