August is kind of a weird month for beer drinkers. Summer is winding down, some of us are tired of sessionable lawnmower beer substitutes and looking for something with more cajones. Meanwhile, brewers are getting antsy to put out their fall beers, which tend to be a bit more…um…weird than summer beers.
Call it a transitional period. Like puberty.
Well, these eight beers will help you through that awkward transition. If only you could have gotten ahold of a few of these when you were 13.
Stone Brewing Co.
Can you believe Stone Brewing is already 18 years old? To help celebrate the fact that the brewery can now legally vote, Stone is throwing a huge freaking party this weekend in Southern California. Yeah, I can’t go either. So I’m just going to sit at home and drink Stone 18th Anniversary IPA, an imperial IPA (of course, it is) that’s actually balanced by an aggressive malt bill. Call it a Super Hoppy Super Brown, which sounds like a vaguely racist action flick. So maybe don’t call it that.
Hi-Wire released this same beer last fall under the name Ringmaster Red Rye. Same recipe as before, just a different name, so expect a bit of spice from the rye and plenty of fruity hops (90 IBUs on this beast!). Lion Tamer should hit the market in the middle of August.
Fort Collins, Colo.
A pale ale as a fall release? Why the hell not. Up is down, left is right…This is a new beer from New Belgium and I’m not really sure what to expect. Putting out a restrained pale ale as a seasonal in this day in age seems so…alternative…I’m actually excited about it. You should be able to find Tour de Fall in stores now through October. Drink up, let us know what you think.
This is another variety 12 pack from Sierra Nevada, fresh off the heels of the Beer Camp variety pack released last month. You’ll find a bunch of fall goodies in the box, including two brand new beers—the Oktoberfest is a traditional take on the German style with toffee-like malts, and the Vienna Lager is another malty offering with a kick from whole cone hops. You’ll also get Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale and Tumbler brown ale in the box.
Terrapin Beer Company
Part of the brewery’s Reserve Series (a fancy name for really weird, but tasty beers), Imperial Pumpkin Pie Porter promises to be as bold as it sounds. Expect a super spiced Imperial Porter that will put you on your ass at 9.2%. Look for the 22 ounce bottles from August through October.
The Bruery partnered with The Rare Beer Club for this Frankenstein-like concoction. They blended three different beers for Smokey and The Bois (great name, by the way): Black Tuesday, Bois, and Smoking Wood. Each of these beers on their own is as bold as a drunk high school selfie. Together, expect a force to be reckoned with. Oh, and after the beers were blended, the Bruery aged them on vanilla beans and cocoa nibs, because understatement is for losers.
Full Sail Brewing
Hood River, Ore.
Okay, this isn’t a seasonal, at least not any more. Full Sail has now added Cascade Pilsner to their line up of year-round bottled beers, which means you can find it in six pack bottles wherever Full Sail is distributed. I had it on draft a couple months ago in Oregon, and was shocked at how hard the hops hit in this crisp lager.
Elysian Brewing Company
I gotta admit, I’m attracted to this beer mainly because of the name. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good IPA as much as the next geek—and word on the street is that Elysian’s Manic IPA series is hoppy as balls—but you call any product “Space Dust” and there’s a good chance I’m going to try it. Look for it in Deuce Deuce bottles starting mid August.