The Best Lagers For Fall 2023, According To Bartenders

Fall weather is famously ideal for stouts, porters, and other dark beers. But it’s also the perfect time of year to take a deep dive into the world of lagers. While the weather is still warm(ish), refreshing pilsners and light lagers hit the spot. As the season progresses, your lager choices will become more malty, bready, and full-flavored.

James Couty, food and beverage manager at Chateau Carbide at Pendry Chicago prefers the Märzen-style lager during this time of year.

“Märzens typically boast a fuller body with a refreshing, sweet characteristic,” he notes. “These beers were traditionally brewed in March, hence the name ‘Märzen,’ before temperatures climbed too high. Lagered beers require lower temperatures for proper fermentation. They are then aged throughout the summer months and intended to be consumed in October.”

With October being prime time for many lagers, we knew we needed help separating the best of the bunch from the rest of the pack — so we went to the experts for help. We asked a handful of well-known bartenders to tell us about their picks for the best lagers for fall drinking. Keep scrolling to see them all.

Green Bench Postcard Pilsner

Green Bench Postcard Pilsner
Green Bench

Heidi Finley, lead bartender at The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Green Bench’s Postcard Pilsner Lager is the perfect choice for the fall as its lightly breaded malt accompanies fine-tuned spiced herbal hops, finishing with a well-balanced bitterness and tropical notes.

Tasting Notes:

Flaked maize and Mt. Hood hops give this classic pilsner a crisp, refreshing, sweet corn, and floral hop-filled flavors.

Ebbs Lager No. 3

Ebbs Lager No. 3
Ebbs

Aleksander Simic, bartender at Hutong in Miami

ABV: 5.6%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

The Beer:

My lager for Fall is Ebbs Lager No. 3. For those who prefer lagers, Ebbs Lager No. 3 is a standout choice for fall. Its aroma features toasted cracker and bread, with a hint of honey and a subtle spicy floral hop note.

Tasting Notes:

With a medium-light mouthfeel and moderate carbonation, it offers a unique balance. The low hop bitterness and notes of honied toast on the palate make it an excellent pick for autumn sipping.

Old Irving A Different Kind of Helles

Old Irving A Different Kind of Helles
Old Irving

Alex Barbatsis, head bartender at The Whistler in Chicago

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: Limited Availability

The Beer:

A Different Kind of Helles by Old Irving Brewing is a new lager made in collaboration with Chicago metal band Bloodletter. It’s a light lager with some maize and lightly hopped with Saaz hops. It’s 4.8% and one of the cleanest lagers around. It’s a perfect one to enjoy for your late fall ball games.

Tasting Notes:

Notes of sweet corn, cereal grains, honey, and floral, herbal, earthy hops make for a crisp, refreshing lager you’ll always want to keep in your fridge.

Drowned lands Winnow

Drowned lands Winnow
Drowned lands

Tsuru Goto, food and beverage manager at Society Cafe in New York City

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: Limited Availability

The Beer:

We love Drowned Lands Winnow, it’s their Foeder Aged Festbier. We’ve been loving their use of New York grown ingredients, and Festbier is the original slightly lighter Oktoberfest beer, so it’s a natural fall beer.

Tasting Notes:

Bready, sweet, floral, and lightly oak because of the Foeder aging, it’s a great take on the classic fall festbier.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Peroni Nastro Azzurro
Peroni

Federico Doldi, food and beverage director at Gansevoort Meatpacking in New York City

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Beer:

The best lager and my favorite for fall is Peroni. Great for any season, Peroni Nastro Azzurro was crafted with typical Italian care and designed with the Mediterranean palate in mind. Roberto is the third generation from the Cavalli family to be master brewers for Birra Peroni, ensuring the high quality and standards of the beer.

Tasting Notes:

This beer is perfectly crisp and refreshing with just a hint of cereal grains, citrus peels, and floral hops. You’ll want more than just one.

Wynwood Sushi Roll Pils

Wynwood Sushi Roll Pils
Wynwood

Ryan Smith Jr., assistant food and beverage manager at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami

ABV: 5.1%

Average Price: Limited Availability

The Beer:

Wynwood Brewery Sushi Roll Pils is a great early fall lager. While I generally believe lagers are best enjoyed in the summer heat, Sushi Roll Pils has a nice spice that fits right in the fall. Crisp, spicy, and highly crushable.

Tasting Notes:

On top of classic, refreshing pilsner flavors, there are notes of crisp cucumber balanced with a spicy kick of wasabi and ginger after a unique taste.

Kostritzer Schwarzbier

Kostritzer Schwarzbier
Kostritzer

Steven Dinsmore-George, bartender at The Pembroke in Washington, DC

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $13 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Kostritzer Schwarzbier is the prime example of a dark or black German lager. Its convenient availability and affordable pricing make it a wonderful brew to try this coming autumn.

Tasting Notes:

Notes of coffee and chocolate give it a bittersweet flavor profile, while roasted malt contributes to its darkened color.

Yuengling Traditional Lager

Yuengling Traditional Lager
Yuengling

Jared Bailey, bar manager at Soho Cigar Bar in New York City

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $7 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Yuengling Traditional Lager is as classic as they come, and the refreshing lager never disappoints. If you’re looking for something to drink while getting ready for kickoff, Yuengling has what you are looking for with its malty, caramel, lightly hoppy flavor profile.

Tasting Notes:

Roasted malts, caramel, honey, and citrusy, floral hops make for a well-balanced malty, lightly hoppy beer well-suited for fall weather.

Great Divide Hoss

Great Divide Hoss
Great Divide

Suman Pradhan, director of food and beverage at Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass Village, Colorado

ABV: 6.2%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

I love Great Divide Titan Pale Ale beer as summer turns to autumn. It’s not as heavy as Stout but fuller than a lager. It’s a great fall beer. But if you’re looking for an actual fall lager, I’d go with Great Divide Hoss. It’s an Oktoberfest-style lager that gets an added dimension from the use of rye.

Tasting Notes:

This seasonal lager begins with notes of dried fruits, roasted malts, honey, spicy rye, all with a crisp, refreshing, lightly dry finish.

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Great Lakes

Collin Frazier, head bartender at Great Jones Distillery in Noho, New York City

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

The Beer:

I love dark, malty lagers so when Fall rolls around and the Marzens and Oktoberfest-style beers start coming out, I try to soak them up as much as I can. Classic German versions are always great but there are some American options I love just as much like Great Lakes Oktoberfest.

Tasting Notes:

It’s a little toasty, a little caramelly, a touch spicy and the sweetness is perfectly balanced by a crisp, refreshing finish. Plus, at 6.5% ABV, it’s just warming enough for the chill in the Fall air- kind of like a really comfy hoodie.

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