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The Beer Diaries

Autumn Guide

Late summer quickly fades to cooler fall days, and two types of beer emerge: Oktoberfests, for that bacchanal of the same name, and harvest veggie flavoured brews, chief among them the mighty pumpkin. Think about trying a few of these with a backyard firepit, or at least central heating.


What's Inside

Here are the beers in this guide. Click a link below to read the full beer review.

  • Three Ranges Sacrifice Red Ale

    Reviewed by on November 11, 2016 in Autumn Guide
    three-ranges-sacrifice-red-ale-landscape

    Valemount, BC’s Three Ranges Brewing produces this ode to the military service people in our collective history, a very suitable offering to commemorate Remembrance/Veterans Day. This 355ml can pours a clear, medium red-brick amber colour, with one rather skinny finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some melting springtime ski slope […]

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  • Olds College Barrel-Aged Jack Olds Lantern

    Reviewed by on October 31, 2016 in Autumn Guide
    olds-college-jack-olds-lantern-ba-pumpkin-ale-landscape

    After debuting their pumpkin ale a few years ago, Olds College has upped the seasonal ante, now having aged the same brew in unspecified barrels. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with one rather skinny finger of weakly puffy, and mostly just broadly bubbly tan head, which leaves some waves crashing […]

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  • Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter

    Reviewed by on October 7, 2016 in Autumn Guide
    epic-imperial-pumpkin-porter-landscape

    Oktoberfest is done for another year, and so we turn to that other seasonal affectation, the pumpkin spice ale!  Epic Brewing’s Imperial version is the only new one to thus far show up in our neck of the woods. This 22oz bottle pours a clear (I think), very dark orange-tinted brown colour, with one flabby […]

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  • Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 26, 2016 in Autumn Guide
    firestone-walker-oaktoberfest-landscape

    California’s Firestone Walker release this Oktoberfest-style brew with a curious moniker – is it really oaked?  And what’s with the standard 5% ABV? Aren’t Oktoberfest/Marzens typically a bit stronger, what with the approaching cold weather, and all? This 16oz can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, rocky, and […]

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  • Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA

    Reviewed by on September 23, 2016 in Autumn Guide
    deschutes-hopzeit-landscape

    A hopped-up Marzen (the beer traditionally served at Oktoberfests), using German varietals – an interesting idea for the mashing of old and new world styles, I gotta say.  Es ist Hop-Zeit!  It’s hop time! This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly […]

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  • Phillips Märzen Attacks

    Reviewed by on December 28, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Phillips Marzen Attacks-landscape

    Märzen Attacks is the guest star in the current Phillips Brewing Showcase mixed pack – kitschy retro parody of the Mars Attacks! aliens on the label, for a brew that seems just a tad out of season, eh? This 341ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, […]

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  • Herrnbräu Tradition Festbier

    Reviewed by on December 21, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Herrnbrau Tradition Festbier-landscape

    Tradition Festbier comes to North Americans via the 2015 Costco Beer Advent Calendar, so we of the faithful Advent sort don’t get to them until now – whatever, it’s technically the last day of autumn (the best kind of day of autumn!), so who cares if it’s just too damned cold for dirndls! This 500ml […]

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  • Münnerstadt Kloster Urstoff

    Reviewed by on December 9, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Münnerstadt Kloster Urstoff-landscape

    Kloster Urstoff appears to be owned by Klosterbrauerei Münnerstadt, and actually made at the Privatbrauerei Egerer.  Vagaries of German contract brewing relations aside, it’s nice to see a heady lager arrive so late in this game we’ve dubbed 2015. This 500ml can pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with four fingers of roiling, puffy, […]

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  • Egerer Alpenkönig Gold Märzen

    Reviewed by on December 4, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Egerer Alpenkonig Marzen-landscape

    Another brew that comes to us in North America via the 2015 Costco Beer Advent Calendar – more mountain beer from Germany, this time from the king!  Hey, it’s still autumn out there for many people in the world who aren’t myself. This 500ml can pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with three […]

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  • Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’

    Reviewed by on December 1, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Anderson Valley Fall Hornin'-landscape

    It is indeed still autumn for another 3 weeks or so, and especially in California, and other points south of my already snowbound locale.  Anyways, this seasonal offering arrives to me via the importer’s apparent idea of bridging the two seasons of fall (there’s no Boontling word for that?) and holiday/winter. This 12oz bottle pours […]

