The recent trend of over-pumpkinizing every food and beverage in the fall is incredibly apparent in the world of beer. Each and every fall, new breweries present their spin on the pumpkin-influenced brew, to the point that it’s difficult to find fall beers that don’t taste like a muffin.
Because of this, fall can be a trying and ostracizing time for people who want their beer to taste like, well, beer. But worry not—these Massachusetts breweries are a few of many offering fall seasonals that feature autumnal flavors without going down the pumpkin road.
Cambridge Brewing Company Hay Is For Horses
A “Nordic Pale Ale,’’ Hay Is For Horses is CBC’s first release from their new brewery project installed at Mystic Brewery. With two kinds of fresh hay and oats in the mash, as well as local honey, heather flowers, and yarrow added to the kettle, Hay Is For Horses is not too heavy, but contains the slight sweetness of honey up front and grassy herbal flavor that sticks around.
Ipswich Hop Harvest
The brewery refers to it as a “liquid celebration of the hop-harvesting season.’’ In drinker’s terms, that means it’s a dry-hopped American ale with tart hints of citrus, making the perfect bridge from summer to fall.
Mayflower Autumn Wheat Ale
Plymouth’s Mayflower Brewing dodges pumpkin flavor while retaining a medium-bodied fall richness. Darker in color and bready in taste, the Autumn Wheat ale will provide a decent blanket as the weather starts to turn.
Berkshire Traditional Oktoberfest Lager
A slightly sweet and roasted malt flavor, Berkshire’s Oktoberfest is a solid choice for those trying to break away from the fall options of big breweries. A dark copper in color, this Oktoberfest uses an original German yeast strain and all German hops for an authentic and bold flavor.
Jack’s Abby Copper Legend
The Framingham brewery uses noble hops and Munich malts, fermented at colder temperatures for an extended period of time, to create Copper Legend, an Oktoberfest. Jack’s Abby specializes in lagers, so this autumn option is right at home in their brew battalion.
Pretty Things St. Botolph’s Town
Somerville-based Pretty Things rereleases their Yorkshire dark brown ale, St. Botolph’s Town, this year, providing a “cool weather’’ beer with a rustic reddish brown color. Pretty Things will also release Babayaga on October 20, a stout brewed with smoked malt, some of which the Pretty Things crew smoked in their backyard smoker with rosemary.
Other local fall options include:
Look for this Imperial Red Ale at Trillium’s brewery in the Seaport District. Trillium will begin bottling it in mid-October.
Night Shift Pretzelbier
Night Shift will not be bottling this new pretzel-inspired beer, brewed with bready malts, a hint of salt, and mustard seed, but it is available at their Everett taproom.