Step away from the pumpkin ales. Seriously.
Yes, it’s fall and yes, everyone is thinking of Thanksgiving and Halloween and all things pumpkin. And of course, all these pumpkin beer iterations have been jammed down our collective throats since, oh, July.
Buck the marketing hype and start drinking stuff that is much more evocative of the season.
When the weather starts cooling off and the evenings are nice and brisk, my palate (normally scorched by IPAs) yearns for something more mellow and malty. Brown ales, porters and oatmeal stouts are perfect — but an oft-overlooked style, the extra special bitter, is a dark horse you should check out.
Don’t be fooled by the name. A bitter and extra special bitter are not bitter at all. They are soft, well-balanced beers that often reveal more malt character, making them perfect for a chilly, fall afternoon.
Moustache Brewing Company’s Wanderlust ESB is a fine example of the style. It pours a mellow copper with a slightly spicy, dark fruit nose. The finish is almost nutty with some slight, scrubbing minerality. It’s the type of beer that makes you dial things back a notch. Put away your iPhone, maybe scribble on a napkin (remember what writing is like, kiddies?). Have another pint or three.
This beer will go well with classic English fare: bangers and mash, toad in a hole, fish and chips. But it will also rock with a nice greasy burger, beef stew, chili, a convivial gathering at your local pub or some quiet time with a good book.
So load your pipe, don your cardigan and scoff at hipsters.
Wait! You are a hipster! No matter. This beer will be a perfect way to herald in autumn!