Earlier today, I stopped in at Hoyne Brewing to get my growlers filled. For my wife and I, this has become a bit of a ritual, as getting two growlers directly from the brewer has proven cheaper and less clunky than buying bottles. It’s also more convenient for us to do this as we only need to go in once a week, rather than having to drive to the liquor store every few days.
And this time around, I finally got to meet the man himself, Mr. Sean Hoyne. And what would you know, he remembered me! After asking where his beer could be found on tap in the downtown region, I brought up the conversation I had with Mrs. Hoyne the last time I was in. She said that they were discontinuing the Big Bock for summer, and that for the fall, they’d be releasing a stout. As the brewmaster, I asked him for confirmation.
Damn, I thought, both intrigued and exasperated. Another big release I have to wait until Fall to experience! Luckily, that gives me and other fans of the Hoyne brewery plenty of time to contemplate what the other Fall release could be. And my wife, always the purveyor of good ideas, suggested I take this opportunity to conduct a poll on what beer drinkers think Mr. Hoyne might have in mind. Here are some possibilities that I myself have been contemplating…
A Pumpkin Ale: Always an appropriate release for the Fall, coinciding with the pumpkin harvests, the arrival of Thanksgiving, and plenty of pumpkin pie! A nice light beer, combining rich malts, a mild hop bite, and the unmistakable notes of pumpkin and nutmeg, this beer is well paired with cold weather and all kinds of fresh and rich Fall foods.
A Maple Ale: Another seasonal feature specific to Fall is the arrival of fresh maple syrup. And here in Canada, where the maple leaf is our national symbol, we do maple syrup right! So it’s natural that craft brewers all over the country and parts of the US choose to inaugurate the season with a beer that combines smooth malts and a slight sweet hint of maple syrup.
An Oktoberfest Lager: Germany is renowned for producing fine beer, especially the historic province of Bavaria, birthplace of Oktoberfest. And in honor of this celebration that marks the Fall harvest, brewers turn out mass quantities of Marzen, Dunkel, and other lagers that are darker in color and sweeter on the palate. What do you think, Hoyne Oktoberfest Marzbier? Has a nice ring to it!
A Brown Ale: Fall is typically the season for making beers that are heavier, darker, and more flavorful than their summer counterparts. When the weather is hot, people prefer a their beer lighter, crisper and more refreshing, and best served cold. But when the weather starts to dip, people like something that will warm their innards and stick to their ribs a little. A malty, rich, dark ale is just the thing to pull this off, something with a roasted malt flavor that reminds people of fresh roasted chestnuts.
A Fall Porter: And speaking of beers that stick to your ribs, the last entry is the venerable Porter. This style of beer is renowned for its rich flavor, dark toasted malts, and complex taste, which are sure to get your motor running when the weather’s cold. In fact, the beer was made with London “porters” in mind, young men who were on their feet all day and needed a drink to keep them fortified and on the go. Though from the same family as the stout, it is typically lighter and boasting a different palate, containing flavors of licorice and molasses rather than coffee and chocolate.
And that’s all the possibilities that I can think of. Granted, there are many more varieties and variations that Mr. Sean Hoyne could choose to go with, but I do hope this list makes its way to him just in case he’s still pondering what the other Fall release will be! And now it’s time to vote, beer fans. Which beer do you think will be accompanying the Espresso Stout this fall?