Halloween is just around the corner, and while this is the time of year pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers dominate beer shelves, there are some truly wonderful beers to grab to celebrate the season perfectly.
Many of these beers are available throughout the year, while others are seasonals. No matter their availability, one thing is for certain; they are all so good it’s scary, and all are perfect for a Halloween celebration.
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Dawn of the Red:
This 7% ABV hopped-up amber ale is available year round but seems especially fitting this time of year. The sweet malt base and citrus/tropical fruit hop bouquet makes this a highly drinkable beer any time of year. The artwork and name are perfect for a fall beer and certainly deserve a place at any good Halloween inspired party.
Terrapin Beer Company
The Walking Dead:
Based in Atlanta, Georgia with a penchant for brewing interesting and flavorful beers, Terrapin seems like the perfect brewery to create a Walking Dead inspired beer. This blood orange IPA has a huge hit of citrus with sweet malts and a deep mahogany appearance and is truly worthy of carrying the Walking Dead name.
Two Roads Brewing
The name alone earns this beer a spot on any scary beer list, but one sip and it is perfectly clear why so many people seek this beer out every year. The rich complexity of this pumpkin ale, aged in rum barrels with hints of vanilla, is incredible. The most surprising thing about this beer is just how drinkable it is. While it is complex, it is not overwhelming, and it is definitely scary good.
Avery Brewing Company
Rumpkin is not scary in name but is scary in size, tipping the scales this year at 18% ABV. It is smooth and drinkable, but is one that should be feared as it will sneak up on you. The rich rum notes, sweet malts and pumpkin spices are all kept in balance, and there is little in the way of alcohol heat, despite the high ABV. Rumpkin is an absolute must try for all fans of big beers and those who feel they have tried all pumpkin beers.
Viewed by many as a holy grail in the beer community, Zombie Dust has a loyal fan following that makes it nearly impossible to find. Those who have enjoyed it feel it lives up to its reputation as being a solid, hop-forward pale ale. The scariest thing about this beer is how difficult it is to find, but if you can track it down your efforts will be rewarded.
The beer world is ripe with beer puns and kitschy names, especially around the holidays, but a good name does not a good beer make. This short list is filled with great beer names and artwork for Halloween, but more importantly, the contents inside these bottles are delicious and perfect for this time of year.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.