In New England, we find that beer follows the seasons. As we head into the colder months, we are pulled to dark, rich, and flavorful brews with a wide range of flavors like coffee, oats, fruit, and chocolate to help keep us warm and cozy. In this blog, we’ll discuss why dark beers are great for fall, what to pair them with, and some of Brickyard Hollow’s Fall Favorites.
What Is Dark Beer?
Dark beers cover a wide range of colors, from amber to espresso in hue, and are usually known for being richer and more filling than lighter beers. The color of dark beer comes from the brewing process, which is 100% natural and requires no additives to achieve the varying shades. During the brewing process, roasted malts are combined with sugars, amino acids, and other grains to accomplish a rich and dark color.
Like your morning coffee, the darker the roast, the stronger the brew will taste. Beers with a deeper color have usually had a longer roast, a longer brewing process, or have been barrel aged to add flavors like chocolate, fruit, oats, or coffee to the final product. Keep in mind that just because a brew is dark, it doesn’t mean it’s bitter! Dark beers can be very sweet or very bitter, depending on the brewing process.
What Are The Different Types Of Dark Beer?
Craft breweries in New England have brought these rich and hearty beers back in a big way! Below are some of the most common types of dark beer.
A black IPA is an IPA that uses dark malts to turn the beer black. Black IPAS are usually nicely balanced beers with strong, bright hops offsetting the rich and toasted notes from the malt.
The term “stout” once simply meant a stronger beer. In addition to more alcohol, stouts are usually a bit drier and darker than porters.
Porter got its name from dock workers in early 18th century London who preferred dark and heavy beer. Generally, porters are a bit lighter than stouts and include toffee, caramel, and chocolate flavors.
Dark ales blend yeast, malt, and hops to create a fruity and flavorful beer. The strong characteristics of this dark beer have made it very popular throughout the years.
Created from roasted barley and hops, dark lagers are rich and flavorful.
The Dunkel is a bottom-fermented lager-style beer. The word “Dunkel” is German for “dark.” This classic dark beer style offers beer lovers balanced flavors.
Why Is Dark Beer The Best For Fall?
New England experiences a proper four seasons, and New Englanders are all about the comfort and tradition that goes along with the fall and winter months. Just like our clothing switches from shorts and sneakers to boots and flannels, our palate changes from crisp and refreshing pale ales to stouts and porters.
Why do people love darker beers in the fall and winter?
Dark beers seem to be the most popular in the fall and winter months, and we can see why. These bold brews are rich, hearty, and heavy, making them the perfect beverage to warm you up in the cold weather. They’re also thicker in consistency and usually more filling, keeping you full as your body burns through calories when it’s cold.
What food pairs the best with darker beers?
Because dark beers are richer, they pair well with heavier foods, whereas lighter beer can be overwhelmed by heavy food. Dark beers bring out the flavors in many different meat dishes, rich cheeses, hearty stews and chilis, pizza and burgers, or even chocolate and coffee desserts.
Some Of Brickyard Hollow’s Fall Favorites
Here are some of our favorite brews and menu items this season!
Wescustogo was inspired by the Wabanaki name for the Royal River in Maine. The marine clay soil forms a large part of the Royal River’s watershed, creating the chocolate-brown water running through the heart of Yarmouth Village, our flagship location. This stout is jet black in appearance, features a roasted coffee bean aroma and flavor, and has notes of bittersweet chocolate. Wescustogo finishes dry with a piney hop bitterness. Find this brew on draft and in 4 packs at various locations!
West Side Trail Brown Ale
This fall beer is a medium-bodied American brown ale with rich chocolate and dark fruit flavors, a smooth mouthfeel thanks to the generous addition of oats, and a dry hoppy finish. Find this brew available on tap and in 4 packs!
October “Harvest” Pizza of the Month
This delicious pizza features roasted butternut squash, beets, and red peppers with a lemon greek yogurt drizzle. The best part? We’re donating $1 for every pizza sold to Full Plates, a local organization dedicated to ending childhood food insecurity in Maine. Pick one up at our Freeport, Yarmouth, Portland, or Ogunquit locations.
Pulled Pork Tacos
These rich and hearty tacos pair well with dark beers and are served with slaw, sweet relish, onion crisps, and chipotle mayo. Our pulled pork tacos are available for dine-in, take out & delivery at our Ogunquit location.
Head to a Brickyard Hollow near you to enjoy a delicious dark beer on tap this season, or use our beer locator to find seasonal beers in cans and four packs throughout Maine.