The best pairing: Fall and Beer
Oktoberfest, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, oh my!
By Adam Sockel, Image by Cody York
Call me basic or call me a nostalgic Cleveland homer, but for my money there is no greater place on Earth than Northeast Ohio in autumn. We've got fall foliage for days, endless pumpkin patches and orchards full of apples just waiting to be put into pies, ciders and fritters. Cleveland also happens to be one of the best beer cities in the country, and in the fall we've got a bountiful harvest--nay, a cornucopia--of amazing ways to toast the best time of year (I will not apologize for this sentence).
Oktoberfest Great Lakes Brewing Company
Guten tag, autumn! We'll start with perhaps Cleveland's most well-known brewery. They're popular for their Christmas Ale, but for my money this toffee-flavored beauty is the best beer they make. Pairs well with a plate of German food and college football.
Location: 2516 Market Avenue Cleveland, OH 44113
Available: August-early October
Barktoberfest Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Get it? Because it's pup-themed! All puns aside, Thirsty Dog is one of the best breweries in Northeast Ohio (and that's saying something). This traditional old world German Oktoberfest is a classic staple in our fridge. Pairs well with warm bowls of chili and autumnal porch decorations.
Location: 529 Grant Street Akron, OH 44311
Available: August through October
Yammy Yammy Platform Brewery
Platform has been around for just over two years, and they're already rising to the top of the Cleveland beer world thanks to their innovative takes on classic recipes--and Yammy Yammy is a perfect example. While everyone else is making pumpkin ales, Platform zagged and made their fall beer with roasted sweet potatoes and cinnamon. Game, set, match. Pairs well with stuffing, gourds and the scarecrow in your yard.
Location: 4125 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113
Available: September through November
Old Zahm Oktoberfest Market Garden Brewery & Distillery
Old Zahm is another great take on the classic Oktoberfest recipe. It's bursting with toasted malty flavor that's perfect for early evenings on West 25th St. Pairs well with pumpkin pie and leaves rustling in the wind.
Location: 1947 W. 25th Cleveland, OH 44113
Available: Oktoberfest (Sept. 5)-until it runs out
Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale Fat Head's Brewery
We couldn't make a list of seasonal beers and not mention a pumpkin ale, so here is the best one you'll find around. Spooky Tooth is pumpkin pie in a glass, without the mess. Rich and creamy with notes of brown sugar, this beer will warm you inside and out with its 9% ABV. Pairs well with a big plate of turkey and a couch, because that 9% brings on the sleepies…
Location: 24581 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted, OH 44070
Available: Late August-early November