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).
Guten tag, autumn! We'll start with perhaps Cleveland's most well-known brewery. Even though Great Lakes is nationally known for its Christmas Ale, many Clevelanders will say this toffee-flavored beauty is the tastiest beer they make. Pairs well with a plate of German food and college football.
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 Street. It pairs well with the restaurant's Pork Schnitzel Sandwich and makes raking leaves close to tolerable. Close.
Platform has quickly risen to the top of the Cleveland beer world thanks to their innovative takes on classic recipes. Their 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.
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. Pro tip: This brew pairs well with a big plate of turkey and a couch.
A fine companion to a crackling fire, toasted marshmallows and ghost stories, Masthead’s cinnamon- and nutmeg-laced pumpkin brew perfectly captures the spirit of fall. (And it’s likely to disappear, like a phantom, from your glass.)
Saucy Brew Works: Boo Thang
You can’t say fall in CLE without sprinkling in some spooky. The Ohio City brewery and brewpub brings us Boo Thang imperial pumpkin ale. Brewed with pumpkin purée and spices, you’ll recognize the hints of caramel with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.