Now that the pumpkin beer craze has largely died down (although it’ll reach a new peak on Monday, when the Saint Arnold Pumpkinator is supposed to release), it’s time to pay some attention to the other seasonal beers that have released for the few days of fall Austin will get. Here are a handful of the ones to look out for throughout the rest of this month.
Austin Beerworks Montecore: This collaboration beer with the Easy Tiger team is one of my favorites of the Oktoberfest beers out there. The märzen-style brew (a malty lager) was released last month at the beer garden’s Oktoberfest celebration, but you can still find it on tap at a few places, including sister restaurant Arro on West Sixth Street. Although many Oktoberfest parties have come and gone with September, this month stills calls for such an easy-drinking fall beer.
Hops & Grain’s Alteration: Yes, it’s almost back! The altbier that had once been part of Hops & Grain’s mainstay lineup was moved into fall seasonal status to make way for A Pale Mosaic, now in year-round cans. This German-style beer is worth stocking up on as soon as you see six-packs of it in stores because of how nicely it balances each element, from an up-front maltiness to a crisp finish. As the brewery website states, the noble hop varieties in it provide “a bitterness and level of earthy hop spice that plays a fancy partner to the classic German malt backbone.”
Independence Brewing’s Reaper Madness Black IPA: Previously the brewery’s 9th anniversary beer in 2013, head brewer Brannon Radicke decided to bring it back from the afterlife and reincarnate it into Reaper Madness. It’s not hard to figure out why it was popular enough for a second coming: the Black IPA is full of both roasted malty goodness and juicy hops, and at 6.1 percent ABV, it’s not as heavy as some of the other darker beers that dominate this time of year. Look for it in cans and on draft through late January.
Twisted X’s Senor Viejo: This boozy old gentleman is returning Saturday at the brewery and Monday in bars and stores. It’s an imperial black lager that was aged in Garrison Brothers whiskey barrels. But wait! Before the Dripping Springs brewery got them, Dulce Vida Tequila added its signature Lone Star Edition Añejo into them also — and the result of all that whiskey and tequila-soaked barrel-aging is notes of vanilla and oak combined with the softening element of agave sweetness. It’s Twisted X’s biggest beer, one that you’ll want when the temperatures finally start to dip.
Uncle Billy’s White Walker: Part of the Hop Zombie IPA series, this white IPA featuring a malt bill of 50 percent wheat is a sessionable treat. In it, you’ll notice the traditional grapefruit notes from Amarillo hops are there, but the Sorachi Ace hops also present give it lemon and herb characteristics that nod to the witbier style. The Hop Zombie IPA series has allowed head brewer Trevor Nearburg to experiment with hops; this latest version is no different and particularly suited to Texas’ idea of autumn.
We’ll see the porters and stouts of winter and all their barrel-aging variants hit tap walls soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy these lighter options.