The Firkin for October 2023

America has a sweet tooth. And boy, howdy, it is a big one. That craving for sugar is well ensconced in craft beer just like the rest of the U.S. foodways.

Yes, I am calling for at least a moratorium on the hyper sweetened beers. As I have said before and will say again, creativity and boundary pushing is fantastic but we have reached the boundary and it is time to proceed in a new direction.

I am hoping that a new path is already being charted by intrepid brewers and breweries and it will only be a matter of time before that path becomes a clear trend.

But in the meantime, let’s pause it with pancake stouts, stop the sugary seltzers, cancel cacao coffee and eliminate excess eclair beers. We get it. Or at least I do. I want to see what else you can brew.

Best Beers of October 2023

Some months there is a clear front runner for best beer of the month. Not October, so instead of closing my eyes and picking at random, here are the four beers that intrigued my tastebuds the most.

In no particular order:

  • Firestone Walker Credit Czech – malty and smooth
  • Riip Beer Pineapple Panacea – pineapple smoothie
  • Institution Ales Fall Seasonal IPA – multiple layers of flavors
  • Offshoot & Stone //Dolphins.Escape.Bikes IPA – filled with competiting fruit notes

Spooky Review – Fall Seasonal IPA from Institution Ales

We finish off the spooky beer reviews with the appropriately ghoulish label for Institution Ale Co. and their Fall Seasonal IPA which has been given the three descriptor treatment as Dank, Citrusy, Balanced.

Pours a very clear Halloween orange in the glass. First notes are of fruit punch and softness on the palate. The aroma is very, very red berry. Tastes much less than 7.1% abv for sure. Tilts more pale ale to me. There is a bit of woodsy, earthy bitterness in the background like a scarecrow.

Spooky Review – Pumpkin π Ale from San Fernando Brewing Co.

Another pumpkin beer but this one is from L.A. local San Fernando Brewing Co., Pumpkin π.

As the can opens, that pumpkin spice aroma wafts up, thankfully there is a bit of actual gourd into it There is, on the negative side, a bit too much sweetness here and a weird metallic taste at the back end of it. For me, this needs a little something else to push it further. Maybe vanilla or a barrel-age to it. As is, it is quite fine but it is one of those where I wanted just a bit more.

Night Terrors

Got another spooky season release for you, “Nite Terrors, a sinister twist on our White Nite Golden Stout. This nocturnal version is an Imperial Golden Stout with heaps of cacao nibs and espresso coffee.”

Angel City will have you in the Halloween spirit after drinking since it is a tiny 10% ABV.

In the Tap Lines for October 2023

Fall is probably my favorite season even though the biggest holidays of the year (my birthday and Christmas) do not fall (sorry) inside its months. The switch from SoCal summer to milder temps and the Festbiers just make me happy. Enough about me, let’s get to what will be covered this month…

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from Richmond, Va.

~ special featured reviews of fall seasonal beers

~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events

~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark

~ A Book & A Beer reads Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Strike Force Five

~ Sports & A Beer returns with re-aligning college football

~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month

~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Review – Ommegang All Hallows Treat

If anything screams Halloween, this treat from Ommegang Brewing does…

My first two words for this beer are sweet and sweet. This is a Halloween treat yo’ self for damn sure. The beers pours pitch black and initially has a big chocolate aroma. Flavor wise, it is a mix of milk and dark chocolate and quite roasty. For me, the peanut butter promised on the label us too faint. As it warms, more peanut aroma and taste arrive, but it is not peanut butter.

Why is Curiosity Bad?

If there was enough content, this blog could be devoted to the Red IPA, one of my favorite styles, and in time for scary season, Trademark Brewing has one for us.

I like the touch of having a cat on the label for a beer that has curiosity in the name. Head down to Long Beach or wherever you buy Trademark beers for this Halloween treat.