Fact: Fall is the best time of the year. Crisp air and colorful leaves provide a scenic accompaniment to the spiced food and beverages of the season. And craft brewers across the country set out to prove there’s more to fall than pumpkin spice.
Southern California may seem like an unlikely region to represent fall, but brewers across the Southland are producing craft beers that embody the season through unique flavors and ingredients. Check out three of our current favorites below.
Founded in 2009, Torrance, Calif.-based Strand Brewing Co. is part of the growing Los Angeles craft beer scene and services regions throughout California. “Harvest Ball” is the brewery’s seasonal small-batch, unfiltered witbier. Crisp, bright and refreshing, it’s the perfect beer to take you from summer to fall, especially if your backyard is the beach. The bottle’s description reads, “Beyond the northern reaches of Los Angeles county lies the quaint ranching community of Fillmore; where growers have been quietly raising oranges for generations. Each year, as the summer falls into autumn, the Slo-Lee ranch celebrates the coming harvest with a sacred gala; family and friends gather illuminating the night with food, drink and laughter.“
The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, Calif. specializing in barrel-aged and experimental ales. Founded as a small friend & family-run business in 2008, The Bruery is dedicated to developing inventive beers. Their “Autumn Maple” seasonal offering is brewed with 15 pounds of yams per barrel along with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup. This warming, smooth brown ale offers a hint of nutty sweetness—an ideal companion for a crisp autumn evening. Find their beer via distributors across the country.
Pumpkin may be the season’s produce king, but the humble carrot is the O.G. orange dessert star—and the star of this ale from San Diego-based Stone Brewing. Stone opened its doors in 1996 as a small microbrewery and has evolved into one of the country’s largest craft breweries. 2015 marked the seventh year of the American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Stone Homebrew Competition. Homebrewer Juli Goldenberg added carrots, raisins, cinnamon and vanilla beans to a Belgian-style golden strong ale to create the “24 Carrot Golden Ale,” a unique beer collaboration with Stone and Monkey Paw Brewing Company that’s reminiscent of its namesake dessert in both flavor and color.