Beer and Kale List: Fall Edition
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
I don't know about y'all but as soon as the seasons change so does my taste in beer. With the changing of the leaves and cooling temperatures I abandon the light wheats, Mexican-style lagers and fun hazy IPAS in favor of pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest Marzen-styles, and more. These beers are perfect whether you're gathered around the tv inside to watch football and Halloween movies, or curled up outside with a fire blazing. Pro-tip: visit local liquor stores that have build-your-own 6-packs so you can try as many off this list as you can (we mainly found these at Gomer's, Lukas Liquour, and The OP Bottle Shop, but I've got a full round of of byo 6-pack spots in KC coming soon!).
O'Fallon Pumpkin Beer- O'Fallon Brewery says that this is "pumpkin pie in a bottle" and they are not wrong! Nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove accentuate the pumpkin flavor which comes from real pumpkin. This is your pick if you're looking for a sweeter, but not overpowering option. ABV is 5.6%.
New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale- I am usually careful not to play favorites, but New Holland's pumpkin ale is hands down my favorite! It has the perfect amount of nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. The pumpkin flavor is sweet and subtle so you can drink more than one without feeling pumpkin overload. ABV comes in at 4.5% so you also don't have to worry about alcohol overload if you work through the better part of a 6-pack.
Mother's Mr. Pumpkin Pumpkin Ale- Mr. Pumpkin brings it with the pumpkin spices. You'll notice the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove right away with your nose and those flavors continue to come through once it hits your taste buds. Subtle caramel malt adds sweetness and sets this beer apart from the flavor of the others on this list. ABV 5%.
Sam Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale- I'll be honest (as always), y'all I don't love Jack-O. You'll notice the classic spices and a bit of pumpkin, but it just doesn't come together as well as those listed above. If you're building a 6-pack of pumpkin beers, start with this one because it'll get you in the mood for all things fall and pumpkin, but you'll want to work your way towards the better options. ABV 4.4%.
Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest- Y'all should know by now that I'm a sucker for anything from my favorite hometown brewery (Fort Worth) and this Oktoberfest is no exception. The coppery orange color is beautiful so while it drinks well from the can, it is worth pouring into a pint glass to fully enjoy. You'll start out with toasted malt that transition into fall-invoking spiciness from the hops. This marzen-style Oktoberfest will put you right in the mood for changing leaves and cooling weather! ABV 6.7%.
Walnut River Oktoberfest- Walnut River Brewery comes from KC's southern Kansas neighbor, El Dorado. Their Oktoberfest is one the sweeter side thanks to the caramel malts and toffee hints. It has a lower ABV for the style as well which makes it easier drinking than some other marzen options. ABV 5.7%.
Mother's Oktoberfest Marzen Lager- IMO, the most subtle of all the options. Smooth maltiness with a bit of hops come through, but not much complexity. It is a nice, well-balanced beer. If you're a little intimidated, or don't prefer the full-flavored options then this will be a perfect pick for you, but once you warm up to the style you'll likely leave this one behind for something with a little more oomph. ABV 5.5%.
O'Dell Oktoberfest- O'dell can do no wrong in my opinion and when we visit Colorado I almost exclusively enjoy their beers. Their Oktoberfest brings more complex, but still balanced flavors that pair perfectly with the fall. Biscuity sweetness brings out a bit of a bread quality, spiciness from hops, and those classic malty flavors like toffee and caramel. If you're building a 6-pack of Oktoberfest beers this one needs to be included, but you'll also be glad to snag a full 6-pack of it. ABV 6.1%.
Free State Octoberfest- My fellow Jayhawks know just how amazing Free State Brewery is (go immediately for a bowl of the beer cheese soup and pint of Octoberfest then walk campus to take in all the changing trees to live your best fall life!). Free State utilizes a few malts in this beer and it comes through in the smooth flavor. It is balanced with a little bit of hops that don't overpower with bitterness. The body is relatively thin for this style and the ABV is lower than the rest so it is easy to enjoy quite a few. ABV 5.4%.
More Fall Beers to Love
Bell's Two Hearted Ale- Now Two Hearted Ale isn't outright a fall beer especially since there are some citrusy grapefruit notes, but as a stronger ABV IPA it is the type of beer I'll reach for during cooler months and even through to the spring when the weather transitions again. Sweet malt and plenty of hops balance the overall flavor of this beer. ABV 7%.
KC Bier Co Dunkel- Every year this is the very first beer I reach for when fall begins! First you'll notice the beautiful dark copper appearance, but what really makes this beer a go-to is the well-balanced malt and hops. A little sweet, a little roast hint, and just enough bitterness. ABV 5%.
KC Bier Co Fest Bier- Like most beers on this whole list, Fest Bier only comes around once a year so stock up on it while you can! This Vienna-style lager is golden in hue caramel and honey come through from the malts while the hops bring that nice spiciness I crave in a fall beer. ABV 5.5%.
Y'all this is far from a fixed list, but I could only drink so much beer this fall so be sure to check back next year for more additions. As always, the main Beer and Kale Beer List will continue having more and more additions throughout the year!
Cheers y'all and happy fall!