Festive Fall Brews

Start the holiday season with five local fall beers.

It’s officially fall, the start of the holiday season and fall beer releases. As we put down the light and sessionable ales and sours of the summer, Atlanta breweries and brewpubs have us covered for all our dark and spicy fall beer needs, best served in a stein or glass mug. 

Oktoberfest is a seasonal beer festival held annually in Munich, the capital city of Bavaria, the largest state in Germany. The festival was originally a massive wedding celebration for the Bavarian prince in 1810, but has grown into a global festival of beer and seasonal change. Oktoberfest traditionally starts in mid-September and continues through the first weekend of October, lasting 16-18 days. This year, Oktoberfest began September 22 and will end October 7. Even if you don’t know anything about the holiday, it’s a great excuse to pretend you’re German and drink beer. Prost! 

New Realm Brewing | Oktoberfest Märzen Lager

New Realm Brewing opened in January of this year, so this is the BeltLine brewpub’s first fall season in Atlanta. New Realm is debuting its first Märzen Lager, the traditional style beer of Oktoberfest, with a rich and malty, copper-colored body finished with a spicy fall flavor. The brewpub’s Oktoberfest party on October 7 will feature a classic Oompah band, along with a German food menu and other German-style brews, including a Kölsch, Munich Dunkel, Hefeweizen, Euphonia Pilsner, and a Berliner Weisse. 

Arches Brewing | Arches Festbier

Arches Brewing prides itself on its traditional and familiar brewing styles, as one of the few breweries in ale-crazed Atlanta with a focus on lagers. The seasonal Festbier is available for Oktoberfest September through October. With a hearty and sweet malt base and a spicy hop character at 6.3 percent ABV, it’s a classic beer for the start of the holiday season. Arches’ Oktoberfest party has already passed, but the beer will be available at the brewery and in retail through the fall season. 

Orpheus Brewing | Sykophantes

Orpheus Brewing’s fall beer, Sykophantes, is a fruit and field beer with a sweet and malty flavor similar to a Märzen but gently soured and brewed with black mission figs. The end result is a mix between a Märzen, Belgian dubbel, and Flemish brown ale, with a sneaky 7.5 percent ABV. “Sykophantes” means “one who shows the fig,” a vulgar hand gesture in ancient Greece, and Orpheus showed the fig to the traditional holiday brews with this sweet and sour fruit remix. It’s available in cans and on draft at the brewery through fall. 

SweetWater Brewing Company | 420 Strain G13 IPA 

SweetWater Brewing Company’s 420 Strain G13 IPA is a hazy IPA brewed with dank hops and natural hemp flavor, with a heady aftertaste that mimics the G13 cannabis strain, at 6 percent ABV. SweetWater skipped right past Oktoberfest to Halloween with this beer’s dark aesthetic and skeleton fish, dabbling in the electric lettuce. The brew is already on shelves and on draft at the brewery and will be featured at the Halloween SweetWater Scream experience, when the production facility mutates into a haunted brewery October 7-31. 

Second Self Beer Company | ATaLe Rainbow Cans  

In honor of Atlanta’s 48th Annual Pride Festival October 12-14, Second Self Beer Company has repackaged its flagship ATaLe in the vibrant rainbow colors of the Pride flag along with some iconic Atlanta landmarks. The American pale ale is the brewery’s tribute to the city, brewed as a crisp and refreshing beer at 5.7 percent ABV that can pair with anything or anyone. The Pride cans can be found at the brewery and retail throughout October, and some of the proceeds will benefit Lost-n-found Youth, Inc., an Atlanta-based nonprofit that works to end homelessness for LGBTQ and all sexual minority youth.

Enjoy these fall brews as we roll into the holiday season! Creative Loafing is pushing local craft beer coverage, so to our friends in the Georgia brewing community: If you have a new release, a cool event, or big news coming up, let beer correspondent, Alex Patton, know at alex.patton at creativeloafing.com.

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