Right around late July/early August, I get a little antsy knowing the release of my favorite fall beer styles are on the horizon.
Living in the Midwest, the summers are usually VERY hot and humid. And while I like drinking and brewing lighter, more refreshing beers made for the summer, it’s really the fall styles I’ve grown to love.
Could it have something to do with the fact that fall is my favorite season?
I mean, you’ve got football, leaves changing colors, and the right temperature where a hoodie and shorts are the perfect combination.
Oh, and the beer? Pssh…it’s like buttercream icing on a cake!
Besides, how can you argue with college football Saturday’s and NFL Sunday’s along with your favorite fall style homebrew in your hands?
Brewing Fall Beer Styles
You know where I’m going with this…
Whether you like it or not, fall is on the way.
That means it’s time to wrap up the summer brews and start thinking about what you’ll make when seasons start to change.
For those new to brewing, this can feel overwhelming at first. With so many options, it’s hard to choose the perfect beer.
But that’s what makes homebrewing what it is – there are no limitations to what you can do!
It’s what makes small batch brewing even more fun and interesting. More variety, more experimentation, and less hassle (in my opinion anyway).
Don’t worry – if you’re having trouble trying to figure out what fall beer styles would suit you best, we’ve got you covered!
Below, you will read about 5 of the best (and most popular) fall beer styles available for you to brew. This should start to swirl some ideas in your head about what you’ll whip up next.
Style #1 – Oktoberfest
Once the leaves start changing colors, the sweet taste of Oktoberfest is right around the bend.
Originating from Bavaria and known commonly as a Märzen, this annual beer is a perfect fit for the fall. It’s medium to full malty body and beautiful amber color makes it one of the most sought after beer styles around this time of the year.
In order to brew this traditional style in its proper form, you would need the proper equipment, as it needs to be lagered. Many homebrewers start brewing this style in the early months of the year (March/April) so that it can lager and mature to produce the crisp bite and mouthfeel it is known for.
Of course, you could always mimic the style as an ale. The product produced won’t be as authentic, but it’s close enough.
That means you can brew this now and still enjoy it by the time October hits your calendar!
Short on time? Give this one gallon kit a shot: Craft A Brew Oktoberfest 1 Gallon Recipe Kit
Style #2 – Pumpkin
The whole “pumpkin craze” is either a “hate it or love it” kind of relationship. Either you go all in or you avoid this style like the plague.
For many, however, fall means pumpkin spiced beers will be in full force. And if you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for a good pumpkin beer!
What’s I love most about this style is the versatility. From a lighter bodied ale to a dark and thick porter or stout, there are plenty of ways for you to come up with something unique and flavorful.
While many pumpkin beers utilize real pumpkin (either in the mash or racked to secondary), the key to a great pumpkin beer comes down to the spices you use. If you’re formulating your own recipe, remember to start off easy. You can always add more spice in, but you can never take it out!
Whip up a proven batch of Pumpkin Ale with this: Northern Brewer Smashing Pumpkin Ale 5 Gallon Recipe Kit
Style #3 – Red/Amber Ale
While many red and amber ales are brewed throughout the year, there is something special about them in the fall.
Maybe it’s the fact that the red, brown, and orangish hues line up with the colors of the leaves changing?
Or could it be the perfectly balanced toasted malt profile and creamy mouthfeel making it one of most popular styles of the season?
All I can tell you is that I’ve brewed some amazing red’s in the past, and they are now a must-have style in my fall lineup!
But it gets even better…
You see, there’s another thing to note about red/amber ales in the fall: the range of bitterness is quite wide. From mild, roasty, and toasty to thick, malty, and hoppy, it’s easy to brew up something that suits your palate.
Regardless of your favorite twist on the style, one thing is for sure: red and amber ales make a great partner at a bonfire on a cool fall night!
You might dig this: Brewer’s Best 1 Gallon American Red Ale Recipe Kit
Style #4 – Brown Ale
If you think pumpkin beers are “too trendy” and red/amber ales don’t knock your socks off, you might be more of a simple kind of guy or gal.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. There is something to be said of a beer that doesn’t need to pull out all stops to make it great.
That, my friends, is where the brown ale shines!
This classic fall style typically has a well-balanced blend of nutty and roasted notes. Toffee and caramel flavors may also shine through, creating an incredible infusion of flavors and aromas.
Brown ales are often easy to brew and don’t require a complex grain profile. Simple, effective, and downright delicious!
Can you think of anything better than sitting on the porch on a brisk fall afternoon and feeling the smooth caramel and toffee flavors hit your tongue as the leaves rustle nearby?
I didn’t think so.
One of our favorite Brown Ale kits: Northern Brewer 5 Gallon Nut Brown Ale Recipe Kit
Style #5 – IPA
I know, I know – your eyes are probably rolling around a little bit. An IPA being a fall beer? Isn’t this something that you can have all year?
If you find yourself asking those questions, you’re not wrong. IPA’s are a flagship style and will always be in the craft/homebrewing scene.
Much like some styles above, however, there is something different about IPA’s in the fall.
That’s when the heavy hitters really start to come out. Beers loaded with hops, filled with bitterness and bite, and ABV numbers higher than most are more common in the fall months.
As an example, on a commercial level, you will typically see more Double IPA’s from September to November. These heavily hopped “big beers” are also thicker and much higher in ABV.
In other words, it’s like IPA’s big brother.
You’ll also find Black IPA’s tend to take a larger presence around this time of year. Dark and bold in flavor, yet still nice and hoppy like any regular IPA makes it perfect for the fall months!
Like many of the beers above, there is something amazing about sipping a nice and thick IPA when the night is young and the air is cool and crisp.
Seriously – just brew up a batch or two. You’ll be “hoppy” you did (sorry for the cheesy pun, but I had to)!
Here’s a perfect fall IPA with a twist: Craft A Brew 1 Gallon Oak Aged IPA Recipe Kit
Brew Up Your Favorite Today
As you can see, the change in season brings out many of the best and most celebrated fall beer styles.
If you’ve been having trouble figuring out what to brew as the leaves begin to fall, now you know. Brew one style or brew them all.
As George Zimmer, the founder of Men’s Warehouse might say, “You’re in for a treat. I guarantee it!”
Do you have a style or favorite recipe that is your “go-to” in the fall? Let us know in the comments below!