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  • Hösl Märzenbier

    Reviewed by on in Autumn Guide
    Hosl Marzenbier-landscape

    Sometimes provenance (or packaging) brings latecomers to this game, and now, with 3 weeks of ‘autumn’ left in 2015 (I know that most people aren’t keeping track via that metric), we time-travel back a couple months or so. This 500ml can pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, […]

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  • Clown Shoes Coffee Pecan Pie Porter

    Reviewed by on November 26, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Clown Shoes Coffee Pecan Pie Porter-landscape

    Clown Shoes adjust their recipe for this brew each year, and 2015’s, um, ‘tweak’ is cold brewed coffee.  Via the swath of near-nonsensical exposition and imagery on the label, I do get a heady sense (pecan pie and turkeys, of course) of the American Thanksgiving ethos, at least. This 22oz bottle pours a solid black […]

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  • New Belgium Pumpkick

    Reviewed by on November 25, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    New Belgium Pumpkick-landscape

    As we approach American Thanksgiving, pumpkin beers may yet have some life left in 2015.  Here, New Belgium’s offering includes cranberry juice, all the better to match with your relatively healthy side dishes tomorrow! This 12oz bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with two thick fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly […]

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  • Grassroots Arctic Saison

    Reviewed by on November 24, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Grassroots Arctic Saison-landscape

    Grassroots is a brand of Vermont’s Hill Farmstead Brewery, that seems to be about collaboration – thus, this Arctic Saison (an appropriate gap-filler between fall and winter) was made when they apparently trekked (north) to Alaska to help brew at Anchorage Brewing.  Batch #2 (fermented in oak tanks with Brett), with a fantastic pop when […]

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  • Big Rock Harvest Pale Ale

    Reviewed by on November 23, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Big Rock Harvest Pale Ale-landscape

    Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery releases a sort of late-arriving harvest ale for a season that is rapidly turning into the next, much colder one around these parts.  Made with fresh hops and honey. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, wanly foamy, and mostly just […]

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  • Steamworks Hop Attack Fresh Hop IPA

    Reviewed by on November 17, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Steamworks Hop Attack-landscape

    Vancouver’s Steamworks gets on the harvest hop train, with this 650ml bottle, wrapped in a brown paper bag of sorts, which details the brewery’s collaboration with Sartori Farms and their fresh hops, info lacking on the bottle label itself. This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, loosely […]

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  • Double Mountain Killer Green Fresh Hop IPA

    Reviewed by on November 16, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Double Mountain Killer Green-landscape

    Coming in alongside its sibling, the Killer Red Fresh Hop IRA from last week, we have Double Mountain’s Killer Green, made with wet hops from Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley. This 500ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat chunky beige head, which leaves some […]

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  • Dageraad Wet-Hopped Blonde

    Reviewed by on November 12, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Dageraad Wet-Hopped Blonde-landscape

    The Dageraad Brewing Company has procured fresh Centennial hops to make this ‘wet-hopped’ Belgian-style blonde ale.  And here I was, about to get all pedantic and up in it, about the word ‘bine’ on the label description. Turns out my toddler isn’t the only one around here learning something new every day! This 650ml bottle […]

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  • Robinsons Trooper

    Reviewed by on November 11, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Robinsons Trooper-landscape

    As today is Veterans/Remembrance/Armistice Day, to honour it we turn to a brew that was inspired by a rock song that itself was inspired by the Crimean War, specifically the Charge of the Light Brigade.  Oh, and said song’s singer, one Bruce Dickinson, is credited with coming up with the recipe for the beer himself. […]

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  • Double Mountain Killer Red Fresh Hop IRA

    Reviewed by on November 10, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Double Mountain Killer Red-landscape

    Double Mountain is a craft brewery in Hood River, Oregon, on the banks of the mighty Columbia River, and they make this fresh-hopped (the Perle variety, this year) ‘India Red Ale’ to enjoy now before the snow flies! This 500ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, […]

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  • Russell Farm Fresh IPA

    Reviewed by on November 9, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Russell Farm Fresh IPA-landscape

    Russell’s Farm Fresh IPA is the latest in the currently fashionable beer marketing trend of ‘wet’, ‘fresh’, or ‘harvest’ hopped IPAs, which take advantage of the fall harvest bounty (at least in the northern hemisphere) of hops to add to this new form of seasonal brew. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber […]

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  • Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale

    Reviewed by on November 2, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale-landscape

