This weekend marks the official start of fall, when we start craving anything with pumpkin spice, cranberry and other seasonal flavors. It’s also the weekend that House of Torment, Austin’s biggest haunted attraction, reopens in celebration of Halloween, this year with something new and similarly spooky: a haunted library-themed bar, Torment Tavern.
There, you’ll be able to drink 4th Tap Brewing Co-op’s new House of Torment Pumpkin Ale, satisfying your need for pumpkin spice without going overboard. But if you’re looking for brews that don’t come with a side of scares, Austin-area breweries — including 4th Tap itself — have you covered.
Here’s what else to drink this fall.
4th Tap’s Bat Country Cold Brew Coffee Stout. The House of Torment beer isn’t all this North Austin brewery has planned for fall: Bat Country, named for one of Austin’s unofficial mascots, releases at the beginning of October as a collaboration with Wild Gift Coffee. It’s rich, robust and ready to deliver your evening pick-me-up, once it debuts in early October.
Austin Eastciders’ Spiced Cider. No, it’s not a beer, but it’s certainly a quintessential fall beverage you can get cozy with. The Spiced Cider is crafted with a mixture of seven sweet and zesty spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger, and it’ll make you feel as though color-changing leaves and sweater weather in September are really possible in Austin.
Celis Brewery’s Wiesn. Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Germany, where it’s still a massive two-week celebration of fall. But while märzen lagers have become the de facto fest biers in the U.S., wiesns — lighter-colored, lighter-bodied cousins — dominate there. Celis has chosen to introduce the rare style here, keeping it on tap at the North Austin brewery through October. Try it side by side with Pedernales Brewing’s amber-hued märzen, made at Celis and available there.RELATED:Facing closure, Pedernales Brewing brand was sold to an Austin brewery
Live Oak Oaktoberfest. Want the sort of malt-heavy Oktoberfest beer you’ve become accustomed to in America? Live Oak Brewing, which stays true to Bavarian tradition in more than one of the beers it produces, makes the märzen with authentic German malts, the clean bitterness of Noble hops and Bavarian lager yeast. It’s in cans across Austin, but you can also try it at the brewery’s Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 22, the day the big Munich fest begins.
Strange Land Brewery’s Headless Gentleman Imperial Bourbon Pumpkin Porter. The Westlake-area brewery has canned this decadent seasonal offering for the first time ever. An imperial version of the Entire Porter with pumpkins and aged on bourbon-infused American oak, it’ll taste like a rich blend of spice and vanilla, held together by a backbone of roasted malts, that makes for a perfect accompaniment to all the cool evenings we hope are ahead.
Zilker Brewing’s Wet Hop Heavenly Daze IPA. During the hop harvest in the Pacific Northwest, breweries get shipped the hops fresh, rather than in the pellets, powder or other processed forms they arrive as normally, and make wet-hopped ales. Hops as pellets taste rather different from their fresh counterparts, and you’ll likely discern as much when trying Zilker’s taproom-only wet hop ales. The East Austin brewery has released a couple already and debuts a final, the Heavenly Daze, next week.
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