Any time is a great time to be a beer drinker, but fall is especially nice. There are countless beer styles well suited to the warm days and crisp, cool nights of early fall. This includes Oktoberfest-style beers, saisons, pumpkin ales, brown ales, fresh-hop IPAs, and one of the most underrated fall beer styles: amber ales.
American pale ales get a lot of attention thanks to Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, and all the various iterations since, but the amber ale is just as important to the current U.S. craft beer boom. While pale ales are known for their floral, piney, hop-centered flavor (with Cascade at the forefront), amber ales are slightly darker and richer in flavor, making them better suited for fickle fall weather.
Amber ales lean heavily on caramel and crystal malts. The result is a well-balanced, toasted malt-forward beer that’s sweet like toffee. Don’t worry, it’s not cloying. There’s still a hoppy component. Flavors of pine resin, citrus peels, and even spicy, earthy, floral notes can be present depending on the hops used.
Have we whet your appetite for amber ales yet? If so, you’re probably going to want to stock up for the fall days to come. Below you’ll find 10 of our favorites to drink until the winter chill begs you to sip something darker.
10 Best Amber Ales to Drink This Fall
1. Anderson Valley Boont Amber
Brewed since 1987 with a combination of Pale Two-row and Crystal malts as well as Columbus, Bravo, Northern Brewer, and Mt. Hood hops, this award-winning amber ale is known for its herbal, earthy, slightly spicy hop notes paired with toffee, caramel, and gently nutty sweetness. It’s toasty with a slightly bitter finish. This year-round offering is tough to beat.
[$10.99 for a six-pack; avbc.com]