As the leaves fall from the trees and the temperature drops (does that actually happen in San Diego?), locals begin pulling out sweaters, boots, and cozying up to darker, fall flavored brews. Some San Diego brewers tip their hats to the genius of German beer, while others pull out the box of spices and autumnal ingredients to get everyone in the mood.
Here are a few of San Diego’s top fall beers to check out this season.
OB Noodle House
Ever heard of a pumpkin sour? Well, you have now. This Cinnamon Pumpkin Sour is aninteresting mix of hearty gourd, spice, and tang is all about fall and can only be tasted at the famous location in Ocean Beach.
2218 Cable St., Ocean Beach, 619.450.6868, obnoodlehouse.com
Thorn Street Brewery
Nothing sets the fall mood like a couple of well-selected German seasonals. The Oktoberfest Marzen (6.6% ABV) is a strong amber brewed with caramel malts and noble hops, and is perfectly easy-drinking on cooler afternoons. A good doppelbock like Chewbocka Doppelbocka (8.1% ABV) embodies autumn with its smooth malty notes alongside comforting coffee and chocolate.
3176 Thorn St., North Park, 619.501.2739, thornstreetbrew.com
South Park Brewing
If German beer drives the fall welcome wagon, then head here for a range of San Diego-brewed homages. Grab friends and set up a German tasting line with the Munderstruck Dortmunder (5.6% ABV), Golden Hill Festbier (5.8% ABV), Blairvarian Hefe (5.25% ABV), and Weizenheimer Weizenbock (7% ABV), all not to be missed this season.
1517 30th St., South Park, 619.610.9038, southparkbrewing.com
Turquoise Barn Cider
Put on the flannels for the Apple Maple Cider (7.3% ABV), a harvest-style drink that brings up visions of orchard pickin’, carnival apples, and fresh baked pie.
955 Maple St., Ramona, turquoisebarncider.com
The grown-up version of Reese’s cups in Halloween trick-or-treat bags, the Peanut Butter Cup Porter (5.6% ABV) is a decadent delight that takes any craft beer drinker back to childhood.
Sorrento Valley: 9675 Scranton Rd., 858.587.2739; La Jolla: 1044 Wall St, La Jolla, 858.551.2739; Bay Ho: 5985 Santa Fe St., 858.273.2739, karlstrauss.com
Aztec Brewing Company
Keeping the day rolling into the night, this Vista brewery keeps the spirits alive with Noche de los Muertos. A rich Russian Imperial Stout, clocking in at 10.2% ABV, shows notes of espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, and roasted malt.
2330 La Mirada Dr., #300, Vista, 760.598.7720, aztecbrewery.com
Pumpkin Down, (5.8%), is based on their Scottish ale Piper Down. This variation utilizes the most popular gourd in the fall along with a soupcon of spice for good measure. Look for notes of toffee, caramel, baking spice, and roasty pumpkin.
2215 India St., Little Italy, 619.255.7213, ballastpoint.com
Green Flash Brewing Co.
It may not have pumpkin or cinnamon, but the annual release of Treasure Chest (5.7% ABV) is a beloved part of the local fall season. An homage to breast cancer survivors, relief, and research, the pink beer brewed with prickly pear, grapefruit, and hibiscus is a tribute to the ladies and unbeatable courage.
6550 Mira Mesa Blvd., Sorrento Valley, 858.622.0085, greenflashbrew.com