Full disclaimer: I’m not one of those people who obsesses about fall. I don’t like how the days get colder and darker, why the leaves fall (ahem: because they’re dead), how clothes get bigger and bulkier, and, more recently, how the minute September rolls in, we’re smacked in the face with pumpkin everything. I used to welcome pumpkin lattes, scones, and beers. Now, I’m pretty apathetic to the flavours and advertising that comes with them.
So in honour of my fall-pumpkin grinchiness, I’ve gone in search of Ontario fall seasonal beers that don’t, my dear friends, have any pumpkin in them.
You. are. welcome.
Left Field Brewery : Wrigley Oat Pale Ale
So while the folks at Left Field say that this beer was inspired by spring, it has a distinct fall feeling to me (aided by the fact that it’s out now, as we head into fall). One of the hardest parts of letting summer fade into the background is the end of my beer league softball team. This beer speaks to that desperate desire to cling to the season, whether it’s the anticipation at spring training or the bittersweet walk off the field for the last time until next year. No worries, mates, Wrigley’s got ya.
PS. 50 cents from every sale of Wrigley’s beer are going to improvements at his local dog park. Do him a solid and buy a case, eh?
Muskoka Brewery : Harvest Ale
Muskoka’s very first seasonal, the Harvest Ale has stuck around for good reason. Hoppy and reminiscent of the traditional end of the growing season, it’s malty and comforting. And we all know we need a little bit of comfort to help us prepare for the imminent long, dark, cold winter…hm.
Amsterdam Brewery : Autumn Hop Harvest Ale
This one makes us so hoppy, it hurts. Not only have Amsterdam totally bucked the punkin trend, they’ve done it with a gorgeously hoppy harvest ale using Ontario grown hops from Clear Valley in Collingwood! Mad hops, er, props, Amsterdam!
PS. Special double shout out to the September return of Amsterdam’s collab with GLB, Maverick and Gose, which had this girl right here frantically texting a bunch of people with an inappropriate number of exclamation marks.
Mill Street Brewery : Oktoberfest
Yesssss! Mill Street’s tried and true fall seasonal is delightfully absent of pumpkin (they have another beer for that), and is brewed in the classic Oktoberfest style. Ideal for German beer purists and those reluctant to admit that seasons really do change.
Collingwood Brewery : Vintage Ale
Another legend using fresh, locally harvested hops, the Vintage Ale is a Harvest Ale packed with Bighead Hops from nearby Meaford. Bonus points for the gorgeous wildflower honey from the Beaver Valley, giving this beer a delicious amount of character. Enough to make you forget that snow is on its way…
Beau’s : Oktoberfest Mix Pack
The 2016 version of this four-pack is just as a delicious as they come. Compiled to give beer lovers a variety of four German-style beers brewed for Beau’s annual Oktoberfest, inside you’ll find a Vienna-style lager, ginger Hopfenweisse, medieval Mumme Ale, and a Baltic porter. There’s a lot to be excited about in this four-pack, which has put in a top-notch effort to make me take one step closer to being okay with fall. Well played, Beau’s.
Check out Ontario Craft Brewers’ website for the low-down.