While I am a sucker for a summer shandy, fall is where it’s really at when it comes to seasonal beers as far as I’m concerned. I’m a huge fan of both Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers. Just one sip of either has me dreaming of crisp fall days and the changing colors of leaves. With so many breweries hopping on the Oktoberfest and pumpkin beer band wagon, there are always new versions to try and so each year I like to try out a few new ones.
A true Oktoberfest beer has to be brewed in Munich for Munich’s Oktoberfest. Even though US breweries may not be allowed to be labeled as an Oktoberfest, they still make amazing Oktoberfest-style beers which are a medium to full bodied lager with a great malty flavor (sorry hops lovers) that can range in color from pale to dark. This year, I’m really loving Yuengling’s Oktoberfest. It has a great flavor which isn’t surprising since Yuengling’s flagship beer is a lager. It also isn’t too heavy and is only 5.45% alcohol which makes it easy to drink. If you haven’t tried it yet, this might be the perfect beer for your tailgate this weekend (especially you Penn Stater’s heading down to Maryland for the game!).
While Oktoberfest may be a German import, Pumpkin beer is truly an all-American invention. It dates back all the way to colonial times when pumpkins, which are native to North America, were plentiful but malt was a bit harder to find. Although it’s popularity has ebbed and flowed over the past 300 plus years, it’s popularity is definitely at a high right now. While I love pumpkin beer, there is definitely a lot of variability from one brewery to the next and some breweries even brew multiple varieties of pumpkin beers. When I came across Leinenkugel’s Pumpkin Harvest Shandy, I knew I had to give it a try since I love their Summer Shandy. Leinenkugel Pumpkin Harvest Shandy is surprisingly light for a pumpkin beer and has a great pumpkin and cinnamon flavor. If you plan on drinking a few pumpkin beers at a time, this is definitely a beer you need to give a try!
What Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers do you love and think we should try next?