Beers That Pair Perfectly with Halloween | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Beers That Pair Perfectly with Halloween 

And a harvest beer, too!

Recently I went on a search for some great Halloween beers. I was looking for cool label art, complex flavors and NOT just pumpkin beers, of which there are many to contend with. Most still contain pumpkin, but in moderation. I'm quite happy with this lineup, consisting of a half dozen beers, paired down to my top three. I've rated them on a drinkability scale. As a reminder, my drinkability scale goes to 5—5 being the most drinkable for an average beer drinker.

Halloween beer tasting line-up. - HEIDI HOWARD
  • Heidi Howard
  • Halloween beer tasting line-up.

BREWERY: J.W. Lees (United Kingdom)

BEER NAME: Harvest (2016)

WHERE TO GET IT: Market of Choice

DESCRIPTION: An English barleywine that comes in a tiny can. At 11.5%, you will be grateful! This beer is packed full of rich flavor; red fruit notes and a light sweetness that isn't sticky. As it warms, you can pick up toffee. Aged in sherry casks, a spiciness from alcohol is present. The aroma is alcohol forward with a touch of earthiness and sherry notes. Carbonation is low. I enjoyed this beer. The complexity, alcoholic punch and toffee notes blend well.

DRINKABILITY: Because of the sweet notes, the lack of carbonation and the high ABV, I give this beer a 3 on the scale, but excuse me while I go buy some more!

BREWERY: Elysian Brewery (Seattle, Wash.)

BEER NAME: Chucky – a Killer Wit Beer

WHERE TO GET IT: This was a challenge! A family member reached out from Florida asking me to find some. I searched beer finder and could not find it in Oregon. I reached out to the brewery requesting more information on where to find it. Basically, it's available in the greater Seattle area. They were gracious enough to send me a can to try and some swag. Perks of the job! Love it!

DESCRIPTION: Wit beer with pumpkin and cranberry. By far the coolest Halloween beer ever! Elysian collaborated with USA Network and SYFY in celebration of Season 2 of the Chucky series. I'm a huge fan of horror films and absolutely had to get my hands on it. Besides being cool, this beer is also tasty. It starts on the palate as a solid wit beer, light and bright. After it settles on the tongue, memories of Thanksgiving cranberry sauce that comingled with pumpkin pie come flooding in. The spices are subtle and balanced (nutmeg, light clove and a smidge of cinnamon). The spices are more prominent on the nose. This beer is balanced and cohesive.

DRINKABILITY: This beer is VERY drinkable. It isn't over spiced, 5.3% ABV and it begs to be your friend to the end. I give it a 5. It appeals to the masses, like the Good Guy doll! It's crushable (unlike Chucky himself).

BREWERY: Jolly Pumpkin (Dexter, Mich.) in collaboration with Monkish (Torrance, Calif.)

BEER NAME: Cucurbitophobia

WHERE TO GET IT: Bend South Liquor Store

DESCRIPTION: Cucurbitophobia, or fear of pumpkins, is a wild fruited saison oak aged for four months and cask conditioned. The aroma is tangy, fruity, yeasty and hints of the smells of jack o'lantern carving. So many great ingredients are easily picked up on: black lava salt, rainbow peppercorns and blood orange. Nicely balanced. This light and bright beer has complexity without feeling heavy and has a hint of funk on the finish. This is a very exciting beer, and the citrus notes really kick it up a notch.

DRINKABILITY: Absolutely a 5 out of 5. It has a light funk, but not too much, balanced and has a moderate ABV of 6.1%.

Honorable mention goes out to Prairie Artisan Ale's Pumpkin Kerfuffle, an imperial sour ale worth your time. It can be found at the Bend South Liquor Store and probably some other places, too. Happy Halloween, spooks! Cheers!

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