Managing to forget the fact that it was supposedly Summer just, like, LAST FREAKIN' WEEK is... um, actually pretty easy given that Seattle barely had one, and that you're going to be drinking copious amounts of Fall beers brewed especially for the almost-Winter weather we have most of the year, and hand-picked by some of The Town's sweetest suds experts.
Rick Hewitt, Founder and Brewmaster of Emerald City Beer Lab
Betty Black Lager (American Black Lager, 4.8% ABV)
Rick says: "Roasted wheat malt gives this rather light lager a big chocolate/coffee flavor without the body and alcohol bite typical of darker ales. It's a nice change a pace from the pilasters of Summer, but not quite as heavy as the Winter beers, making it perfect for Fall."
Bavarian Hefeweizen (German Wheat Ale, 5.9% ABV)
Rick says: "Locally made/globally inspired. A Bavarian yeast strain creates unique flavors with hints of bananas and cloves. This award-winning version of the style also has a little more alcohol then a standard beer, and is my go-to beer to start a Sunday Fall football morning, in place of say, a mimosa or screwdriver."
Miles Montgomery, "The Men's Room" on KISW
Elysian Brewing's Night Owl Pumpkin Ale (Pumpkin Ale, 5.9% ABV)
Miles says: "You know I want to say 'Men's Room Original Red', but that would be too obvious… However, one of my favorites from Elysian Brewing is their Night Owl Pumpkin Ale. I know pumpkin beers are the new flavor of the month but I don’t care. It’s delicious."
Fremont Brewing's Harvest Ale (Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 6.5% ABV)
Miles says: "You also need to try Fremont Brewing’s Harvest Ale. Crisp, a little dry, and not too fruity. Good stuff!"
Brad Robinson, Odin Brewing
Odin Brewing's Thor's Equinox (Belgian Dark Ale, 9.0% ABV)
Brad says: "This late-September brew from Odin is rich in all the right ways, besides the price. Notes of nuts, figs, and just a touch of banana make this a rapidly sought-out prize. 9% ABV, $6 at area grocery stores."
Chuckanut Brewery's Fest Bier (Oktoberfest Lager, 5.0% ABV)
Brad says: "Nobody in the Pacific Northwest does German beer better than Chuckanut, and they have the GABF and World Beer Cup awards to back it up. This Oktoberfest is no exception, with great biscuity flavor and a crisp finish. 5% ABV; draft only."
Sarah in the Morning, KZOK Radio Personality
Sierra Nevada's Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale (American Brown Ale, 5.5% ABV)
Sarah says: "When it comes to Autumn beer drinking, you don't have to 'fall' back on cliche beers. There are so many great options, including Sierra Nevada's Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale. Give me a brown ale over a pumpkin brew any day. This one really masters the balance of malt, hops, and a dry finish."
Ninkasi Brewing's Oktoberfest (Oktoberfest Lager, 5.1% ABV)
Sarah says: "Another solid choice is Oktoberfest from Oregon's Ninkasi Brewing Company. While the bottle isn't impressive, the taste is. It's a great Fall beer in that it's not too heavy, but not too light. The chilly, rainy weather isn't here yet, and this beer allows you to transition into the cooler weather. It's refreshing for the warm days, and yet substantive, which you need after all the light Summer beers. Ahhh, just close your eyes with this one and imagine you're in a beer hall in Germany."
Chuck Shin, Owner of Chuck's Hop Shop
Southern Tier's Pumking (Pumpkin Ale, 8.6% ABV)
Chuck says: "Everyone makes pumpkin beers now, but this is the best one ever made. It's stronger, spicy, and flavorful: When you crack it open it's just like eating a piece of pie. It's incredible. It's also a great way to make a float -- just add ice cream and it's a great dessert. If you want to try pumpkin beer for the first time, this is the one."
Boulevard Brewing's Boss Tom's Golden Bock (Maibock/Helles Bock, 6.1% ABV)
Chuck says: "I'm not a big fan of Oktoberfest beers. I prefer something like this crisp, refreshing German-style beer. Bock's tend to be heavier, stronger beers but this is lighter, and goes with all kinds of food -- you can have it with traditional Fall things (like pumpkin pie!), but I love lots of spicy foods, so I usually have it with Thai food or something like that."