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Fall is a magical season for a lot of reasons, particularly because of beer. The end of harvest season means brewers start putting out crafty, complex varieties that are ideal for drinking as temps drop.

But there’s a lot to choose from. That’s why we asked Certified Cicerone Scott Boyer to help us sniff out the best of the best of fall beer. From dunkels to hefeweizens to pumpkin beers, here are 50 beers to try this season.

Turn your beer into an ~experience~ with these tasting tips.

Color: Color is a good beer barometer, as it can let you know what to expect on your first smell or taste, says Boyer. Also, it’s just nice to appreciate.

Smell: Sniff it out. Aromas tease the tastes to come and are important for fully experiencing the flavor of your beer. Pro tip: Stick to quick sniffs. According to Boyer, long, drawn-out snorts can mute your smelling abilities. 👃

Taste: Take a small sip and let it rest in your mouth, says Boyer. Push air out of your nose as you swallow. This helps your taste buds get the max effect. Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you.

Don’t forget: Sipping order counts

Want a beer flight night? Always start light and finish dark. And if you know a beer has a strong standout flavor, like cinnamon or ginger, leave that one for last.

Pop quiz: How well do you know your flavors?

You don’t have to be a Cicerone (aka a beer sommelier) to do a proper tasting. But knowing a few pointers will help you better describe what you’re tasting. (Ever sipped a beer and struggled to describe the flavor? The info below will help.)

“A good guide when tasting beer is knowing ingredients and picking them out while enjoying them married together,” says Boyer.

Here’s what flavor flavs to expect from different brewing ingredients:

  • Malt: bread, flour, and cracker- or crust-like flavors
  • Hops: floral, spicy, and fruity notes
  • Yeast: fruity and spicy notes

A class on glass

Glassware is super important when it comes to beer. The wrong glass can change your drinking experience.

“Shaker pints are most commonly used because they are cheaper and people are used to them,” says Boyer. “They are ironically not good for evaluating your beer. The thick glass and shape muddle the aromatics.”

He suggests you use a white wine glass when in doubt.

“The bowl-like shape at the base will cradle your beer while the tapered head brings the aromatics to your nose,” he says.

You can totally get experimental with your glassware. This will help you figure out which glass suits your palate best.

We picked a superdiverse range of beers for all tastes and preferences, including everything from heavy-duty lagers to nonalcoholic ales. And, of course, we chose only the very best of the fall beer crop.

Pricing guide

Beer price depends on where you shop and how much you’re buying. A single serving is usually pricier than a six-pack. But here’s a general price guide:

  • $ = under $0.16 per fluid ounce
  • $$ = $0.16–$0.30 per fluid ounce
  • $$$ = over $0.30 per fluid ounce

Lagers have a light and crisp taste — totes a fall vibe. They’re a great fit if you love the bubbly, since they have more carbonation than your average beer.

Kent Falls Substrate Dark Lager

Price: $$$
ABV: 5%

First up, this ultradark lager. It’s made from 100 percent locally grown, roasted, and malted grains — plus, it pours a dramatic deep ruby-brown that appears black. Definitely worthy of fall nights next to a crackling fire.

FYI: If you’re a big fan of head — not that head — this lager isn’t for you. Drinkers say it lacks a frothy finish.

Buy Kent Falls Substrate Dark Lager online.

Paulaner Salvator

Price: $
ABV: 7.9%

This craft lager hails from Germany. It’s brewed from Munich malt (aka dark malt barley) and has a robust flavor with a sweet hint of chocolate.

Buy Paulaner Salvator online.

Ready for the heavyweight division? *sings* Here are the porters, here are the stouts. Porters and stouts are dark and delicious. They’re extra comforting on cold, windy nights.

Anchor Porter

Price: $
ABV: 5.6%

Anchor Porter boasts a blend of roasted caramel, chocolate, pale, and black malts. All these combine to create a thick, rich, and frothy drink. It’s complex but not bitter (unlike some ppl you might know).

Buy Anchor Porter online.

North Coast Old Rasputin

Price: $$
ABV: 9%

Party like it’s 1795 with this intense brew. It’s made in the same tradition as English brewers who brought beer to Russia in the 18th century. And like the infamous mystic man it’s named after, it has a cult following.

Buy North Coast Old Rasputin online.

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Price: $$
ABV: 7.5%

Don’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy this Irish legend. Foreign Extra Stout is Guinness’s most flavorful perfect pour. It’s a literal bittersweet symphony 🍀.

Buy Guinness Foreign Extra Stout online.

Darker ales hit right in the fall feels. And that makes sense. They’re tasty and toasty, thanks to roasted malts. Fun fact: Darker malt = darker beer.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Price: $$
ABV: 5.6%

This traditional European brown ale has a nutty twist — a hazelnut flavor with hints of chocolaty goodness. It’s well balanced and has a nice dry finish.