    24 Carrot Golden Ale is a collaboration between Stone and Monkey Paw Brewing, using a recipe from the current winner of the Stone Homebrew Competition, one Juli Goldenberg, who has constructed a carrot-cake themed Belgian-style ale that screams out late autumn comfort food, the sort that might show up as side dishes on American Thanksgiving […]

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  • Wychwood Black Wych

    Reviewed by on October 30, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Wychwood Black Wych-landscape

    Wychwood Brewery excels in providing fantasy and spooky-themed offerings, and Black Wych is another good choice, marketing-wise, at least, for Hallowe’en festivities, i.e. drinking while waiting for the neighbourhood kiddies to come begging for early-onset diabetes – I mean candy. This 500ml bottle pours a near opaque black, but upon closer back-lit inspection, prominent red […]

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  • Wychwood Hobgoblin

    Reviewed by on October 29, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Wychwood Hobgoblin-landscape

    If you’re picking up a few brews for suppin’ whilst helping hand out Hallowe’en treats to the (sometimes not so) wee ones this coming Saturday evening, Wychwood’s Hobgoblin would be a no-brainer. This 500ml bottle pours a clear, dark copper amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, frothy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves […]

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  • Unibroue Maudite

    Reviewed by on October 28, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Unibroue Maudite-landscape

    Maudite is a strong Belgian-style ale that is named after a Québécois legend of a group of lumberjacks who made a deal with the Devil to whisk them and their canoe back to their home.  But when one of the men tried to get out of the agreement by asking for God’s help, the canoe […]

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  • Duvel Moortgat Duvel

    Reviewed by on October 27, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Duvel Moortgat Duvel-landscape

    Duvel is the Moortgat conglomerate’s original, and best-selling strong golden pale ale, and takes 90 days to produce.  The name is rather appropriate for this week leading up to Hallowe’en – it means ‘devil’ in its native Flemish. This 330ml squat bottle pours a slightly hazy, very pale golden straw colour, with lots and lots […]

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  • Cannery Knucklehead Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 26, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Cannery Knucklehead Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    Pentiction’s Cannery Brewing supplies one of the later pumpkin ales to make it to market as this particular season starts to get a bit long in the tooth. The label displays a suitably creepy-looking and suited-up Mr. Pumpkinhead. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, […]

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  • Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake

    Reviewed by on October 19, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake-landscape

    Well, today is Election Day in Canada, and after exercising your democratic right, one might suppose that it would be time for a few brews, to better deal with the minutiae of the ‘early results are in’ media jockeying.  And what could be more politically (incorrect) Canadian than to have a beer whose label shows […]

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  • Wychwood King Goblin

    Reviewed by on October 16, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Wychwood King Goblin-landscape

    As All Hallows’ Eve draws ever near, it’s nice to see these goblin/elvish thematic renderings from this cheeky English brewery kicking about. Ooooh, and King Goblin is brewed on a full moon – spooky! This 500ml bottle pours a clear, medium red-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, […]

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  • Stone Enjoy By IPA

    Reviewed by on October 15, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Stone Enjoy By 10-31-15-landscape

    While not specifically a seasonal release, Stone produces this version of their Double IPA to be consumed in the shortest sales window possible, and put the so-called expiry date right front and center on the label.  The current iteration is 10.31.15 – in other words, drink this one before midnight on Hallowe’en! This 22oz bottle […]

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  • Phillips Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA

    Reviewed by on October 14, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Phillips Green Reaper Fresh Hop IPA-landscape

    Green Reaper is one of Phillips Brewing’s autumn offerings, as it celebrates the harvest and usage of fresh hops in their beer.  Also, the weird faceless and hoppy Grim Reaper parody on the label evokes a certain Hallowe’en-friendly vibe (or perhaps a similarity to images of the Nazgûl from The Lord of the Rings). This […]

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  • Steamworks Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 12, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Steamworks Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    The label of this offering bears more steampunk imagery from this Van City brewery, this time involving, of course, pumpkins.  Happy Thanksgiving Day, all my fellow Canucks! This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with one skinny-ass finger of mildly foamy, bubbly, and sort of fizzy dirty white head, which leaves […]

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  • Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 8, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    When you think of stereotypical autumn imagery, what comes to mind?  The American far northeast, that’s what – a rainbow of changing coloured leaves, hard apple cider, and yep, pumpkins.  New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing is known for their ‘make mine a Smutty’ tagline, and they do indeed produce a pumpkin ale for the current season. […]

