There are several holidays every year that intertwine with beers to drink for each holiday. Whether it be Christmas themed beers or the vast variety of Oktoberfest beers or even the different Irish stouts and ales for St. Patrick’s day, there’s beers for every holiday. However, one holiday that hasn’t gotten enough recognition with beers to pair with the holiday is Halloween. Over the past month, I have ventured to my local liquor stores (yes, plural) to find the best beers to have during the spooky season.
Allagash Brewing Company: Haunted House Hoppy Dark Ale (6.66% ABV)
This dark ale was the first beer that I stumbled upon and I knew right away I had to have it. The ghostly looking can art along with the name caught my eye. I also couldn’t help but notice the devilish ABV! The beer itself was a little bit deceiving for me, as I was expecting more of a black IPA based off of the beer description. Haunted House still brought lots of good flavor that can be more accurately described as a porter than a black ale. Haunted House and its notes of coffee won’t give you nightmares.
Phase Three Brewing Company: Affy Tapple A Bushel of Apples (6% ABV)
The name of this beer is all you need to know. Who doesn’t enjoy a good taffy apple during Halloween? (peanut allergists not included) Affy Tapple teamed up with Phase Three for the third consecutive year of this limited release. You pick up every single flavor profile of a taffy apple in liquid form. The caramel flavor hits you first, then you wash it down with the apple flavoring on the back end of the tasting notes. Look for this beer at your local Jewel or Binny’s before they’re gone for the season and you won’t regret it.
This beer with its eye popping label immediately got my attention. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups but in beer form? Sign me up! Taking a page from Reese’s and designing a label with the same bright orange color and including some spooktacular (shoutout Chorizy-E) artwork made this a must purchase. The drawback to this beer is that I was definitely expecting more chocolate notes and it had me searching for more. I was definitely able to pick up the peanut butter flavor, it simply lacked enough chocolate tasting for my liking. I would give this beer another shot, however, it was not my favorite of the bunch.
An ode to Ghostbusters and everyone’s favorite childhood Hi-C drink, Ecto Cooler, two of my favorite breweries decided to team up for this creation. Noon Whistle and Old Irving brought their particle throwers to find out what would happen when Venkman and Egon risked crossing the streams. I was very excited for this limited beer release to see how they would replicate Ecto Cooler. The next thing I know, I’m drinking a GREEN BEER! Not only did this hazy IPA taste nearly identical to the classic 90’s drink, it also looked just like it! Cross The Streams is a winner as Noon Whistle and Old Irving saved the day and took out Zuul in the process. Get to either brewery to see if they still have any remaining on tap before it’s all gone. Here’s to hoping that they brew this again next year and there is a bigger production and distribution of Cross The Streams.
Noon Whistle Brewing: Ghost Face Gummy NEIPA (6.8% ABV)
While I was at Noon Whistle, I also picked up this beer which I also enjoyed last year. There are two versions of Ghost Face Gummy, a medium heat (red label), and hot heat (yellow label). As the name implies, these beers were brewed with ghost peppers. Have no fear, as you still also get notes of citrus flavors with both beers as well. I have had both and while the medium heat one is much more tolerable, I figured why not go with the hot. This yellow label definitely kicks it up a notch, so drinkers beware! I would advise against shotgunning or chugging this beer unless you’re our guy Dougie Freshness. Enjoy one of the yellow or the red label Ghost Face Gummy’s, depending on what you’re into. Just be prepared to have more heat with every sip.
New Belgium: Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin (6.4% ABV)
What’s a Halloween 6 pack without a pumpkin beer? When I spotted this spinoff to one of New Belgium’s flagship beers, I knew I had to check it out. Atomic Pumpkin brings loads of cinnamon flavor and is also brewed with habanero chili peppers. I preferred this level of heat over the Ghost Face Gummy as it wasn’t nearly as potent and had the proper amounts of cinnamon and peppers to where you can still taste the pumpkin flavor while not sweating through an enjoyable beer. Atomic Pumpkin is a great option for a cool fall day to warm you up, you can find this at almost any local liquor store.
Enjoy any of these beers and share them with your neighbors to get in the trick or treating spirit. It won’t matter which beers you chose, they all are great options for that Halloween party this weekend or for walking the neighborhood door to door while your kids get pillow cases full of candy.