Halloween+Craft beer=delicious creative mayhem. With names like Vampire Slayer and Evil Dead Red, these beers are sure to please your inner spook fanatic and your beer glasses with the floating eyeballs.
Here are my top picks for this year:
Alesmith Evil Dead Red, 6.66% ABV: I wait like a blood-thirsty zombie every year for this beer to be released. One of my all-time favorites from Peter and Alesmith, this is the epitome of the perfectly proportioned hoppy red. Caramel & toffee mingle seamlessly with vibrant citrus & spice. Get it while it's out there friends.
Clown Shoes Vampire Slayer, 10% ABV: I'm just gonna let the Clown Shoes guys take this one: "In a world full of uncertainty, hardship, and people trying to hold us back, do we need Vampires, too? Clown Shoes says "No! Die, monsters, die!"
Our second anniversary ale incorporates signature dark malts, holy water, and malt smoked locally with hickory, ash, and vampire killing stakes."
Ok, then! This daunting beer scores a 99 on RateBeer & an Outstanding on Beer Advocate, so smoking with vampire stakes must be working for them. It is a delicious beer, you imperial stout lovers like me will enjoy. Dark chocolate, coffee, tobacco, with smoke and a definite dry bitterness on the finish. Liquid courage for fighting off the bloodsuckers.
Rogue Dead Guy Ale, 6.6% ABV: You can't get much more classic for Halloween than this Rogue beer. A German-style Maibock, the Dead Guy has been in Craft beer land since the 1990's and remains an old favorite for many veterans. In fact, I remember back in the day when I thought, "Whoa this is bitter!" Ahh, before the days of SoCal IPA's! Look for a nice amber color with bready malt, caramel and citrus notes. Very drinkable, and a lower-alcohol option if you've already hit the Vampire Slayer.
A few pumpkin selections:
You've heard me say it time and again, I don't like pumpkin beers. Primarily because they are heavy-handed, I don't fancy the prospect of drinking a pumpkin pie in alcohol form, no more than I would want a Pumpkin Latte or milkshake. Oh, my stomach-ache. However there are a few as of late that I think are quite tasty and make my list this year:
Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale, 7% ABV: Let me start out with my annual favorite in the category. I don't need to review it again, just see my Beer Minute from 2012! It's perfectly balanced and sets the bar for all other pumpkin brews.
Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale, 5.6% ABV: On the lighter, fresher side of pumpkin, and I like it. The orange globes are harvested just 77 miles from the brewery, where upon arrival, they are promptly roasted and pitched into the brew. Those of you who like farm to table, this is literally your farm to glass equivalent. Mild pumpkin notes with baking spice, ginger, & vanilla, but not in the least overpowering or rich. Definitely a must-try for those who have sworn off pumpkin beers for the same misgivings as me!
Coronado Punk'n'Drublic: A play on the phrase Drunk in Public, this Coronado brew walks the line into the heavier style of pumpkin beers without teetering off into the guardrail of good taste. Deeper color, more intense aromas of pumpkin, spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Tried and true lovers of this style will enjoy and dream of gourd gastronomy.
Until next year folks, Happy Halloween & as always, Please Drink Craft Beer.