Buy Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar online.

Brooklyn Brown Ale

Price: $
ABV: 5.6%

This medium-bodied beer offers an oaty, creamy flavor with tasting notes of fruity coffee and smooth caramel. It combines American hops and roasted malts for a tangy-sweet flavor.

Buy Brooklyn Brown Ale online.

Cigar City Brewing Maduro Brown Ale

Price: $
ABV: 5.5%

Flaked oats give this beer a silky body and tie the toasted, roasted chocolate flavors together. It’s full-flavored and filling and has hints of toffee.

Buy Cigar City Brewing Maduro Brown Ale online.

Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown

Price: $$$
ABV:
9%

This American ale is super-duper bold. Aromatic, chocolate, and Munich malts are all used in the brewing process. Sumatra coffee adds a nice kick.

Buy Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown online.

Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale

Price: $
ABV:
5%

This baby’s been brewed with well water since 1758, which adds a pleasant mouthfeel and rounds out the bitterness. It boasts a balanced flavor of aromatic hops and roasted crystal malt. You’ll have a nice hearty drinking experience. More good news: It’s vegan.

Some folks think pumpkin beer is the pumpkin spice latte of the booze world. But TBH, it deserves more credit. Many pumpkin beers are downright delish and demonstrate skilled brewing at its finest. These are the pumpkin (beer) kings.

Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale

Price: $$$
ABV: 7%

It’s pumpkin spice and everything nice. This award-winning Delaware ale is brewed with real baked pumpkins. It also features a mix of seasonal staples like nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Buy Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale online.

Denver Beer Co. Hey! Pumpkin

Price: $$
ABV: 5.4%

Oh haaay Hey! Pumpkin. This seasonal craft beer is brewed in Colorado. Prepare for spicy, toasty, and sweet notes. Just be sure to grab it while it’s cold. It’s only available September through November.

Buy Denver Beer Co. Hey! Pumpkin online.

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

Price: $$$
ABV: 6.4%

It ain’t your average pumpkin beer. This bubbling bevvy is full of surprises. In addition to pumpkin, it’s brewed with habanero peppers, del arbol peppers, and Saigon cinnamon. Smokin’.

Buy Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin online.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Price: $$
ABV: 9%

This big-bodied beer offers a balanced, tasty drinking experience. Its copper color totally blends with the autumn ambiance. It’s a great meal companion and tastes particularly good with sharp cheeses and hearty stews.

Buy Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin online.

Paradox Beer Skully #33 Dark Pumpkin Sour

Price: $$$
ABV: 8%

This one really is a paradox. It’s a barrel-aged pumpkin beer that gets very creative. It’s infused with roasted pepitas, Ecuadorian cacao nibs, and Chimayo red chile. It’s spicy, tart, and totally wild (in a good way).

Buy Paradox Beer Skully #33 Dark Pumpkin Sour online.

Bavarians have been slaying fall festivities for centuries. That means pretzels, bratwurst, and all the beer. But you don’t have to squeeze into lederhosen to get in the Oktoberfest spirit. These beers will help you get your German on.

Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen

Price: $$
ABV: 5.8%

This copper-colored Märzen is a great addition to your signature stein. Lightly sweet, it’s brewed with floral hops. Its medium-to-big body has a soft dryness that’s crisp and refreshing.

Buy Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen online.

Hi Wire Zirkusfest Oktoberfest

Price: $$
ABV: 6%

This traditional Märzen boasts all the Oktoberfest tastes without a heavy finish. Its subtle malt flavor blends well with a yeasty fresh-baked bread aroma. Also, the hint of honey is hella tasty.

MVP: This beer won the Great American Beer Festival 2016 Gold Medal in the German-style Märzen Category. 🥇

Buy Hi Wire Zirkusfest Oktoberfest online.

Erdinger Oktoberfest

Price: $$
ABV: 5.7%

This beer hails from the world’s largest wheat beer brewery, Erdinger Weißbräu. Fans claim it’s the ultimate wheat beer experience. It has a nice gold color and a soft, creamy head.

Buy Erdinger Oktoberfest online.

Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen

Price: $
ABV: 5.8%

This festive favorite is brewed in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 (yes, that’s a real thing). So these folks really know what they’re doing.

This beer has an earthy vibe with black currant tasting notes. Its malt-driven flavor balances well with the Hallertau hops.

Buy Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen online.

Shiner Oktoberfest

Price: $$
ABV: 5.7%

It’s so traditional you’d never know it’s brewed in Texas. Shiner is made with high quality two-row barley, caramel and Minch malts, and Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops.

Buy Shiner Oktoberfest online.

Here’s a quick German lesson. “Hefe” = yeast. “Weizen” = wheat. So “hefeweizen” just means “wheat beer.” These tend to pair well with food and are super refreshing.

