As summer ends and the nights get colder, the beers get better. Pumpkin, fresh hop and harvest ales are all about to take over your favorite tap house. Drink, enjoy, trick-or-treat, repeat.
Here’s a list of fall seasonals to grab this fall, according to Tom Gilles, co-owner of The Brew Shop in Bend:
• Elysian’s Night Owl Pumpkin Ale (www.elysianbrewing .com): The co-winner of the people’s choice award at this year’s Bend Brewfest — Boneyard’s RPG IPA was the other — Night Owl is brewed with 150 pounds of pumpkin in each batch. Available all over Bend in 22-ounce bottles.
• Southern Tier’s Pumking (www.stbcbeer.com): An imperial pumpkin ale that checks in at 8.6 percent alcohol, the Pumking boasts hints of vanilla, roasted pecans and pie spices. Think Thanksgiving in a bottle.
• Oakshire’s Big Black Jack (www.oakbrew.com): It’s pumpkin with notes of cocoa. No, there is not a better pumpkin-beer combination on the planet.
• Deschutes Hop Trip pale ale and Chasin’ Freshies fresh hop IPA (www.deschutesbrewery.com): Two beers, both made with fresh hops from the Willamette Valley. Hop Trip combines fall spices with a nice citrus wallop. Chasin’ Freshies is a big Northwest IPA in which hops dominate the palate.
• Silver Moon’s Hoppopotamus fresh hop ale (www.silvermoonbrewing.com): Bend’s third-oldest brewery has gone through a rebranding, but Hoppopotamus is still one of the best fresh hop beers in the region. Made with Oregon Cascade hops, this brew personifies the big, hoppy Northwest IPA as well as any beer.
• Laurelwood Pontificating Pilgrim Harvest Ale (www.laurelwoodbrewpub .com): Wheat, oats, corn, rye and even a little bit of ginger make this a harvest beer you won’t soon forget. Goes well after flag-football games and/or bird hunting.
— Beau Eastes