The leaves have begun to change and the temps have started to creep towards the bottom end of the thermometer. Here in New England folks will literally drive 200 miles to get a look at the color spectrum that is presented by the many varieties of deciduous trees before they drop their leaves for winter. And whilst the leaves change so does the color of my beer from pale and bright gold to amber, red, and brown. The three selections I have chosen to determine the ultimate leaf peeping beer are Peak Organic’s Nut Brown, OsKar Blues Old Chub, and Anderson Valley Brewery Boont Amber Ale.
Peaks Organic’s Nut Brown is a dark leather colored english style brown ale that presents a well balanced sweetness with little to no clinging sugar. Almost zero hop character is present which allows the delicate flavor of chocolate to be the star of this malt forward brew. This offering is only 4.7% abv and could easily be sipped on a long day of leaf watching.
My second libation is one of my favorites and I’m admittedly stacking the deck by including this 8% beast of a wee heavy. Old Chub is malty, sweet but balanced, and possesses a full robust mouth feel. Held up to the light this brew is a dark ruby almost crimson and the aroma drops hints of smoked and roasted malts. I not only think this beer is good for foliage watching but I feel it equally suitable for drinking while chopping wood with your bare hands. For an additional treat try this beer out of a nitro can.
For those preferring more hop forward flavoring I have chosen Boont Amber Ale. Although this brew is low in bitterness (16 IBU) the hop aroma and flavor perfectly compliments the light maltiness with both citrus and spice notes. Anderson valley has done a great job with an offering that shows great hop character without overdoing bitterness. Here we have an ale that is both caramel in color and aroma pushing the ABV scales at 5.8%. The only feature I didn’t enjoy was the slight residual sweetness gained from the use of several caramel malts.
So when you find yourself sitting in the common room of a Vermont B&B what brew do I recommend to sip and enjoy? You probably knew the answer before you got this far, but the perfect beer for leaf peeping is the “virtual planetoid” from Oskar Blues.
Mike Berube is a beer lover who has the belief that there are good beers, there are bad beers, and then there is the right beer. He has begun a quest to find the perfect for every situation.