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel

Price: $$
ABV: 5.3%

Is it easy to pronounce? No. Is it tasty? Oh, yes. This is a dark wheat beer with an impressive amount of foam. It’s mellow enough to pair with noms.

Buy Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel online.

Ayinger Bräuweisse

Price: $$
ABV: 5.1%

This beer has a Champagne-y sparkle, a frothy head, and a complex and dry taste with hints of lemon and vanilla.

PSA: Pour slowly. It’s very frothy.

Buy Ayinger Bräuweisse online.

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen

Price: $$
ABV: 2.5%

This tangy beer is light on the booze and heavy on the flavor. Its crisp citrus notes are fab for warmer fall days. It’s yummy with cheese, greens, and salads.

Buy Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen online.

Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse

Price: $$
ABV: 5.9%

This medium-bodied wheat beer pours golden yellow. It has subtle banana and clove notes with a yeasty aroma. It’s best when paired with fruits, cheeses, and red meats.

Buy Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse online.

Golden Road Brewing Hefeweizen

Price: $$
ABV: 5%

This Bavarian-style wheat beer has a medium body. German yeast gives off hints of banana and clove. It’s very drinkable and has a smooth, crisp finish.

Buy Golden Road Brewing Hefeweizen online.

Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen Wheat Beer

Price: $$$
ABV: 5.2%

This hefeweizen is a Floridian! It’s brewed in Oakland Park, Florida. The hazy golden color looks great in any glass. Its slightly bitter blend of banana, clove, and citrus notes is light on the palate.

Buy Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen Wheat Beer online.

’Tis the saison. Saisons are highly carbonated pale ales. They have a cottagecore energy, and we’re here for it.

Dupont Foret saison

Price: $$$
ABV: 7.5%

This organic saison comes from Dupont, a well-respected Belgian brewery. Its spicy taste is a blend of tart citrus and bitter hops. It has a nice zesty finish and a thick, foamy head.

Buy Dupont Foret saison online.

Boulevard Tank 7 American saison

Price: $$
ABV: 8%

An American twist on a Belgian classic, this straw-colored saison has a surge of fruity flavors. Get ready for grapefruit hop notes and a dry, peppery finish.

Buy Boulevard Tank 7 American saison online.

Off Color Apex Predator

Price: $
ABV: 6.8%

Apex Predator has a bite to it. This beer is def at the top of the saison food chain. It’s brewed with sugar and grain, which gives it a hazy, golden body.

Buy Off Color Apex Predator online.

Oh, IPAs, how we love you. India pale ales are great all year round, but these seasonal brews are extra special.

Asbury Park Brewery Double Dragon

Price: $$
ABV: 8.5%

Greetings from Asbury Park! This Jersey Shore IPA doesn’t disappoint. With a complex hop profile, it rocks a deep amber color and a classic bitter finish.

Buy Asbury Park Brewery Double Dragon online.

Peak Organic Brewing Company Autumn IPA

Price: $$
ABV: 4.8%

This IPA screams tangerine with a pinch of peach and floral notes. It’s brewed with an interesting trio of hops (Azacca, El Dorado, and Citra). It has a bouncy body and a clean finish.

Buy Peak Organic Brewing Company Autumn IPA online.

Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest

Price: $$
ABV: 6.7%

This wet hop ale is fresh AF. Hops go right into the kettle within 24 hours of harvest. Its unique herbal flavor blends well with citrus and floral aromas.

Buy Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest online.

OK, so it’s not really beer. But it’s delicious so w/e. Here are the best hard ciders — there’s not a single bad apple in the bunch. 🍎🍏

Austin Eastciders Original Dry Cider

Price: $$
ABV: 5%

You really get the best of both flavor worlds here. This dry cider is made from American dessert apples and European bittersweet apples. It’s tart and tasty.

Buy Austin Eastciders Original Dry Cider online.

Magners Pear Cider

Price: $$
ABV: 4.5%

Magners is best known for its apple cider but also brews a bangin’ pear cider. Premium pears are slowly fermented and cold-filtered to give the cider a delicate, slightly sweet taste.

Buy Magners Pear Cider online.

Strongbow Gold Cider

Price: $
ABV: 5%

This fan favorite has a transparent gold color and an awesome array of flavors with a crisp kick and a strong finish. It strikes a great balance between sweet and acidic.

Buy Strongbow Gold Cider online.

Original Sin Black Widow Cider

Price: $$
ABV: 6%

Don’t let the name scare you off. This semisweet cider is apple-solutely fantastic. Black Widow stands in a league of its own. Made with New York apples and fresh blackberries, it has a distinct, robust flavor profile.

Buy Original Sin Black Widow Cider online.

Downeast Cider Original Blend

Price: $$
ABV: 5.1%

This Boston brew is an unfiltered cider. It’s made with freshly pressed local apples and leans on the sweet side. It also boasts a blend of chai spices and pumpkin for a unique fall flavor.

