It’s shoulder season out there, a limbo between fall and winter when most of the leaves have fallen but the snow hasn’t quite hit yet. A time when you don’t know what to wear and you probably don’t know what to drink. You could just as easily drink an Oktoberfest lager or a barrel aged stout right now. It’s so confusing! So, we picked six new seasonal releases that range from a low ABV table beer to an imperial stout aged in rum barrels. Yeah, it’s a weird six pack, but this is a weird season. Let us guide you through it.
1 of 6
Table Beer from Creature Comforts is "made for friends and food," a beer built to quietly accompany a good meal. That's the traditional goal of a "table beer," and this one succeeds in spades, delivering the malt sweetness of a Czech pilsner and the mellow, yeast funk of a Belgian. And it's all understated so as to not overpower whatever else is on your table. If you're going to a chili competition this month, this should be your beer.
2 of 6
Xocoveza from Stone Brewing is a mocha stout inspired by Mexican chocolate that Stone is releasing again for the holidays. It was originally brewed in 2014 as the winner of Stone's American Homebrewers Association competition. It's on the shelves now, but Stone recommends you put it on the shelf for a couple of months to bring out the cocoa and coffee flavors. So maybe open on Christmas morning?
3 of 6
Lagunitas is releasing their Born Yesterday fresh hop pale ale right now, as well as the perennial favorite Brown Shugga. It's tough to compete with those two heavyweights to get a piece of the spotlight, but NightTime, a big black IPA could tempt you away from these perennial favorites. It's incredibly malty and roasted as hell but also hopped to the bejeezus for citrus, berry notes and ample bitterness. Consider this a rich, high ABV IPA for winter.
4 of 6
Indeed Brewing Rum King Imperial Stout is only available for two months out of the year (October and November) but that's just one of the things that should make you run out to your nearest beer store for a four pack. There's also the fact that it tastes great, like vanilla and toffee great. I like whiskey barrels as much as the next guy, but using rum every once in a while keeps things interesting. So, thanks for keeping it interesting Indeed. Oh, and it's 10.5% ABV, so make the proper arrangements.
5 of 6
The saying goes Christmas comes but once a year, but for hopheads, that's not true. Christmas comes twice a year, once in April and once in November. That's when Dogfish Head releases 120 Minute IPA. The beer is continuously hopped throughout the boil and whirlpool before being dry hopped. It's unfiltered and comes in at a hefty 15-20% ABV. Dear god.
6 of 6
Back in 2014, Ninkasi Brewing put some brewers yeast into space with the Civilian Space eXploration Team and has been making beer with that interstellar yeast, called Ground Control ever since. Ground Control 2017 was aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and then blended with 10% fresh Ground Control. The beer promises to be full of notes of cocoa nibs, hazel nuts and Star Anise. It's 11% ABV and only available this month. Get it.