Bauhaus Brew Labs
Named after Bauhaus Brew Labs’ “COO, head brewer, and janitor” Matt Schwandt, Schwandtoberfest is one of Bauhaus’ few very traditional beers. It is brewed in the fashion of Bavarian harvest celebration beer, which would have aged in a cool cave beginning in March. Schwandtoberfest is rich copper in color, and 5.7% ABV to give it the right extra oomph that celebrating the harvest calls for. This is a malty lager, with just enough hops to balance its sweetness without overpowering it. Its Mandarina Bavaria hops give it a subtle floral flavor with a hint of tangerine, and it finishes clean as a dry lager should.
Some point out that the “American Emperial Stout” on Dark Fatha’s label is a typo — until they notice Darth Vader wearing a pimp suit just above. This is a big, dark beer befitting of the space baddie, and 12 to 12.5% ABV to really give it some force. Dark Fatha is aged for nine months in a bourbon barrel, and comes out of the experience tasting like whiskey-soaked chocolate cake with notes of cocoa and vanilla. Still, this is a deceptively light bodied beer that you could easily put down a couple glasses of if you haven’t got anything particularly important to do next. “I like to call it a highly addictive beer, because it kind of is” said Bent Distillery’s owner and head distiller Bartley Blume. He is right. A bottle of Dark Fatha never stays on a shelf for very long.
Schottky Pumpkin Ale
Tin Whiskers Brewing
This beer pays tribute to Walter H. Schottky, whose work played a great role in developing the theory of electron and ion emission phenomena. I looked up his equations, which have Greek letters in them, and am glad that I can at least understand this beer. A batch of Schottky Pumpkin Ale is brewed with 300 pounds of pumpkins, and along with its subtle notes of clove and cinnamon does a tremendous job of reminding you of pie. This beer naturally steers on the sweet side, but it stands up well to heartier fall entrées like roast pork, turkey, and ham. You can never go wrong pairing Schottky with pie, either.
Bad Weather Brewing Company
Ominous is a fine way to warm yourself from the inside out on a dreary autumn or winter day. It doesn’t simply achieve this by being 7.5% ABV. This rich yet not too heavy double brown ale’s malts come primarily from the United Kingdom, and give it the nutty, roasted taste that a brooding sky calls for. The Belgian candy syrup Ominous is made with adds subtler hints of date, raisin, plum, and chocolate. As fitting an accompaniment to a steak as it is a hockey game, Ominous is one of the very first beers that Bad Weather Brewing Company debuted with in 2013.
Mummy Train Pumpkin Ale
Saint Paul’s Flat Earth Brewing
Mummy Train Pumpkin Ale is brewed with the real festive holiday gourd and flavored with freshly ground allspice, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon from Penzeys Spices. This is a malt forward beer, and comes across as almost biscuity to give it a crucial, crusty aspect. “Mummy train doesn’t just pair well with pie — it takes the place of the pie!” said brewer Tom Appleseth. “Pumpkin beers have been around for a while, and I don’t want to see that style go away. I’m really proud of the one we make here.” Whether it’s fall or you would like to set the clock forward to the season, a Mummy Train is just the restorative you need.
Raven Russian Imperial Stout
Raven Russian Imperial Stout is quite the feather in Enki Brewing’s cap — just this year it won second place in the Imperial Stout and Porters category at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s Brewer’s Cup. This beer pours very dark, with a nice thick head and pretty tan lacing, and its smooth chocolate, toffee, and coffee flavors will chase any chill out of your bones. So would its being 9.5% ABV, for that matter, making Raven Russian just the thing to curl up with next to the fire. If you like a beer that you could cut with a knife, look for Raven Russian in 750ml bottles at the store.
By David Scheller