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  • Russell Märzen

    Reviewed by on October 6, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Russell Marzen-landscape

    The Märzen Oktoberfest Lager is one of the longer-running seasonal Russell Brewing products available in Western Canada.  If you need a hair of the dog type of elixir after the past few weeks of beery celebration, then maybe this can help. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium orange-brick amber colour, with two fingers […]

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  • Brewsters Oktoberfest Marzen

    Reviewed by on October 5, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Brewsters Oktoberfest Marzen-landscape

    Alberta and Saskatchewan brewpub chain Brewsters have begun bottling some of their rotating and seasonal offerings, and among the latest is their Marzen-style autumn lager – things may have just wrapped up in Germany, but October looms in front of us over here, and a stronger brew does not sound like a bad idea! This […]

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  • Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 1, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Samuel Adams Fat Jack-landscape

    Fat Jack, a Double Pumpkin Ale, falls under the Samuel Adams’ brand of ‘Small Batch Beers’, and is ostensibly an autumn release – I mean, look at that sufficiently putrid gourd front and center on the label! This 22oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, […]

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  • Saugatuck Pumpkin Chai

    Reviewed by on September 24, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Saugatuck Pumpkin Chai-landscape

    Western Michigan’s Saugatuck Brewing provides the first new pumpkin brew for me in the 2015 season – and a chai-flavoured one at that. This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium red-brick amber colour, with one flabby finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and mostly just bubbly ecru head, which leaves some incoming storm front lace […]

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  • Wild Rose Big DIPA

    Reviewed by on September 23, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Wild Rose Big DIPA-landscape

    Wow, two big releases from this Cowtown purveyor of craft suds in as many weeks – the brewery deems this one a ‘seasonal’, without specifying which one, so no time like the present, eh? At first glance, this seems like it should be pronounced ‘Big D-I-P-A’, but upon further label inspection, it comes off as […]

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  • Dageraad Randonneur Saison

    Reviewed by on September 22, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Dageraad Randonneur Saison-landscape

    Dageraad Brewing is a recent startup (their name is Flemish for ‘sunrise’), and are focusing on creating Belgian-inspired beers in an industrial park in Burnaby, BC.  Randonneur (which is long-distance cycling) is a saison made in the style of those produced during harvest time for the farmhouse workers of lore. This 650ml bottle pours a […]

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  • The Bruery Autumn Maple

    Reviewed by on September 17, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    The Bruery Autumn Maple-landscape

    Autumn Maple is this Orange County brewery’s fall seasonal ale release, and instead of the typical pumpkin, they’ve added yams, molasses, and maple syrup to get the desired effect.  Oh, and it’s 10 percent ABV, for those keeping score at home.  Extra early points for the maple leaf front and center on the label, too! […]

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  • Alley Kat Ein Prosit! Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 16, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Alley Kat Ein Prosit-landscape

    Edmonton’s longest-running craft brewery, Alley Kat has not made this particular seasonal in 3 or 4 years, so it is nice to see it again as the sunny days have become shorter, and a whole heck of a lot crisper, of late. This 650ml bottle pours a crystal clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with one […]

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  • Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 4, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest-landscape

    Sierra Nevada has partnered with the Bavarian brewery Brauhaus Riegele (situated northwest of Munich), an independent family-owned operation that goes back 5 generations, to create their version of an Oktoberfest this year.  I can feel September in the way that the sunshine is looking at me right now, so I guess it’s time to carry […]

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  • Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn

    Reviewed by on September 2, 2015 in Autumn Guide
    Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn-landscape

    The Paulaner brewery is one of the six Munich-based companies that are allowed to produce Oktoberfest beer for the occasion, which is known by locals as the Wiesn, a colloquial shortening of the name of the fairgrounds themselves, Theresienwiese.  It seems that they have taken to packaging this offering for sale abroad, so those of […]

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  • Avery Pump[KY]n

    Reviewed by on November 13, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Avery Pump[KY]n-landscape

    Pump[KY]n is an obvious play on words, Avery Brewing’s base pumpkin ale (last seen in Rumpkin), now being aged in Kentucky (KY) Bourbon barrels.  Yes, another certainly strong suggestion for the waning pumpkin beer season (Thanksgiving is 2 weeks out, now), all the better to segue into winter. This 12oz, gold foil capped bottle pours […]

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  • Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale

    Reviewed by on November 12, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale-landscape

