We’re Ranking Creepy Craft Beers For Halloween

While many of us don’t enjoy the dark days and cold weather that the changing of the seasons brings, we rep hard for the scary movies, candy, and ridiculous, creative costumes October has to offer. And pairing your Halloween shenanigans with a frosty, cold beer (or three)? Well, that’s just smart, is all.

But we don’t want to combine our Halloween fun with just any beer. Bring on the dark, malevolent, creepy brews.

Naturally, pumpkin beers still make an appearance during October but this list of creepy, ghostly beers is more than just gourd-centered. Keep reading to see all of the best Halloween beers to drink this year. Did we rank them? Of course we did.

8) New Holland Ichabod

New Holland Ichabod
New Holland

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Even if you never read the story “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, you know the premise. Ichabod Crane is a schoolteacher who happens upon the “headless horseman” late one gloomy night. This seasonal pumpkin ale is made with malted barley, real pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find some cinnamon, cloves, and maybe some ginger, but not much else. Not much of a pumpkin smell on the nose. The palate is lightly vegetal pumpkin mixed with cinnamon, cloves, wintry spices, and light hops. Overall, fairly watery and not a ton of pumpkin flavor.

Bottom Line:

This beer drinks more like a lager than a pumpkin beer. It’s fairly light and muted in flavor. Not an overly exciting beer for Halloween ragers.

7) Flying Dog The Fear

Flying Dog The Fear
Flying Dog

ABV: 9%

Average Price: $14.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

There might not be a more aptly and simply named Halloween beer than Flying Dog Fear. You might not fear it, but you definitely want to give this 9% ABV imperial pumpkin ale the respect it deserves. While it’s a well-balanced beer, it gets its pumpkin flavor from 300 pounds of pumpkin per 50 barrels.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a mix of bready malts, toffee, vegetal pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices. Drinking it revealed slightly bitter pumpkin, butterscotch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and more spices. Fairly generic. A little boozier than most pumpkin beer fans are used to.

Bottom Line:

The word that I would use to describe Flying Dog The Fear is just “okay.” It’s not bad and it’s not great either. Boozy, light in flavor, and just fine.

6) Allagash Haunted House

Allagash Haunted House
Allagash

ABV: 6.66%

Average Price: $14.999 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

Listed as “Hoppy Dark Ale”, this seasonal favorite from Allagash is brewed with roasted barley and Blackprinz malt before being hopped with Crystal, Chinook, and Saaz hops. It’s known for its mix of malts, hops, and bitter, roasted flavors.

Tasting Notes:

A nose of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, toffee, and coffee meets your nose before your first sip. The palate is highlighted by flavors like roasted malts, dark chocolate, fresh brewed coffee, and a nice kick of piney, floral hops at the end. The finish is a mix of malts and hops and it’s surprisingly dry.

Bottom Line:

This is a well-made beer and a seasonal favorite for a reason. The only thing that keeps it from landing higher on the list is the mix of roasted malts and bright, floral hops might not appeal to the palates of all drinkers.

5) Southern Tier Warlock

Southern Tier Warlock
Southern Tier

ABV: 10%

Average Price: $14.99 for a four-pack

The Beer:

When it comes to spooky Halloween tales, we seem to hear unending stories about witches, but it’s time for warlocks to get their due. Thanks to the folks at Southern Tier, they are. This 8.6% ABV fall seasonal imperial stout is brewed with ale yeast, four different malts, CTZ hops, pumpkin, and various fall spices.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is loaded with aromas of pie crust, dark chocolate, candied pecans, light pumpkin, and fall spices. The palate is centered on roasted malts, more nutty sweetness, sweet pumpkins, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate, and coffee. The finish is a warming mix of sweetness, spice, and roasted malts.

Bottom Line:

This is a great example of a well-balanced pumpkin imperial stout. All of the various flavors are in perfect balance without anything dominating too much. It’s a well-made seasonal beer.

4) AleSmith Evil Dead Red

AleSmith Evil Dead Red
AleSmith

ABV: 6.66%

Average Price: $5.50 for a 22-ounce bottle

The Beer:

If you’re looking to reach back into the world of horror nostalgia this Halloween season, we suggest watching the 1981 film Evil Dead (not the recent remake) starring the highly underrated Bruce Campbell. Make the evening even better by pairing it with this 6.66% ABV hop-fueled, bready malt-filled red ale.

Tasting Notes:

Pine, grapefruit and various IPA aromas start the nose off strong. It moves into bready malts and sweet caramel malts. The palate continues this trend with more toffee, vanilla, citrus zest, and piney, dank hops. It’s a complicated beer that needs to be sipped to be believed.

Bottom Line:

This seasonal favorite is a great mix of hops and malts. It’s loaded with citrus, pine, and caramel malt flavors, all with a pleasing, dry finish.

3) Rogue Dead Guy

Rogue Dead Guy
Rogue

ABV: 6.8%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

There are few beer labels as macabre and spooky as Rogue Dead Guy. It’s literally a creepy, cult-like skeleton. Luckily, the beer inside isn’t as scary. This German-style Maibock is made with Pacman yeast, 2-row, C15, and Munich malts. It gets its hop presence from the addition of Perle and Sterling hops.

Tasting Notes:

Complex aromas of sticky toffee, caramel, chocolate, bready malts, and floral, lightly piney hops can be found on this beer’s nose. The palate is loaded with flavors like honey, more bread-like malts, butterscotch, and more herbal, slightly resinous hops. Bready, caramel, and light hop presence — this beer has it all.

Bottom Line:

Rogue Dead Guy is a year-round beer but it’s most well-suited for fall drinking because of its caramel, malty flavor profile. It’s even better than its classic label.

2) Great Lakes Nosferatu

Great Lakes Nosferatu
Great Lakes

ABV: 8%

Average Price: $12.50 for a six-pack

The Beer:

1922’s Nosferatu starring Max Shreck just celebrated its 100th birthday. What better way to celebrate this iconic vampire tale than by imbibing a beer inspired by it? Great Lakes Nosferatu is a red IPA brewed with 2-row, Crystal 77, and Special Roast malts. It’s hopped with Simcoe and Cascade hops.

Tasting Notes:

Pine needles, caramel, bready malts, floral hops, and orange zest are prevalent aromas on the nose. Taking a sip brings forth notes of roasty malts, toffee, brown sugar, tangerine, and resinous, dank pine. The finish is a nice mix of malt sweetness and hop bitterness.

Bottom Line:

If you’re an IPA drinker who doesn’t want to give up on his or her favorite style once fall hits, this is the beer for you. While it has a nice roasty malt, caramel backbone, it has a heavy enough hops presence to please the biggest IPA fans.

1) 3 Floyds Zombie Dust

3 Floyds Zombie Dust
3 Floyds

ABV: 6.8%

Average Price: $14.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

This year-round, 6.5% ABV pale ale is consistently ranked as one of the best on the market. This hoppy beer gets its bold flavor from the addition of Citra hops. Its label is adorned with a zombie king and it’s the perfect accompaniment to your favorite zombie TV show or movie.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is all ripe grapefruit, tangerine, caramelized pineapple, bready malts, and light pine. The palate follows suit with more pineapple as well as mango, guava, grapefruit, caramel malts, and lightly floral, dank pine. The finish is a mix of sweetness and floral, piney, slightly bitter hops.

Bottom Line:

While there are some great beers on this list, none are as well-made as 3 Floyds Zombie Dust. This is a borderline perfect pale ale. Grab a sixer and watch 28 Days Later.

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