Amber Waves of Grain

It’s September, summer is drawing to a close and flavors are on the cusp of seasonal evolution. I had a quick pow-wow with Angela Steil, the world’s youngest certified Cicerone, and asked her to review some fall style beers. She detailed a handful of season-appropriate beers to look for and how to pair them with other seasonal fare.

What seasonal beer styles should we look for this fall?
Pumpkin beers and Oktoberfest style beers are very traditional during this season, and they are incredibly delicious. I personally tend to lean more towards drinking American Brown Ales and Belgian Dubbels. All of these beers, to me, epitomize the atmosphere of the season, which is crisp, cool and festive. These brews have a ‘warming’ element to them that is not quite as heavy as, say, an imperial stout, but still add a robust nature to the season as a whole.

What fall flavors would these styles pair well with?
• Pumpkin beers: Dessert. Not pumpkin pie necessarily, but dairy forward desserts. Think Tiramisu or Creme Brûlée.
• Oktoberfest beers: Preparations of chicken and seafood that have light-to-mild character.
• American Brown Ales: Beef Stroganoff and a mushroom swiss burger – medium heartiness and earthy characters in terms of food.
• Belgian Dubbels: Pairs with just about any hearty, autumnal entree. This one you can get very creative with.

You can read more of Steil’s beer reviews and recommendations on her blog at