It doesn’t get much better than October. Cooler temperatures perfect for hooded sweatshirts, colorful autumn foliage, hayrack rides, football, peaceful walks along leaf-covered trails and Friday the 13th marathons. It’s a magical month, indeed.
The beer of the month, Best Brown Ale by Bell’s Brewery, evokes everything there is to love about October and autumn. It is a perfect complement for the month and season, a fitting brew to enjoy while sitting around a campfire with friends, or reacquainting yourself with your favorite scary movies.
Serve Best Brown Ale in a favorite pint glass. The beer’s color is cloudy, caramel-brown with a tint of amber. Two fingers of light tan, fluffy head settles slowly to form a thin, even, buttery cap. The aroma is nice and malty, with scents of caramel, toasted malt, toffee, toasted nuts (perhaps walnuts or chestnuts), a touch of cocoa and hints of dark fruit. The flavor mostly mirrors the aroma and also features a pleasant astringency and bitterness. Flavors of caramel, toasted malt, toasted nuts and cocoa are present, as well as an astringent maltiness that is reminiscent of smokiness.
Alcohol content: 5.8 percent ABV.
Food pairings: The Bell’s website suggests pairing Best Brown Ale with “hearty, slow cooked foods such as roast pork, stews, carbonnade, pot roast or grilled steak, white bean cassoulet, smoked sausage or grilled salmon.” Recommended dessert pairings include almond or maple walnut cake, pear fritters or cashew brittle.
Where to buy: Best Brown Ale can be found at most major beer retailers.
Price: $8–9 per six-pack of 12-ounce bottles, $7–8 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans. Best Brown Ale is a seasonal released in September and October, so supplies are limited.
Casey Wagner works and lived in Iowa City. This article originally appeared in Little Village issue 185.