GARFIELD, N.J. — Goodbye summer shandies, hello hearty brews. Fall is officially upon us — and with it, the return of Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers.
But that’s not all autumn has to offer. Fresh hops beer and stouts are also making a seasonal comeback.
Daily Voice checked with local experts to find best brews of autumn.The results:
In Garfield, Three Wise Monks owner Brian Rossi prefers pumpkin and spice for fall. His top picks for the season include Doc’s Pumpkin Cider and Southern Tier "Pumpking" Harvest Fest.
“Both are pumpkin-flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg,” Rossi said. “The spices complement the beverage and taste like pumpkin pie."
Another seasonal favorite is Flying Dog Oktoberfest, a lighter brew that blends nutmeg and cinnamon for a classic autumn taste.
“It’s not too sweet, and not too rich,” Rossi said.
In Elmwood Park, Twisted Elm owner Jim Rogers recommended the Hacker Pscharr Octoberfest, a Marzen-style beer with a 5.8% alcohol concentration.
Other fall brews on tap include Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Spiced Ale, a colonial style ale, and Jersey-based brewery Carton's "Carton of Milk," which Rogers described as lighter and smoother than a traditional stout.
At Jersey Boys Grill in New Milford, Octoberfest is the beer of choice, with three different varieties to choose from: Sam Adams Octoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn and Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Oktoberfest.
When it comes to seasonal drinks, Jersey Boys bartender Michael Roundtree offers an alternative to brews — Ginger Spice: 2 oz. spiced rum with ginger ale.
At The Cottage Ba r in Teaneck, owner Mickey Dawson recommends Sweet Water Brewery’s new EPAs and IPAs, which are making their New Jersey debut this week.
The Northwest Ireland native cut his teeth on spicy lager pale ales, which he said are “huge everywhere in the North.”
But Cottage patron Matt Dickson said won’t be straying from his usual: Guinness.
“Out of all the bars in the area, they pour it pretty much the best here,” Dickson said, noting time and temperature are the key to a good pint.
Elvin Pavlenko, however, is looking forward to a strong IPA for fall: “It’s keeps you nice and warm."
What is your favorite fall drink? Tell us in the comments.