The trees may still be green, but brewers around the nation are gearing up for fall – and beer enthusiasts are ready to celebrate!  No matter what style you prefer, there’s something for everyone this season!  Read on for some local early releases of autumn-inspired craft brews.

Zwei Brewing Company – Theresienwiese Fest Lager

Wiesen literally translates to meadow – and that’s what this beer tastes and smells like: warm and golden, drenched in the last of the summer sunlight, with more than a nod to sweet, bready malt.  It’s earthy but crisp; wheat-like without being weighty.  A delightful hint of floral hops dances across the finish, making it the perfect light and refreshing beverage for a warm day.  Zwei Brewing may be new on the scene, having just celebrated their first anniversary, but don’t let that fool you: they specialize in German beers and boast a decadent variety of excellent brews.

Odell Brewing Company – Oktoberfest Märzen-Style Lager

Märzen, or March, dates back to 16th century Bavaria, in which an ordinance decreed that beer may only be brewed from September to April.  The Märzen was brewed in March using a special recipe to aid in preservation, then stored in cellars through the summer and served at Oktoberfest.  This gem, though not from a Bavarian cellar, is sure to please!  Tangy and yeasty on the nose, with a hint of rye and an essence of savory herbs, it boasts the warm, grain-heavy flavors of traditional Märzenbier.  It is lighter in body than may be considered typical, but the flavor profile is right on: it’s roasty and toasty, and the huge malt presence lends a nice biscuity warmth.

Fort Collins Brewery – Oktoberfest

Stick your nose into this Märzenbier glass and take a whiff, and you’ll find yourself dominated by aromas of sourdough and grain.  It’s refreshing with a sharp, crisp edge, rounded out nicely by the cozy malt’s bready, heady warmth.  Try it with the Bratwurst Rueben at Gravity 1020 located within the brewery – it’s a match made in heaven!

Farm Dog Farmhouse Ale

Meet FCB Oktoberfest’s Belgian cousin: similar in grainy, bread-like profile, but a little more savory, a little more tart, and, like many Belgian-style saisons, heavy on the banana and clove flavors.  It’s toffee and spice and everything nice, and just a few sips will have you wanting to dive headfirst into a pile of leaves.

New Belgium Brewing – Long Table Farmhouse Ale

The aroma of this masterful brew is almost dizzying in its complexity: nutmeg, anise, vanilla, caramel and rye.  It tastes like pumpkin pie in front of the hearth; like going home for the holidays; like a Norman Rockwell Christmas, even though it’s only September.  The flavor profile is intricate and ever-changing; the Belgian yeast gives the traditional banana and clove essence, while a hint of gingerbread zips across the tongue. It’s medium-bodied, spicy, hearty, homey, and delicious till the last drop!

Whichever brew you choose – happy sipping!

Ali Owens is a local musician, blogger and beer enthusiast who considers herself lucky to live in Microbrew Land.

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