    Rogue Ales uses pumpkins grown on their own Rogue Farms to produce this autumn seasonal.  One thing though – shouldn’t the ‘power to the people’ fist on the label be cradling a gourd, instead of the usual hop vine clench? Just sayin’. This 750ml bottle pours a dark, murky golden brownish amber hue, with two […]

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  • Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl

    Reviewed by on November 11, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl-landscape

    This oddly-name brew is Anderson Valley’s barrel-aged pumpkin ale – I tried, but I could not come up with a meaning for this one’s moniker, the admittedly limited online Boontling resources exhausted – I’m just going to assume that it’s their way (literally) of referring to Wild Turkey barrels. This 22oz bottle pours a rather […]

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  • Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

    Reviewed by on November 10, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Shock Top Spiced Pumpkin-landscape

    As many (but not most, unfortunately) beer enthusiasts are aware, the ‘Shock Top’ line of self-styled craft beers are actually made by the producers of Budweiser, under the guise of the Shock Top Brewing Co.  In the interest of pseudo-inclusion (did I just make up a word?), and the waning autumn season, let’s have a […]

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  • Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on November 7, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    The Brooklyn Brewery has been making their version of a spiced pumpkin ale for a number of years now, and it is available from August through November only – still some time yet to give it a go! This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper orange hue, with a single finger of densely […]

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  • Fernie Pumpkin Head

    Reviewed by on November 6, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Fernie Pumpkin Head-landscape

    A simple, yet creepy monochromatic ‘Mr. Pumpkinhead’ adorns the label of this seasonal offering from this Rocky Mountain brewery – they’ve taken their popular First Trax Brown Ale, and added organic pumpkin and the usual spice suspects.   The pumpkin craze may be waning a bit, but the weather is looking a lot more early October-ish […]

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  • Lighthouse Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on November 5, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Lighthouse Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    Lighthouse is a brewery from Victoria, BC, and this is their seasonal pumpkin-infused brew, with extra milk sugar, it would seem. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with one thick finger of puffy, bubbly, and loosely foamy beige head, which leaves some low-lying headland lace around the glass as it […]

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  • Avery Rumpkin

    Reviewed by on November 4, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Avery Rumpkin-landscape

    Rumpkin is part of Avery Brewing’s Annual Barrel Series, and is a (very) Imperial Pumpkin Ale, made with a few of the typical seasonal spices, and then aged for an unspecified period in fresh rum barrels.  We were lucky enough to come across the new 2014 batch, presented in a 12oz, gold foil-capped bottle. This […]

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  • Canuck Empire Pumpkin Patch Ale

    Reviewed by on November 3, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Canuck Empire Pumpkin Patch-landscape

    Canuck Empire appears to be a contract brewery in the Lower Mainland of metro Vancouver, as their beers are produced at the current time by locals Dead Frog.  With the same name as a pumpkin ale from Rogue Ales, it’s a bit surprising that they call this one ‘Pumpkin Patch Ale’, given the many tenuous […]

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  • Howe Sound Pumpkineater

    Reviewed by on October 31, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Howe Sound Pumpkineater-landscape

    Howe Sound is a brewery in Squamish, British Colombia, along the coast north of Vancouver, and takes its name from the body of water inlet on which it sits.  Pumpkineater (subtitled: Imperial Pumpkin Ale), their autumn seasonal, sits wherever it dang well pleases – just look at its size and strength, and you’ll see why […]

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  • Yukon’s The Angry Hessian

    Reviewed by on October 30, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Yukon The Angry Hessian-landscape

    Yukon Brewing has taken their spiced pumpkin ale from the past experimental ‘ADD’ series, and rebranded it as “The Angry Hessian” (a reference to the Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), all the better to enjoy this as a precursor to tomorrow’s celebration of all things spooky and grotesque. This 650ml bottle pours […]

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  • Phillips Crookeder Tooth Barrel Aged Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 29, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Phillips Crookeder Tooth Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    Last week, we became familiar with Phillips’ Crooked Tooth Pumpkin ale, and now it’s time to say hello to its bigger, more worldlier sibling: Crookeder Tooth, which is also barrel-aged, presumably in American Bourbon cast-offs. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy […]

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  • Russell Happy Jack

    Reviewed by on October 28, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Russell Happy Jack-landscape

    Happy Jack Pumpkin Ale has been produced in the past at Russell-owned Fort Garry Brewery in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but now it seems that Russell Brewing’s Surrey, BC operation is making it, as all the label says is ‘small batch craft brewed right here in British Columbia’.  At any rate, it’s a pumpkin ale, infused with […]

