Not Just Oktoberfest Season

Scott Biely

scott biely | what i like about brew | sept. 2019

In case you blinked the summer of 2019 is officially over. It's time to rotate your jeans and sweatshirts to the front of the closet and understand there is going to be significantly more green and gold at your Sunday service. September is upon us and so are all the wonderful things that come along with it. The weather tends to be mild and doing almost anything outside is enjoyable. For me the fall season in Wisconsin is the perfect time of the year.

For many craft beer lovers, entering fall means entering the greatest season of beer: Oktoberfest season. These malty beers dominate a two-month stretch and I for one love it. So many wonderful Oktoberfest beers hit the market every year, each one unique, but with the same heritage clearly on display. I could go on and on about which of these beers are my favorite but I encourage you to try as many as possible and decide for yourself which is the best. Fall beers are definitely dominated by Oktoberfests but there are other great offerings during this time. Here are a few of those beers I like to enjoy this time of year.

Autumnal Fire

Capital Brewery (Middleton, Wis.)


7.8 percent ABV

Capital Brewery is one of those breweries that makes a fantastic Oktoberfest. While I truly love so many Oktoberfest beers, Capital's is always on my favorites list. During this time period they also offer a lesser-known gem: Autumnal Fire. Another traditional German style, this doppelbock delivers everything you'd want from a fall beer offering. It's nice sweet maltiness is perfect for the changing of the season.

Capital Brewery's Autumnal Fire pours a clear copper color and the aroma is of malt and caramel with a hint of alcohol. The taste is exactly what you'd expect from this malt bomb. There is a hint of roast but for the most part this beer allows the sweet goodness of the malt to shine through. At almost eight percent ABV this beer also provides a nice warming quality. Autumnal Fire is perfect as temperatures begin their descent towards winter.

Painted Ladies

Tyranena Brewing Company (Lake Mills, Wis.)

Pumpkin Spice Ale

7.5 percent ABV

As we roll into September in Wisconsin, we see the emergence of three of the greatest fan bases the world has to offer: Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers and pumpkin spice. Over the years, pumpkin spice has gone from a nice little trend to a full out craze. From cereals to desserts to the ever-popular latte, pumpkin spice is a flavor that dominates our fall world. There are many very well-done pumpkin beers on the market but Tyranena Brewing Company's Painted Ladies seems to be the one I lean towards.

Many great pumpkin beers on the market tend to be intense in the pumpkin spice flavor. Some even taste like you're drinking a liquid pumpkin pie, crust and all. While these beers are delicious, the thing I love about Tyranena's Painted Ladies is that it is a beer first. This beer pours a light amber color and brings with it a nice malty aroma layered with pumpkin spices. The tasted is exactly what you'd expect from a pumpkin spice infused amber ale; a nice malty backbone layered with pumpkin. The spices don't linger long making it a beer you want to go back to for another drink.

Night Rain

O'so Brewing Company (Plover, Wis.)


7.4 percent ABV

As you can see by the beers talked about in this article, as temperatures begin to drop popular beer selections tend towards malty, darker, and more robust styles. If you are Oktoberfested-out and the seasonal offerings have run their course, why not grab a dark beer. Porters and stouts are wonderful any time of the year but really increase in popularity as we enter into fall. A porter that has always been one of my favorites is O'so Brewing Company's Night Rain.

Night Rain is defined by its rich and creamy smoothness. This beer pours a dark brown color and brings with it a variety of aromas. There are notes of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, and vanilla just to name a few. Night Rain is very complex in its aroma and likewise with its flavor profile. Taking a sip brings on tastes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, and coffee. Couple that with a nice balancing bitterness, and O'so Brewing's Night Rain is a perfect beer for the season.

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