Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall and Winter Beer....It's that time of year!

The air is crisp.  A slight chill slaps your face as you step outside.  The sun provides just enough warmth to remind you that summer is becoming a distant memory.  Instead of green leaves you see the rainbow of fall oranges, reds, and yellows dancing in the trees as they make their way to the green grass.  This change in season is one of the finest of them all.  We are smack dab in the beginning of fall in Indiana.  A glorious time of year.

With every change in season we seem to always have a change in beer releases.  Admittedly I am not a big believer in "seasonal" drinking.  No matter when beers are released, the vast majority of my drinking takes place in my temperature controlled house.  So I never really bought into the philosophy that a stout belongs in the winter and an IPA belongs in the summer....and so on and so on.

Regardless of this, the fall brings an amazing selection of beers to fit the season.  One of the most notable releases of the fall is Founders Breakfast Stout.  Hitting shelves now in the 4-pack format, this robust stout boasts strong flavors of coffee and chocolate and the oats provide that thick mouthfeel that keeps you warm in those crisp fall mornings...errrr...evenings.  It's stout I right?  Soon we will have Three Floyds Alpha Klaus porter, Founders Imperial Stout, and copious amounts of Goose Island Bourbon County and the varieties that no one has a real shot at finding.  Lets be real.

This is the time of year when people start to drink their pumpkin and fall spiced beers as well.  Southern Tier Pumking, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, Cigar City Good Gourd, Schlafly Pumpkin and others are being consumed regularly now.  Of course these were all released a few months ago, but people who are stuck in the seasonal mentality are now able to release their frustration into their proper glassware and begin to lose some of their emotional pain with every tasty sip.  The flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and possibly some actual pumpkin (but not really) remind us of pumpkin pie, leaves falling, apple cider, and whatever else you attribute to the season.

Oktoberfest beers are also a frequent flier in this season of beer drinking.  It seems every brewery has their version of this classic Marzen style lager.  Sun King Octoberfest, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Three Floyds Munsterfest, and my personal favorite...Ayinger Octoberfest are all worthy of consumption this season.

All this to say that I want to discuss the beer that I feel deserves the most attention during this season.  A beer that I will do whatever it takes to purchase and consume copious amounts of during the fall and winter chills.  A beer that warms my soul to its very core.

Schlafly Tasmanian IPA.

I know what you are thinking here.  An IPA?  ANOTHER IPA?!?!?!   My answer....ABSOFUCKINLUTELY ANOTHER IPA!!!  This beer, in my opinion, is the beer you should be drinking all winter.  It is released in October and the last shipments usually drop in December.  This IPA is hopped with a plethora of Galaxy hops from down under and this year I believe they added a few things to make the flavors even bolder.  This is solidly in my top 5 of all-time favorite IPA's.  It's insanely crushable and has a deceptive ABV of 7.2% which will sufficiently keep you warm after a couple in the comfort of your temperature controlled living room.  Lets face it, nobody is getting their snowsuit on to go drink a stout in the piles of snow on your non-shoveled deck or driveway this winter.  Seriously though, that sounds like fun.  If you plan to have a beer drinking party with snowsuits on piles of snow....let me know....I'll bring the TIPA.

Cheers to the season!!


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