Fall is a great season for a lot of reasons: flannel, pumpkin-picking, changing leaves, chilly mornings and hot cider. But fall is also a great season for beer. And while we all love a good pumpkin brew, Fort Collins isn’t serving up anything ordinary this year. In fact, the one pumpkin beer on our list comes with a habeñero kick!
First things first, get acquainted with FoCo’s favorite spots by reading The Ultimate Guide to Fort Collins Craft Breweries. It comes complete with an interactive map so you can find the one closest to your home!
Then, celebrate all our favorite things about autumn with these outstanding seasonal brews from seven local brewmasters.
Harry Hughes’s Aggie Ale
Named after the man who coached the CSU Rams for 31 years, and inspired by the stadium nestled just beneath the foothills, this sessionable ale is perfect for fall. Horse & Dragon originally brewed Harry Hughes’s Aggie Ale in 2016 with students from CSU’s Fermentation Science & Technology Program to celebrate the final season of Rams Football in the old stadium. This year, it’s back to toast the memory and cheer on the new location! Orange hued with a creamy yellow head, distinct floral aromas of jasmine and geranium combine with lemon citrus and earthy green tea as you raise this glass to your nose. While sipping, you’ll taste citrus and grassy hops, tea flavors and a medium bodied malt backbone.
Temple’s Grand Ale
If you’ve been in Fort Collins long, you probably know who Temple Grandin is. A professor of animal science at Colorado State University, she has been a longtime consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior as well as an autism spokesperson. In honor of her 70th birthday, Horse & Dragon released a beer that will make you a picture a caramel ice cream cone, as requested by Dr. Grandin. Perfect for a warm fall day, this brew is light-bodied, sweet and very caramel-forward.
One of Black Bottle’s famed seasonals, the Belgian Tripel can be found in the taproom September through November. Winner of the silver medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, it only has 24 IBUs but is a whopping 9.5% alcohol by volume. Fill a growler while you can because this local favorite runs out quickly!
Photo courtesy of Funkwerks
Dry Hopped Provincial
This sessionable Belgian Sour Ale was a summer seasonal in 2016 and is back for fall. Specifically selected hops contribute to the musky tropical fruit characteristics, making it a perfect beer to enjoy on a hot summer day or on a cool fall evening. Sip on it in the Funkwerks tap room and see if you can smell those citrus and floral notes!
Photo courtesy of Gilded Goat Brewing Company and Mark Darrough
The first of two beers coming to Gilded Goat this fall, XryeZ pours clear and is copper in color. Sweet pine and a floral aroma meet a slight spiciness in this fresh and balanced brew. At just 25 IBUs and 5.5% ABV, it’s an easy-drinker with plenty to taste!
Highlighting all the other cozy characteristics we love about fall, Frumpy Moomoo is a coffee and milk stout made with locally roasted Conundrum coffee and lactose. Showcasing a full bodied sweetness and roasted notes of dark chocolate and coffee, this brew is smooth, delicious and sure to put a smile on your face.
Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
New Belgium is turning classic pumpkin beers on their head this season. Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin has the traditional hints of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, but Saigon Cinnamon offers an extra kick! With a spicy, red pepper aroma (think Hot Tamales) followed by cherries and a cookie malt aroma, this pumpkin-meets-habañero brew is definitely a new fall classic you’ll love!
Photo courtesy of Intersect Brewing
Inspired by Oktoberfest, the Dusseldorf Altbier is a copper-colored German ale straight out of Dusseldorf, a city in western Germany. With a mildly bitter flavor, this fall favorite comes in at just 4.7% ABV so it’s the perfect session on any autumn day. According to the Intersect team, it pairs best with George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac and Arcade Fire; and Arcade Fire just released a brand new album so you can enjoy both this season!
“Shelly” Barrel Aged Sour Blonde
Returning to the taps on September 8th, this special brew is Rally King’s Blonde Ale soured and barrel aged in an oak red wine barrel for nine months. It’s a full-bodied classic sour made complex with prominent oak and wine notes and an intense sour finish. Enjoy it while you can!
Which releases are you looking forward to this season? What FoCo favorites did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!