Buy Downeast Cider Original Blend online.

Michigan has become a beer nerd paradise in recent years.

“Most Michigan breweries are truly pushing the envelope when it comes to styles, encouraging beer geeks to seek them out,” says Boyer.

Want to be one of them? Here are our top fall picks from the Great Lakes State.

Short’s Bellaire Brown Ale

Price: $
ABV: 7%

This ale comes from one of Boyer’s fave Michigan brewing companies. Sweet caramel and chocolate notes balance with an earthy, toasted flavor. It’s dark, rich, and not too heavy on the hops.

Buy Short’s Bellaire Brown Ale online.

Bell’s Best Brown Ale

Price: $$
ABV: 5.8%

This smooth seasonal beer has hints of caramel and cocoa, a slightly hazy chestnut color, and a dense head. Its depth of flavor and filling body make it perfect for cold nights.

Buy Bell’s Best Brown Ale online.

New Holland Ichabod

Price: $$
ABV: 4.5%

We love this beer’s spooky Headless Horseman design. It also looks beautiful in a glass, with a vibrant copper color and a thick beige head. Ichabod gives off a graham cracker vibe with strong cinnamon-sugar aromas.

Buy New Holland Ichabod online.

Boston is another beer haven. Here are the best brews from Beantown.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

Price: $
ABV: 5.3%

This seasonal brew beautifully blends notes of caramel and hearty malts. It has a toasty taste with a hint of hops. It pours a pretty reddish-amber color and has slight coffee notes.

Buy Samuel Adams Octoberfest online.

Jack’s Abby Shipping Out of Boston

Price: $
ABV: 5.8%

This beer’s an homage to German-style export lager. The blend of German specialty malts creates a deep golden color. It has a sweet cookie flavor and a light, refreshing finish.

Buy Jack’s Abby Shipping Out of Boston online.

Cambridge Brewing Company Sgt. Pepper

Price: $$$
ABV: 6%

You caught us. This beer comes from Cambridge, not Boston. But! It’s so good we had to include it.

Pepper is the star of this beer, which is made with whole green, white, black, and pink peppercorns. It’s spicy but not overwhelming.

Buy Cambridge Brewing Company Sgt. Pepper online.

Who says you can’t drink pale ale past Labor Day? Well, a lot of people. But this a judgment-free zone, so we’re giving you the option!

Boddingtons Pub Ale

Price: $
ABV: 4.7%

Boddingtons has been brewing up beer for more than 200 years. This frothy classic balances smooth and refreshing with full-flavored and malty. Plus, Chandler and Joey gave it their seal of approval.

Buy Boddingtons Pub Ale online.

Boston Beer Works Fenway Pale Ale

Price: $
ABV: 5.8%

This American pale ale is brewed in West Coast style. It’s a medium-bodied copper blend of citrus and rich malt flavors. It’s the perfect pick for watching the tail end of baseball season. Or not. It’s tasty either way.

Buy Boston Beer Works Fenway Pale Ale online.

No booze? No problem. You can still enjoy all the fall beer flavor sans alcohol. These are the best alcohol-free picks.

PSA: By law, nonalcoholic beers can contain up to 0.5% ABV in the United States. But a lot of brands offer 0.0% ABV options.

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei

Price: $$
ABV: 0.0%

This brew offers the same flavors as the alcoholic version. It has lingering notes of banana, clove, and fresh bread. Though it’s pretty darn thick, it might feel a bit lighter than the OG version.

Buy Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei online.

Wellbeing Intentional IPA

Price: $$
ABV: 0.3%

This IPA is perfect for sunny fall days. It has some of the bitter characteristics of Citra and Mosaic hops, but with a lot less alcohol!

Buy Wellbeing Intentional IPA online.

Gruvi Nonalcoholic Stout

Price: $$
ABV: 0.0%

This dark booze-free beer is made with abbey malt, chocolate malt, and roasted barley, so it has a mild nutty flavor with hints of honey. It’s full-bodied and slightly dry.

Another perk: A 355-milliliter can has only 45 calories.

Buy Gruvi Nonalcoholic Stout online.

Hairless Dog Brewing Nonalcoholic Black Ale

Price: $$
ABV: 0.0%

Craving a roasted malt flavor? This is the beer for you. This black ale has a supersmooth finish with minimal bitterness.

Buy Hairless Dog Brewing Nonalcoholic Black Ale online.

Bravus Brewing Nonalcoholic Amber Ale

Price: $$
ABV: 0.5%

This amber ale has raisin, cookie, and caramel notes. You’ll also get a full whiff of citrus hop aromas. It has a clean, bitter finish.

Buy Bravus Brewing Nonalcoholic Amber Ale online.

Nothing to do now but pick your favorites and get to sippin’. Prost! Salut! And cheers! 🍻