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September 25, 2013

TAP INTO AUTUMN Whatever your festival or feast this fall, there's a craft beer to pair with it

Fall is a fine time to sample a wide variety of craft beers, because no matter what your autumnal activity there is likely to be a seasonal beer to make it better.

Whether you’re having a Halloween gathering, hosting a Thanksgiving feast, enjoying the fall foliage or taking the family apple picking, there are plenty of brews to help celebrate. Thankfully, they pair well with the foods we tend to crave as the temperatures drop and the leaves get their color.

By nature, craft beers can be hard to come by due to limited production and an often smaller distribution footprint. So to help you usher in fall, we’ve gathered a list of some favorite autumn-friendly craft brews that are more widely available, then we clustered according to the festivities they pair best with.

HALLOWEEN

Pumpkin Ale, from Schlafly Beer in St. Louis, Mo.

Style: Pumpkin ale

Alcohol: 8 percent

Notes: Pounds of pumpkin are combined with clove, cinnamon and nutmeg to create what Schlafly says has been referred to as “liquid pumpkin pie.” This full-bodied, deep amber ale is ideal for a Halloween party, pumpkin carving and other autumn celebrations. Goes particularly well with apple pie and smoked meats.

— PUNKIN ALE (from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del.)

Style: Spiced brown ale

Alcohol: 7 percent

Notes: Named after the annual Punkin Chunkin Festival held near Lewes, Del., the weekend after Halloween, Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale is a go-to fall beer. While other pumpkin beers can be overpowering with their spices, Punkin Ale is first and foremost a brown ale, but is complemented with more subtle flavors of pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. It loves roast meats and sharp cheddar.

___

THANKSGIVING

— TEN FIDY (from Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colo.)

Style: Imperial stout

Alcohol: 10.5 percent

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