As we ever so slowly slip back toward fall weather, beer imbibers start to change their choices in brews styles at restaurants and taverns. When temps start to drift to cooler zones, we think like the wild beasts of long ago preparing for a long cold winter. We tend to eat more hearty foods, enjoy seasonal traditions and partake in the seasonal beers as well. Today we celebrate that turning point and welcome one of the traditions of NH breweries, Woodstock.
Nestled in the quaint town of North Woodstock hides a busy hive of brewers, cooks and help that is the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery. Rich in history, Woodstock Station dates back to the mid 1930s when skiers could take trains to the mountain to ski. The Woodstock Inn would be a popular stop. It wasn’t until 1996 that a 7 barrel brewery began and became a local hangout. Recently expanded in 2012-13 to almost twice its original size, this 30 barrel brewery, function room and eatery beckons folks from all over to stop in and share a pint or two over great food. Find out more about them on www.facebook.com/WoodstockInnBrewery or at their website, www.woodstockinnnh.com
Autumn Ale Brew is one of those seasonals that most of us look forward to. Compared to Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead and Sam Adams Smashed Pumpkin, this is less sweet and more believable as a pumpkin style beer. I believe it tastes better than Dogfish Head’s Pumpkin Ale. And yet it has rich enough flavor to make it enjoyable.
With a gorgeous copper-red color, good clarity and rich and spicy flavor, Autumn Ale becomes a beer worth waiting for during our upcoming fall season. Although not overly bottle conditioned, my experience with this brew has its own character and complexity. Noting immediately a spicy nose in the glass reminiscent of ginger bread and pumpkin pie, this beverage gives you a translucent, medium mouthfeel and stops short of being too much like a dessert beer. Very drinkable at 4.4% ABV, you’ll be going back for more.
In the past, I’ve even experimented with combining the Autumn Ale with a bit of Grand Marnier liquor which imparts an even sweeter side and makes for conversation among friends…
So with the many other offerings from Woodstock Brewery, you may want to give this one a try. You can find it at Case-n-Keg in both Meredith and Laconia, Hannaford stores as well as other fine beer stores. Officially on BeerAdvocate.com, it rated an 82 out of 100 (tagged as ‘Good’) and most have given Autumn Ale 3.5+ to around 4.4 out of 5. Overall, you won’t be disappointed with a crisp Autumn Ale Brew.
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to email@example.com