Beertober (that’s what we’re calling it because “Octobeer” still doesn’t make a lick of sense) is going strong with a host of delicious seasonal brews at local retailers.
Earlier this month, Nooga.com traveled to Beverage World in Ft. Oglethorpe where we learned about five beers that were perfect for the crisp, autumn weather.
Continuing the series, Nooga.com will visit some of the area’s beer hot spots this month and get suggestions on what beers we should be drinking from the expert staff.
This week, we visited the Riverside Beverage Company on Chattanooga’s North Shore to learn about five great October-friendly brews. Located next to Riverside Wine and Spirits, RBC is considered a go-to place in Chattanooga to get beers, growlers and kegs. The store is located at 600 Manufacturers Rd.
We asked RBC beer experts David Metheny and Brandon Burgess to point us in the direction of some fine brews. The two self-proclaimed “craft beer nerds” did not disappoint.
The following beers include a few Southern standbys, a Bavarian knockout and
Terrapin Beer Company—Pumpkinfest Ale
Brandon: “Terrapin keeps hitting their seasonals out of the park this year. One of the best pumpkin beers I tried this season. Not thin, not heavy, just the right amount of pumpkin-y spices I look for.”
David: “I don’t drink a lot of pumpkin beers. When I do, it’s usually just one or two. This beer stands out among others because it is perfectly balanced with spice and fruit. It has enough backbone to support the abundance of clove spiciness.”
The folks at Terrapin describe their Pumpkinfest Ale as “perfectly balanced pumpkin (real pumpkin!)...expect a pumpkin pie nose followed by a strong malt backbone, low hop bitterness and authentic fall taste…”
Terrapin Beer Company is the brainchild of John Cochran and Brian “Spike” Buckowski. The two met in 1998 while working for Atlanta Brewing Company. They decided to start a craft brewing company and by 2002—after three disappointing years—debuted their first beer.
The company is named after Buckowski’s favorite Grateful Dead album “Terrapin Station.”
Yazoo Sue is described as “a big, richy, smoky malt bomb of a beer, with mellow smokiness coming from barley malts smoked with cherry wood, and assertive bitterness…”
Burgess said Yazoo Sue was “one of the best beers crafted in the state...huge smoky flavors dominate...great for any season, but the fall really makes the beer shine.”
Metheny agreed: “This beer is what I think of when I think of the perfect beer to accompany a barbeque or tailgate. The smokiness of the malt pairs well with smoked meats or ribs.”
For Metheny, the Yazoo Sue is his “go-to for game days.” He also thinks it would be a perfect beer for sitting next to a fire pit on a chilly night.
Yazoo Brewery, relocated to Nashville’s “Gulch” in 2010 , was concepted when Linus and Lila Hall moved from Mississippi to Nashville in 1996. An avid home brewer, Linus Hall decided to open his own brewery after earning an MBA from Vanderbilt and a craft brewing degree from American Brewers Guild in California. Hall also completed an internship at the Brooklyn Brewery under brewmaster Garrett Oliver.
The new brewery features an expanded taproom with 18 taps and patio seating. Yazoo recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary.
A true Oktoberfest in every sense of the word, Hofbräuhaus is one of Munich’s oldest breweries in one of the world’s best beer cities.
The Munich Beer Festival (known as Oktoberfest) is one of the largest popular festivals in the world, according to the brewery’s website.
This Hofbräu Oktoberfest is a beer worthy of the grand occasion. It has been described as a “rich, full-bodied beer which goes down ideally with traditional Bavarian cuisine. With it’s deliciously bitter taste...Hofbräu Oktoberfest is as special as the festival itself.”
Consider this: Yazoo Brewery (as mentioned above) has just celebrated 10 years of successful brewing. The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V.
A 424 tradition that deserves respect, the Hofbräu Oktoberfest—with an alcohol content of 6.3 percent by volume—is worthy of a celebration this October.
Southern Tier Brewing Company—Harvest Ale (ESB)
Metheny said he “loves to see people’s reaction” when they try a beer like Southern Tier’s Harvest Ale, which is described as an ESB (Extra Special Bitter).
“[People] usually have their reservations and think of hoppy bitterness associated with IPA’s,” he said. “This one is a misnomer and isn't really that bitter at all. This ESB has a full body and a great balance between malt and hop.”
So far, Southern Tier Brewing Company is the only brewery to make two "Beertober" lists. The Lakewood, N.Y., operation began in 2002 and produces more than 60,000 barrels of beer annually.
Like many craft breweries, the business started with a nod to the past. Phineas Demink and Allen “Skip” Yahn sought to revive the practice of small batch brewing in the region.
The company opened a new brewhouse in 2012, and beer began flowing in early 2013.
The Harvest Ale is a seasonal special ale which is “deeply comforting...to usher in the sunsets as evenings get cooler.”
According to the company’s website, the ale is a “classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order.”
Expect grapefruit and hops on the tongue.
Rogue Ales—Hazelnut Brown Nectar
Inspired by the home brews of Chris Studach, a friend of Rogue Ales employee John Maier, the Hazelnut Brown Nectar is a twist on the traditional European brown ales.
Burgess said this beer is his favorite brown ale at the store.
“Full-bodied, sweet, but not to the point of cloying,” he said. “Hazelnut flavors throughout, this is a great beer from Rogue.”
Founded in 1988, Rogue Ales is an American craft brewery based in Ashland, Ore. The headquarters are now located in Newport, Ore.
A true craft brewery, Rogue Ales have been described as “invariably fun and full-flavored.”
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