I think a lot of people associate Fall with beer. Nine out of the ten leading alcohol experts I know would say that a nice seasonal brew is the official drink of the season. I suppose this all goes back to Oktoberfest? What I don’t know is if there are actually special beers in Germany for Oktoberfest or if brewers around the world just make the special beers in tribute to the occasion. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, with beer becoming so specialized, the prevalence of the Autumn Microbrews, Oktoberfests, Pumpkin Whatevers, and Nut Ales is impossible to ignore. Here’s my confession: I don’t really like them.
It’s strange because I consider myself a beer drinker. It is far and away the alcoholic beverage that I partake in the most, and I’m not the guy that drinks Miller Lite and only Miller Lite. I even take pride in saying that I’m not real picky about beers, any beer will do, but with all this new variety, I find that isn’t the case. Fruit? Don’t want it in my beer. So, take your strawberry blonde elsewhere. And, this recent pumpkin trend isn’t to my liking either. I read descriptions about a beer and they say, “It’s like a pumpkin pie in a bottle.” Is that supposed to be a good thing? I’d rather drink Bud Heavy than liquid Pumpkin Pie. And, these Pumpkin and Thanksgiving offerings are just too much, aren’t they? Even their fans seem to think that one or two in a sitting is about the limit.
And, I’ve never really been a fan of the Brown Ale. I remember way back in my early drinking days when I had my first Newcastle. Newcastle was a very recognizable brand for a new drinker because of that logo, and every single college age male at the time had a Newcastle pint glass for whatever reason. Anyway, at that point I think I thought I was supposed to like Newcastle. It was premium, where I was used to drinking Keystone Light. Of course, I’d eventually find actual beers that I did like, but I choked down a few Newcastles in my day before I realized I could comfortably say that it tasted like a donkey’s hind end.
I was at one of these bars with hundreds of beer options not long ago and the draught board was dominated with Fall selections. Where to go, where to go? I ended up on the Sierra Nevada Tumbler you see above, because when in doubt, Sierra is usually a safe play. (Apparently they also make a Fall selection called Estate Ale, which I’ve never seen) If Tumbler was half the beer that Celebration Ale is, I’d be one happy customer, but when the waitress returned, I knew immediately I was screwed. The telltale color. So brown, so disappointing. And, of course, so nutty. That’s another flavor I can’t deal with in my beer. I’m very bad at describing what I like in a beer, but I know what I don’t like. Pumpkins? No. Berries? No. Limes? No. Cool, Refreshing Mountain Streams? Yes. And, of course, Nuts? Absolutely not. Keep your nuts out of my Ale, Sir. That is all.