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The Top Five Oktoberfest Beers (That Don’t Feature Pumpkin)


While everyone welcomes the opportunity to sip pumpkin beer out of a cinnamon-sugar-rimmed glass, there is much more in the world of autumnal seasonal beers than whatever pumpkin ale your local bar has on tap. Here are some ways to enjoy seasonal flavor, but avoid pumpkin overkill, at least when it comes to beer. Thanks to Doug Cedrone and Brandon Carroll of craft beer store and taproom Beer Noggin in Bronxville, who have carefully selected their favorite Oktoberfest picks.


Great Divide Hoss

Brewed In: Colorado

ABV: 6.2%

Hoss is based on the German Märzen lagers. It’s rich, with layered malt notes and hints of cherry and dark fruits, with a unique addition of rye grain, which imparts a slightly earthy, spicy character. Crack one open after raking the leaves or getting home from a relaxing Sunday drive.

Shed Mountain Ale

Brewed In: Vermont

ABV: 7.4%

Shed Mountain Ale is an English-style strong ale with a rich amber hue and notes of toasted barley, biscuits, and light caramel. This beer is made for campfires and backyard barbecues.  

Victory Festbier

Brewed In: Pennsylvania

ABV: 5.6%

Victory’s Festbier is a German Märzen (or, Bavarian lager) with a subtle, sweet flavor and delicate hop character. Festbier is exactly what its name implies, a beer to enjoy with friends, family, and maybe a pretzel or two.

Grey Sail Autumn Winds

Brewed In: Rhode Island

ABV: 5.8%

Autumn Winds is a traditional Oktoberfest Märzen lager. It has an amber hue with notes of caramel malts, toast, and biscuit.

Photo provided by The Bruery

The Bruery Autumn Maple

Brewed In: California

ABV: 10%

A different take on a fall seasonal, Autumn Maple is Belgian brown ale brewed with yams, molasses, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup. This beer has a spicy dry finish and loads of flavor.

All five beers are available at Beer Noggin in Bronxville throughout the season. The new craft beer store/bar features about 200 different types of bottled beers and a 12-tap bar though which they rotate customer favorites and their best seasonal drafts. You can build your own six-pack with a selection of your favorite micro-brews to-go, fill a 32 or 64-ounce growler, or stay and enjoy a cold one in the café-like space. They host movie nights on Wednesdays and regularly run specials. Their Oktoberfest event will run from September 19 through October 4, when they will have a limited number of one-liter steins for sale, and a selection of Oktoberfest draft beers on tap, with special pricing when you fill a stein.

Beer Noggin
102 Kraft Ave, Bronxville
(914) 337-7400; www.beernoggin.com


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