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  • Parallel 49 Lost Souls

    Reviewed by on October 27, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Parallel 49 Lost Souls-landscape

    Lost Souls is described as a ‘chocolate pumpkin porter’, which is a nice twist on the typical seasonal offering of the moment from Van City’s Parallel 49 Brewing, and a bigger brother of sorts to Schadenfreude, I would imagine.  A suitable kick-off, then, to this week of Hallowe’en activities and dipping temperatures. This 650ml bottle […]

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  • New Belgium Tour De Fall

    Reviewed by on October 24, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    New Belgium Tour De Fall-landscape

    New Belgium is a large craft brewer from Fort Collins, Colorado, who are justifiably famous for their Fat Tire amber ale (and they’ll soon have a Beer Diaries Episode depicting their operations, in the now running Colorado season).  As the leaves turn different crazy colours, they have created this ode to fall – hopped with […]

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  • Lake of Bays Stitches: Gerry Cheevers Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on October 23, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Lake of Bays Stitches Oktoberfest-landscape

    ‘Stitches’ is Lake of Bays’ fourth iteration in their ‘Masked Men’ NHL Alumni series, this time honouring Boston Bruin great Gerry Cheevers, he of the gnarly old-school mask, and tendency to forget that he was a goaltender. This 750ml bottle pours a clear, bright red-brick amber colour, with two stacked pads of puffy, densely foamy, […]

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  • Phillips Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 22, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Phillips Crooked Tooth-landscape

    Phillips is a prolific Vancouver Island brewer, who do not shy away from seasonal releases, including this, their pumpkin ale (they have a stronger, um, more comparative big brother for this one as well, which we’ll get to soon enough). This 650ml bottle pours a slightly glassy, medium yellowed copper colour, with two fat fingers […]

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  • Flying Monkeys Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 21, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Flying Monkeys Paranormal-landscape

    Flying Monkeys is a brewery situated near the shores of Lake Simcoe north of Toronto, in cottage country (or at least you can see it from there, so I’ve been told).  They have sassy marketing to accompany their sassy beers, such as this one, an Imperial Pumpkin Ale, with a preponderance of random Hallowe’en themed […]

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  • Red Racer Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 20, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Red Racer Spiced Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    Central City Brewing, they of the famous Red Racer IPA, also apply the brand to a number of other brews, including this, their fall seasonal – a spiced (in exactly the way one might expect) ale, with added pumpkin.  The label depicts our girl still riding her red bike, now clashing with the orange seasonal […]

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  • New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 17, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    New Holland Brewing, which is situated near the shores of Lake Michigan, has been making this pumpkin ale since 1997.  I presume it was easier to name this ‘Ichabod’, rather than the ‘Headless Horseman’, who apparently made more practical use of the gourd. This 12oz bottle pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with one […]

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  • Wild Rose Roggen’s Heroes

    Reviewed by on October 16, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Wild Rose Roggens Heroes-landscape

    Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery has produced this seasonal lager, but with rye malt, and some fancy New Zealand Wakatu hops – cool to see an oblique take on the Oktoberfest style, but still within the German brewing overseers’ restrictive realm!  And not to mention their pop culture marketing acuity… This 650ml bottle pours a clear, […]

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  • Lakefront Pumpkin Lager

    Reviewed by on October 15, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Lakefront Pumpkin Lager-landscape

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Lakefront Brewery makes a few different pumpkin ales, as well as this pumpkin lager, which is a new one for me, I think. This 12oz bottle pours a slightly blurry, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and mildly creamy dirty white head, which leaves a few specks of […]

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  • Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on October 14, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Elysian Night Owl-landscape

    Seattle’s Elysian Brewing is quite proliferate in their production of pumpkin ales (I count 13, at least), and Night Owl is their most widely available one.  It’s made with all the good seasonal ingredients that a discerning pumpkin concoction aficionado might expect. This 22oz bottle pours a hazy, medium bronzed amber hue, with one flabby […]

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  • St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale)

    Reviewed by on October 10, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    St. Ambroise Citrouille-landscape

    McAuslan Brewing has been producing acclaimed craft beer since 1989 in Montreal, Quebec.  While better known for their pale ale and oatmeal stout, every fall, the Great Pumpkin makes an appearance (which has nothing to do with Peanuts). This 341ml bottle pours a clear, bright bronzed amber colour, with two hefty fingers of puffy, tightly […]

