PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- We've done quite a bit of beer sampling this season, but we feel we may have left you with the impression all fall beers taste either like pumpkin pie or a fistful of harvest hops.That couldn't be further from the truth.
Bloomfield, Conn. Northeast breweries can become a bit of an afterthought in the summer and winter months, but fall is when this region comes through as beautifully as its foliage. Much like a Samuel Adams (SAM) Octoberfest, Hooker's Octoberfest uses a little bit of creative license with the Oktoberfest lager style. It's not cooled in caves, it's not being downed to clear out the summer stock. It's just loaded with toasted malt, blessed with a saccharine-sweet maple aroma and teeming with subtle caramel flavor. It's a mild, malty way of welcoming a season stuffed with beers of this sort, but Hooker has perhaps the best handle on this distinctly New England Octoberfest take. Harvest
Long Trail Brewing
Bridgewater Corners, Vt. The word "harvest" is a bit tricky in beer parlance. For some brewers, it's connected to the hop harvest and is a signal that a hoppy, citrusy brew awaits. Long Trail goes the other way on that and applies its Harvest tag to a mild, malty brown ale. It flows over a drinker's palate with hints of brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and roasted nuts and, at 3.6% ABV, is just mild enough to warrant more than one by the fire on a crisp Vermont evening.