Raleigh, N.C. — With that certain crispness in the air and leaves starting to turn color, it's time for the NCBeerGuys to focus their attention on North Carolina craft beer which complements football games, hayrides and campfires. The Triangle offers us a great six-pack of options for the fall seasonal beer drinker.
The Oktoberfest Lager from the Carolina Brewing Company of Holly Springs is a seasonal favorite that delivers crisp and refreshing flavors of caramel and toffee. It's a smooth and balanced lager coming to you with an ABV of 5.6 percent and would be a great complement for tailgating.
Our favorite pumpkin ale comes to us from the White Rabbit Brewing of Angier with Cheshire's Pumpkin Ale. There are pumpkin beers and pumpkin pie beers and this one nails it right in between. It's not too sweet and it's got a nice balanced blend of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. This one definitely screams the fall season is here!
Big Boss Brewing of Raleigh says the Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale is a "subtly spiced fall ale brewed with real pumpkin that will evoke memories of holidays and family." Isn't that what the season is all about? A great blend of malt and spices makes it great to enjoy in the cool weather.
Head on up to White Street Brewing in Wake Forest for their Baltic Porter. This is a full-bodied porter that brings a rich chocolate and dark fruit flavor plus the bonus of a higher ABV. When you're looking for a hearty beer, this is the one to seek out!
With a nice ABV of 7.2 percent Aviator Brewing Company of Fuquay-Varina presents Oktoberbeast, their version of a Märzen-style beer but with a higher hopping rate than most of the seasonals – because they like hops, they say! After you're done raking the leaves and about to settle in for some good football, make sure you have one of these in hand.
Mystery Brewing does the season right in Hillsborough with their Smoked Rye Stout. Drinking this is like sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold night. It has a nice chocolatey flavor with a little smokiness and rye to smooth it all out. Don't let the season pass without having a good share of this one.
Having noted six local seasonal beers to fill your six-pack, we'd be negligent in our beer duties if we didn't mention one of the North Carolina seasonals that has stood the test of time and proved to be one of the most popular of all the pumpkin ales. Considered one of the "elders" of pumpkin beers, Foothills Brewing Company of Winston-Salem has the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale which is both an award winner and will give Mom's pumpkin pie serious competition.
There are plenty of fall seasonal beers available at the great breweries in the Triangle. Which ones didn't we list? We'd love to hear about them!
Dave Tollefsen and Glenn Cutler are regular guys living in central North Carolina with their families who share a love for craft beer and homebrewing. They work together as the NCBeerGuys. They can be found online promoting North Carolina craft beer, providing information about the folks who produce local beer and writing about beer adventures, activities and events across North Carolina.