What I’m into now: Seasonal beverages

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Everything about it makes me happy.

In the Upper Midwest, the fall is always a time of change. The air becomes more crisp. Leaves change. Layers of clothes needed increase. Growing up, I would go to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch and get to pick my food.

October is also a time for celebrations. My birthday is in October, and I met and married Bill in October. Being German and from a German area, I have always enjoyed celebrating Oktoberfest with some of my favorite foods. Even with all this, one of my favorite highlights of autumn is seasonal drinks.

Two of my favorite fall beers: Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead and Southern Tier’s Harvest

I don’t particularly like sweet items, and this is my time to celebrate not-too-sweet, sometimes savory beverages. I love seasonal beverages of all kinds: hot or cold, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. I’m always up for a warm cup of mulled apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte. I can always go for a cold hard cider or Oktoberfest beer.

I don’t drink lattes much throughout the year, but I can’t resist a pumpkin spice latte. Warm apple cider tastes different and more right in the fall. And a fall seasonal brew is the best. And last month I was lucky enough to experience my brother’s homemade alcoholic drink, apple pie.

Different seasonal beers are available all year, but there is just something about the autumn batch that is the best. Brewers try to outdo one another, and take it upon themselves to make more extreme-tasting drinks. Brewers will release the beers in small amounts so they are difficult to find. It is the only time of year that I want to taste as many seasonal beers as I can to find the one.

Two of my favorites are Shipyard Pumpkinhead and Southern Tier Harvest. Pumpkinhead has the best balance of any pumpkin beer I have had; it’s a nice amount of cinnamon without being too spicy or sweet. Harvest is perfectly named, exactly how I would think fall in a bottle would taste, rich with hops.

I have tried to track down Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin with no success since it came out last year. Two weeks ago, I went to a bar that had it, and they ran out earlier that day. If anyone has had it or has a favorite autumn beer of their own, I would love to hear about it.