One of the underrated joys about beer drinking are the seasonal releases a lot of breweries seem to build into their calendars. Central Indiana has a clear distinction of seasons, which really makes it conducive to drinking beers that compliment the weather outside.
Fall is here, the weather is cooler and I find myself shifting away from the more thirst quenching pilsner and pale ales of Summer and gravitating towards Oktoberfest (Märzen) and Harvest IPA styles.
After reading an excellent article about the Oktoberfest style in Brew Your Own magazine I was inspired to try and appreciate the style more and understand the interplay of malts particularly Munich malt. I really enjoy the bready, toasty but not overly sweet malt character of this style with just the slight hop bitterness to provide some balance.
The Harvest ale is also a seasonal favorite of mine due to the fresh hop character of these beers with Upland and Founders putting out some excellent offerings this year. These are beers are best enjoyed fresh so I try to enjoy them whilst they are at their peak.
For me, drinking seasonal is about enjoying select styles whilst they are fresh and available but its also about changes in the weather and enjoying beers which compliment the season. Winter will shortly be here and my desire to drink the darker and often higher ABV beers will inevitably grow stronger. Founders has already started their ‘Stout Season’ marketing campaign with their Breakfast Stout featuring heavily but I will save my love letter to that beer and stout in general for another day…beer