Bartenders Shout Out Their ‘Must Try’ Fall Beers

The first day of fall is September 22. Might as well buy your Halloween candy now and get your seasonal sweaters out. And you can definitely crack those “fall” beers (yes, even pumpkin beers) about now. Time waits for no one and this seemingly endless year is marching on.

If you ask us, fall is the perfect time for brown ales, stouts, marzens, porters, pilsners, and lagers. IPAs still have their place on these shorter, brisker days, too. To help us drill down a little further, we asked a handful of well-known bartenders for help. They’ve shared their picks for “must drink” fall beers below.

Cigar City Maduro

Reniel Garcia, bar director at Havana 1957 in Miami

Maduro Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing. This is a perfect combination for a rolled handed cigar, with chocolatey flavors and espresso notes. Making it perfect for a fall evening.

J Wakefield Hops For Teacher

Marla White, lead bartender at Lona Cocina & Tequilera in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Locally brewed J Wakefield IPA Hops for Teacher is a gem. Fall is the perfect time to drink a bitter and hoppy IPA. I’m not just ready to give up on IPAs yet.

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen

Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

Fall beers are generally a transition to heavier styles but, first and foremost, Oktoberfest releases are greatly anticipated. The malty goodness of a well-executed festbier is a welcome change for the season.

Ayinger releases a Marzen for Oktoberfest that is traditionally styled and toasted — not overstating or overwhelming.

Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown

Molly Safuto, bartender at Mila Rooftop Bar in Glendale, California

Get Up Offa That Brown from Golden Road Brewing Company. It’s an English-style brown ale with tons of malty, caramel flavor. It reminds you of fall in a pint glass.

Saint Arnold Oktoberfest

Emmanuelle Massicot, assistant general manager of Kata Robata in Houston

Saint Arnold Oktoberfest. Fall means Oktoberfest and I always go to Saint Arnold for their classic take on signature styles of beer. It’s full-bodied, malty, and sweet and pairs perfectly with all the sausages, potatoes, and lederhosen.

Bronx Das Bronx

Crystal Chasse, beverage director at Talk Story Rooftop in Brooklyn

I love a good marzen in the fall. It’s a crisp lager with some malty, caramelized notes. Bronx Brewing also has a delicious local version called Das Bronx that I cannot wait to crack open.

Mikkeler St. Mikkelas

Max Stampa-Brown, beverage director at Borrachito in New York City

I love St. Mikkelas from the Mikkeler brewery out in Queens. This was a taproom exclusive I think but here’s to hoping they run it again. I’ll tell you exactly what this tastes like: very gingery graham crackers, slow-roasted marshmallow, and spiced chocolate bark.

If you were making s’mores on a cool fall evening and put them in a can, you’d get this beer.

Creature Comforts Bibo

Jerad Henry, bartender at Local Republic in Lawrenceville, Georgia

The awful heat keeps me inside most of the summer, so fall is my time to get out. I love Creature Comforts’ Bibo because it’s so versatile. Packed in a cooler for tailgating or waiting for me after a hike — I love the light body with the dry finish. Tons of depth in flavor from the hop additions, with an ABV (4.9%) so that I won’t regret cracking a few for a noon UGA football game.

Writer’s Pick:

Stone Xocoveza

I love Stone Xocoveza during the fall months. This 8.1 percent mocha stout is like a spicy, Mexican hot chocolate in beer form. It’s warming, malty and perfect for a cold fall night.

Alesmith Nut Brown

When fall arrives, we love to reach for the nutty, malty flavors of a good nut brown. One of the best is from California’s Alesmith. It’s complex and full of roasted nut and caramel flavors perfectly suited for chilly (and chill), fall days.