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The Best Beers To Chase Down This September


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September is here. In the beer world, that means a wave of fresh pumpkin beers is set to hit the market, alongside a rush of Oktoberfest beers. Pumpkin beers have gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years for being gimmicky and (often) flat. But over the last half-decade, the style has been refined and it deserves a second chance at your love. Because frankly, it’s gotten good.

On the absolute opposite end of the beer spectrum is Munich Lager. This is the beer that’s been resting (in a cold lager) for weeks. Right now it’s being kegged and bottled to celebrate the end of summer and the autumn harvest. The beer is the definition of simplicity: hops, malt, water, yeast. That’s it. And now’s the time to get it as fresh as it’ll be all year. If you can’t make it to Munich this month to drink it fresh from a wooden keg, we got you covered back stateside.

Below, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the best beers being released and hitting markets this September. Some of these are easier to find (with larger distribution); some you’ll have to travel for and do a bit of sleuthing to uncover. Either way, a good beer is always worth the trouble! Happy hunting!

PUMPKIN ALE — UPSLOPE BREWING COMPANY

Colorado’s Upslope Brewing’s seasonal suds are some of the best on the market. Their recent release, Pumpkin Ale, is a shining example of the style. Subtly is the keyword here. The brewers use local baby pear pumpkins and a blend of pumpkin pie spices that accent (not overpower) the hops and malts. The low IBUs (bitterness) and high ABV (7.7 percent) make this beer a delight to drink with a nice wallop of alcohol that goes straight to your head in the best possible way.

It’s like that piece of pumpkin pie that you’ve been waiting for since Christmas.

AMERICANAS HELLES LAGER — FAMILY BUSINESS BEER CO.

Family Business Beer Co. knows their way around a brewing kettle. Their Americana is a gorgeous Bavarian Lager by way of Texas. The refreshing beer hits that perfect autumn balance of bready malt and light hop bitterness that leans very refreshing with every sip.

This is the perfect beer to drink one-after-another to fight the hot Texas sun or while celebrating Oktoberfest.

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VOODOO RANGER ATOMIC PUMPKIN — NEW BELGIUM

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This year’s Atomic Pumpkin comes with a twist that just works. They’ve taken the semi-sweet pumpkin and seasonal, cinnamon-forward spices and cut in three chilis: Chipotle, ancho, and red hot candy. The sweet and spiciness of the pumpkin pie elements are wonderfully enhanced by the sharpness of the chili, adding a wholly new dimension to the style.

This one’s definitely worth tracking down if you’re on the fence about pumpkin-infused beers. It’s a delight.

OKTOBERFEST — REVOLUTION BREWING

Up in Chicago, Rev Brewing is gearing up for their own Oktoberfest, right on the streets. They’ve already started their yearly release of Oktoberfest, a German-style Lager. They use classic German malts and hops alongside a Bavarian Lager yeast to really drive home the Oktoberfest-iness of the beer. The balance of slightly sweet malts shines brightly alongside the hints of hop bitterness, making this one a very quaffable beer.

PUNKUCCINO — ELYSIAN BREWING COMPANY

When everyone else is zigging, Elysian, up in Seattle, likes to zag. One of their many takes on the pumpkin beer movement is to lean into the local coffee culture. Punkuccino takes a classic pumpkin ale and hits it with shots of Stumptown coffee and healthy dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The six percent ABV doesn’t overdo the alcohol, making this one very drinkable.

The coffee adds a nice mellow, almost creamy, bitterness to the malty sweetness and the pumpkin. It’s a complex sip of beer that’s sure to wake you up on a cold autumn night.

MMM… FRUIT BERLINER WEISSE WITH BOYSENBERRIES — OTHER HALF BREWING

Other Half Brewing is one of Brooklyn’s most experimental breweries. Their work with fruit-infused Berliner Weisses hits the exact sweet spot of being refreshingly unique and deliciously sour. This season’s MMM… Fruit Berliner Weisse with Boysenberries has a creamy sourness that keeps the Berliner Weisse element fully intact. The use of boysenberries adds semi-tart amplification with an edge of earthy sweetness.

This feels like the fall in a can and is a delicious way to keep drinking sours into the cooler seasons.

HOPZEIT AUTUMN IPA — DESCHUTES BREWING

If you’re looking for something German and bolder, snag a sixer of Deschutes Hopziet. The Märzenbier is a strong ale that draws spiciness and a herbal echo from the German hops it throws in. The malty sweetness is lurking under the 60 IBUs of bitterness in a way that accents the mellow dank. It has an earthen feel to like a pile of freshly raked leaves on a monochrome autumn afternoon. It’s nourishing and satisfying.

INTERNATIONAL PICK OF THE MONTH: AUGUSTINER LAGERBIER HELL

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Oktoberfest is just over two weeks away. That means it’s time to start stocking up on the best Munich and southern Bavaria have to offer. Translation, it’s Augustiner season. The golden lager strikes an almost unbelievable balance of bready malt sweetness with whispers of summer hops shining through. The texture hits on a sharp fizziness than evens out into an almost velvet taste on the tongue. It’s bliss in a glass and worth hunting down this month.

Or, jump on a flight to Munich, hit up Oktoberfest, and try it fresh from the barrel!

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