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  • Santa Fe Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on October 9, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Santa Fe Oktoberfest-landscape2

    Oktoberfest may be officially over and done with in Munich, but around the world, brewers are still putting out these malty amber lagers to correspond with the namesake month, like this example from the Sante Fe Brewing Company. This 12oz can pours a clear, pale copper amber hue, with four flabby fingers of puffy, densely […]

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  • Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

    Reviewed by on October 8, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin-landscape

    Shipyard is a brewery from Portland, Maine, and this is part of their Pugsley’s Signature Series, which comprises their stronger offerings, and is named after co-founder Alan Pugsley.  I am a little confounded as to why they have to refer to the supposed pumpkin in this brew merely as ‘flavor’? This 22oz, gold foil-capped bottle pours […]

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  • Parallel 49 Schadenfreude

    Reviewed by on October 7, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Parallel 49 Schadenfreude-landscape

    Parallel 49 has snubbed its cheeky nose (swuh?) at the two dominating styles of the season, by blending pumpkin (and the spices that love it) into a sturdy Oktoberfest lager.  Sufficiently spooky label imagery, I gotta say. This 341ml bottle pours a clear, pale golden amber colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, thinly foamy, […]

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  • Shiner Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on October 3, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Shiner Oktoberfest-landscape

    The Spoetzl Brewery operates in tiny Shiner, Texas (population, just north of 2000 souls), the town from which their offerings take their name, as does this here Shiner Oktoberfest. This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves a few […]

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  • Avery The Kaiser

    Reviewed by on October 2, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Avery The Kaiser-landscape

    The Kaiser is part of the so-called ‘Dictator Series’ from Avery (which includes the Czar and the Maharaja), and their apparent entry into the Oktoberfest craziness that grips the beer-drinking world, more or less, for at least a few more days! This 22oz, gold foil-capped bottle pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with a […]

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  • Hacker-Pschorr Festbier

    Reviewed by on September 30, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Hacker-Pschorr Festbier-landscape

    While Munich brewer Hacker-Pschorr has traditionally produced an Oktoberfest lager for export markets, they have recently made available this Limited Edition Series Festbier, purportedly the same stuff they serve at the Oktoberfest proper, available in North America. This 500ml swing-top bottle pours a clear, pale golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, frothy, and […]

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  • Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier

    Reviewed by on September 29, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier-landscape

    Erdinger is a Bavarian brewery the concentrates solely on producing weissbier, or German-style wheat beers.  What makes an Oktoberfest wheat beer? Well, wheat, for starters! This 500ml bottle pours a very hazy, pale golden yellow hue, with a teeming tower of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a few broad swaths […]

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  • Prohibition Harvest Ale

    Reviewed by on September 26, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Prohibition Harvest Pumpkin Spiced Ale-landscape

    Prohibition Brewing is a microbrewery that apparently operates out of an old whisky distillery in the hubcap district (i.e. Winfield) of Kelowna, British Columbia.  Their Harvest Ale is sub-titled ‘pumpkin spiced’, so at least we know the direction we’re going here. This 650ml bottle (I do appreciate the blindfolded pig depicted on the neck) pours […]

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  • Brooklyn Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 25, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Brooklyn Oktoberfest-landscape

    Introduced in the year 2000, Brooklyn Brewery’s version of the Oktoberfest beer is produced in the märzen style, and is one of the more well-distributed American-made versions out there. This 355ml bottle pours a clear, medium brassy amber colour, with two fingers of finely foamy pale beige head, which leaves a few ocean swells of […]

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  • Paulaner Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 24, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier-landscape

    As the original Oktoberfest location is in full swing for 2014 in Munich, it seems appropriate to bust out an offering from one of the participating breweries there.  Overseas, Paulaner’s canned Oktoberfestbier is sold inside a gargantuan, rather solid beer stein (or Maß, in German). This 1L behemoth of a can pours a clear, pale […]

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  • Samuel Adams Octoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 23, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Sam Adams Octoberfest-landscape

    As far as American craft brewers are concerned, Sam Adams has been making this Oktoberfest brew for a long time, which meshes well with the old-world Germanic leanings of this rather successful new world brewery.  Too bad about the anglicization of the beer’s name, though. This beer appears a clear, bright medium bronzed amber hue, […]

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  • Mill Street Nightmare On Mill Street

    Reviewed by on September 22, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Mill St. Nightmare on Mill Street-landscape

