On a trip to Boston last October, I discovered the wonderful world of fall beers. East coast breweries offer so many different pumpkin and fall seasoned beers, with two of my favourite being the Shipyard Pumpkin Head and Sam Adams Oktoberfest. It was quite disappointing to come back to Ontario and realize that we do not have the same selection here. However, I noticed this year that there were a few more options in the LCBO and I was anxious to try them all!
And that’s exactly what I did! Last weekend, I held a fall beer and cheese tasting. My friends and I tried all the fall beers we could find and paired them with autumn cheeses. For beers we had Great Lakes Brewery Saison DuPump, Lake of Bays Pumpkin Ale, Creemore Oktoberfest, Big Rig Pumpkin Porter, Hofbrau Oktoberfest and Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale. And for cheese we had smoked applewood cheddar, pumpkin seed gouda and caramelized onion cheddar. Read on for my review of the beers and the cheese pairing that went best with each.
Saison is a pale ale that’s typically fruity and spicy. The Saison DuPump has lots of crisp fall spice flavours and a hint of pumpkin. One of my favourites! Pairs well with the pumpkin seed gouda.
Also really enjoyable was the Lake of Bays Pumpkin Ale. This beautiful orange coloured beer was maltzx-forward with notes of nut, caramel, pumpkin and autumn spice. It went really well with the caramelized onion cheddar.
Oktoberfest beer is a traditional German style that was brewed in March to be enjoyed during the fall harvest season. Before PSL’s, Oktoberfest was the autumnal drink of choice! Creemore Springs Brewery now makes a lovely Oktoberfest that’s malt-forward with a nice balance of sweet spices and bitter hops. Enjoy with a smoked applewood cheddar.
This porter was a big mouthful of sweet fall flavours! If you like porter style beer than this is a really nice autumn treat. You get malty flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate and pumpkin. The Pumpkin Porter pairs perfectly with the caramelized onion cheddar.
This Oktoberfest beer was actually brewed in Germany and has the traditional medium-bodied malt style. It’s a really refreshing beer with flavours of orange, toasted bread and nuts with a touch of hops. A great accompaniment to the pumpkin seed gouda.
Like fall served to you in beer form, the Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale has all the autumn flavours! Malt, hops and pumpkin combined with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice – this is a very tasty fall beer. Pairs really well with the smoked applewood cheddar.
All of these beers are only available for the fall season, so get them while you can!