Winter Warmers and Belgian Brews

Starting next month, winter ales will hit the market, including MadTree’s popular Thundersnow. But before we all huddle inside for the long cold ahead, there are still more fun fall activities to be had.

click to enlarge Braxton’s Belgian-style Level Saison is out now.
Braxton’s Belgian-style Level Saison is out now.

It’s the end of October, and we’re settling into fall and all of its pumpkin beer glory. Starting next month, though, winter ales will hit the market, including MadTree’s popular Thundersnow. But before we all huddle inside for the long cold ahead, there are still more fun fall activities to be had.

New Beers

• Last week, Braxton tapped Level Saison, a Belgian-style saison, which is a part of their Garage Series. They describe it as “light and crisp, with notes of fruity esters, spicy phenols and slight pepper.”

• It must be Belgian season, because Rhinegeist’s low-alcohol Alice, another light Belgian ale, makes a return to their taproom and bottles. It has banana and pear notes and Lemondrop hops.

Exum Pale Ale, the latest in the brewery’s 22-ounce bomber series, was also just released. There’s a lot of grapefruit and limey-ness, with a dash of hops and malt flavors.

• When the Supermoon freaked everybody out at the end of September, MadTree saw an opportunity and created a Blood Orange PsycHOPathy. The beer also pairs well with Halloween, so get it while you can.

MadTree’s beloved PumpCAN gets the bourbon and rum barrel-aged treatment. You can get the bourbon-aged PumpCAN at their taproom (in bottles and on draft), and bottles of the rum-aged brew will be sold in limited quantities at the taproom and around town.

• Every season, Blank Slate brews a beer for Orchids at Palm Court; for autumn, they’re releasing Bounty, a beer brewed with apples, lactose and ras el hanout, instead of the ubiquitous pumpkin-spiced brews. Try it at Orchids and at Blank Slate’s taproom.

Opera Cream Coffee Stout returns to Blank Slate on Nov. 21 during a special one-year anniversary party for their taproom, The PourHouse. The cult favorite is brewed with the BonBonerie’s opera cream coffee blend and is quite yummy and drinkable.

• Triple Digit collaborated with Akron brewery Hoppin’ Frog on a beer simply called Stuff. It’s an imperial stout brewed with chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and peppers. Get bottles or draft at Triple Digit’s taproom.

• Taft’s Ale House’s latest beer is called The Resolver, a Belgian blonde ale made with hüll melon hops and featuring pineapple, melon and apricot aromas.

Getting into the Halloween season, they also released Taft’s Gourd to Death. It’s a harvest brown brewed with toasted pumpkin seeds, brown sugar and maple syrup. As they say, “This brown ale will petrify the traditional pumpkin brew.” The brewery is also celebrating the delivery of the Cincinnati streetcars on Friday and tapping their Ryed the Rails rye IPA.


• Taft’s kicked off their new weekly event Taft’s Tuesdays. If you wear any Taft’s merch, you get one of their beers for $2.50. Stock up on some swag and drink for cheap.

• Drink the District held Rock the Core Cider and Beer Fest in Washington, D.C. in May, and they’re bringing the event to Sawyer Point on Halloween. From 2-6 p.m., sample more than 30 different ciders and 20 beers, both local and regional. There will be food from Alabama Fish Bar mobile and Cuban Pete’s. And if you feel like it, dress up as an apple or something. $35-$50; $10 DD.

• Also on Halloween, Rhinegeist hosts their Hopgeist Double IPA Festival from noon-6 p.m. It will be the debut of their newly opened annex and rooftop deck. (See page 21 for more.)

• The inaugural Holler Fest takes place at New Riff distillery from 6-10 p.m. on Nov. 7. It will showcase nothing but Kentucky craft beers and whiskey.

• Fifty West and Great Lakes Brewing Company throw the third-annual The Great Ohio Brew N’ ’Que Nov. 7 at Fifty West. West’s chef John Tomain and Rock Finley of Great Lakes will create an all-you-can-eat barbecue smorgasbord, which will pair well with the 20 beers they’ll be tapping, including Walking Sticke, their collaboration.

• On Nov. 14, Tap & Screw hosts Tap Fest. A couple months ago, the brewery held the Blotarian Brewing League Beer & Sweat homebrewing competition. Ten finalists were chosen, and each of their beers will be on hand at the fest. For $15 you get 10 tastings, a commemorative glass and the right to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Festivities start at 11 a.m. and go all night.

CONTACT GARIN PIRNIA: [email protected]

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