    Mill Street’s second entry in the Autumn Beer Guide, due in part to their packaging of an Oktoberfest, and this pumpkin beer, in the same seasonal mixed-pack.  Nightmare on Mill Street is made with vanilla extract, and is apparently based on the brewmaster’s wife’s pie recipe.  Awwww. This 355ml bottle pours a clear, dark copper […]

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  • Tree Jumpin Jack India Pumpkin Ale

    Reviewed by on September 19, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Tree Jumpin Jack India Pumpkin Ale-landscape

    Tree Brewing’s fall offering is a concoction that blends the hoppiness of an IPA (though not apparently their own Hop Head, as the hop bill is quite old-world in composition) with their pumpkin ale of years past. Funny how this would still be shortened to “IPA”. This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark bronzed amber […]

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  • Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie Spiced Ale

    Reviewed by on September 18, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie-landscape

    Pumpkin Pie (née Pumpkin Pi eight years ago) is Alley Kat Brewing’s fall seasonal offering, and typically their most popular and best selling beer throughout the year.  Ok, maybe Aprikat is, but this one just has so much more occasion associated with it – now that I mention it, whatever happened to Ein Prosit!? This […]

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  • Paddock Wood Red Hammer

    Reviewed by on September 17, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Paddock Wood Red Hammer-landscape

    Red Hammer is a regular brew for Paddock Wood, not just coming out around this particular time of year – they classify it as a ‘European Amber Hybrid’, a sort of meta-hybrid of certain BJCP classifications.  At any rate, there is some convincing Soviet-era workers’ imagery depicted on the label. This 355ml bottle pours a […]

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  • Pyramid Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 16, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Pyramid Oktoberfest-landscape

    Pyramid is a chain of brewpubs and breweries up and down the U.S. west coast – this is their ‘Autumn Lager’, an apt new world descriptor for the style, but with little further info proffered on the label. This 22oz bottle pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, thinly […]

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  • Muskoka Harvest Ale

    Reviewed by on September 15, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Muskoka Harvest Ale-landscape

    Beyond the Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales, the transition into fall also brings about numerous harvest ales, so-called because of their inclusion of ingredients freshly reaped from local farmer’s fields.  While not specific with what exactly makes this harvest-adjacent, the Muskoka Brewery promotes this as a slice of all things craft beer in On-tar-i-ari-o.  Old-school (very) […]

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  • Mill Street Oktoberfest

    Reviewed by on September 12, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Mill St. Oktoberfest-landscape

    Mill Street is a brewpub in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, who have recently expanded to an Ottawa location as well.  They seem to have an affinity for the traditional (including, but not specifically, German) styles, such as this iteration of their fall seasonal. This 355ml bottle pours a clear, pale golden bronze hue, with one […]

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  • Svyturys Baltijos

    Reviewed by on September 11, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Svyturys Baltijos Dark Red-landscape

    Švyturys is a Lithuanian brewer, now owned by the Carlsberg group.  Their Baltijos Dark Red is made in the Oktoberfest style, and is a bit of an unexpected find, given that it comes from much further afield (physically and culturally) than the usual German ex-pat suspects. This 500ml, Michelob-esque bottle pours a clear, bright medium […]

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  • Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier

    Reviewed by on September 10, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier-landscape

    We now get to our first Munich-based brewery, and one that pours (and pours and pours) during the official celebrations at their Hofbräu-Festzelt tent.  Nice of them to package up some of their Oktoberfest brew and ship it in a timely fashion around the world! This 500ml bottle pours a clear, pale golden straw colour, […]

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  • Rickard’s Lederhosen

    Reviewed by on September 9, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Rickards Lederhosen-landscape

    Rickard’s, the relatively long-time craft-adjacent arm of Molson, has been putting out seasonal offerings as of late, and this is their Oktoberfest-style lager.  A bit unseemly that the first to market in the anticipated Oktoberfest/Pumpkin fall deluge comes to us from the biggest brewer in the land, um, eh? This 341ml bottle pours a crystal […]

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  • Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

    Reviewed by on September 8, 2014 in Autumn Guide
    Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen-landscape

    Ayinger is a Bavarian brewery situated about 15 miles south of Munich, and as such, is not allowed to be a part of that city’s massive Oktoberfest celebrations.  Instead, they take their well-made brew (and proverbial ball) to the neighbouring countryside, organizing their own seasonal festivals.  Sehr gut, I say!  In honour of that spirit, […]

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