The season is slowly changing, and it’s time to swap out those brews that kept you cool in summer for Northern Michigan beers fermented for fall. Paired with football and autumn’s kaleidoscopic colors, these beers are a cast of can’t-misses from breweries in Bellaire, Ludington, Traverse City, and Petoskey.
Short’s Brewing Co. — Autumn Ale →
It’s all in the name. Toasty malts and fruity hop notes make this ESB (code for “Extra Special Bitter”) a well-balanced, amber-colored, flavorful nectar. A silver medalist at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival, so you know it’s all kinds of delicious.
Find Short’s Autumn Ale on store shelves and at their Bellaire brewpub in September and October.
Beards Brewery — Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Beards’ Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is beer’s answer to the bouquet of baked goods and homely flavors that proliferate through kitchens during the fall. Brewer Ben Slocum admits Oatmeal Raisin Cookie isn’t easy to pigeonhole, calling the recipe “an experimental American amber.” Raisins, cinnamon, oatmeal and brown sugar all contribute to the medley.
Find Beards’ Oatmeal Raisin Cookie at Beards’ Petoskey brewpub and in Northern Michigan tap rooms in late October.
Rare Bird Brew Pub — Schadenfreude Stout
This Traverse City microbrewery’s take on milk stout is painfully tasty. While it was a favorite featured during the pub’s opening in the summer of 2014, Schadenfreude took a break from the limelight as Rare Bird’s summertime brews shined. As the temperatures drop, darker beers like Schadenfreude will be on heavy rotation at Rare Bird. Says brewer Tina Schuett: “It’s a light-bodied stout. We use de-bittered malts that don’t leave an acrid taste and let the chocolate and toffee flavors come through.”
Look for Schadenfreude Stout at Rare Bird’s Traverse City pub in September and October.
Jamesport Brewing Co. — Dunkelweizen
Jamesport’s Dunkelweizen is a traditional interpretation of the classically German, quintessentially autumnal beer style. A relative of hefeweizen, dunkelweizens feature the same banana bread-clove combo that screams summer, but additional dark malts give dunkels a little more meat—perfect for a fall’s day in lakeside Ludington.
Find Jamesport’s Dunkelweizen at their Ludington brew pub in mid-September and October.