For the third and final installment of our "Beertober" series, we are moving from a retail store to a traditional tap house.
Heaven and Ale owner Joe Winland gives Nooga.com readers his suggestions on five great beers for October. All of the beers mentioned in the article are available now.
Located on Cherokee Boulevard, Heaven and Ale is a tap house and a classroom.
Winland is constantly rotating beers from the wall and seeks to be the first place in the city to offer the most in-demand seasonal brews.
"It’s important to us that we are always bringing in new breweries; we try to be the first people to carry them," he said. "We don’t like to carry the household names."
For this installment of the series, Winland takes Nooga.com readers on an informed journey through some of his favorite fall beers.
Locally brewed—we’re talking Ashland Terrace in Hixson—McHale’s Mudslinger is the first beer Winland suggests.
"This is a local beer," he said. "The Mudslinger is a beer worth trying because I think it’s one of the most unique beers on the local scene. It defies categorization."
McHale’s brew master, Adam Hale, calls it a "hoppy oatmeal brown ale."
"You get floral hops, notes of chocolate nuttiness, and they all kind of co-mingle up front," Winland said. "It’s hoppy, chocolaty and malty all the way through."
Winland said for every 10 people that try this beer, seven of them walk out with a growler.
"I think the nuttiness and chocolate of the malt character and that little bit of hops make it a beautiful transitional beer from summer into fall," he said.
Rivertown Brewing Company pumpkin ale
From Ohio, we have a seasonal beer that Winland calls "the best pumpkin beer on the market right now."
The Rivertown Brewing Company's pumpkin ale continues a new trend for the fall season and craft breweries of offering pumpkin-themed beer.
Winland said that pumpkin is a trend that's here to stay.
"Everybody is brewing one, " he said. "I say 'trend' loosely because I think breweries are going to continue to produce pumpkin beers year in and year out."
And the RBC pumpkin ale is special.
"It’s dessert. It’s campfire beer. It’s pumpkin pie," Winland said. "You get strong notes of pumpkin upfront, but you still get the spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. There’s even a crust-like quality that comes out.
"Here, the pumpkin flavor dominates the palate, and the spices and crust take a backseat," he said.
Starr Hill Boxcarr
Another "pumpkin" beer, the Starr Hill Boxcarr is a whole different animal.
"This beer kind of reflects the complexity of what you can do with pumpkin," Winland said.
According to Starr Hill’s website, this beer is a "traditional English-style brown porter with pumpkin added to the mash."
The beer pours dark, and Winland said that "it’s very much of a porter upfront."
"You still get the roasted malts, the pumpkin, but it doesn’t dominate," he said. "It’s part of the complexity of the porter style they’re brewing."
Starr Hill Brewery springs from Oregon roots but lives in Southern tradition. Located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains Crozet, Va., the brewery offers daily tastings and the perfect excuse for a road trip.
Yazoo "sly rye porter"
Nashville’s Yazoo Brewery is cranking out some amazing brews.
Winland suggested the Yazoo "sly rye porter" both because "it’s yummy" and "more or less local."
"You can cut back the amount of malts you’re using and add rye to it to give the beer a toasty and spicy quality," he said. "I think this is great for fall, because in addition to all of the roasty malts and chocolate/toffee flavor, you get a bit of that spiciness."
The Yazoo sly rye is one of the most sought-after beers from the Nashville brewery. They describe the beer as "a rich, chocolaty English porter with a clean finish."
Moo-Hoo chocolate milk stout
Comparing two of life’s most pleasant indulgences, Terrapin’s Moo-Hoo chocolate milk stout offers an incredibly rich chocolate flavor.
"It’s creamy, silky, and you get a distinct note of chocolate to accompany the light sweetness," Winland said. "Terrapin uses cocoa nibs and shells from a chocolate factory."
Winland said people come into Heaven and Ale and cannot believe this beer is an actual beer.
"This is definitely a crowd favorite," he said. "I’ll start getting emails and phone calls from people asking me if it’s available yet."
He said the Moo-Hoo chocolate milk stout flies off the shelf. They also plan to use this beer in an upcoming dinner pairing.
"You can smell the chocolate," he said.
For a special treat, Winland will sometimes combine this beer with the RBC pumpkin ale.
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