I know these days the current fad is to highly hop the hell out of any beer you happen to brew. As much as I love hops (and I do), I love malt, too, my friends, so much so, in fact, that I often go hog wild in autumn and stock up on the wonderfully malty beers that go with that season. Case in point: Breckenridge Autumn Ale from the Breckenridge Brewery of Denver, Colorado.
It’s actually early March as I drink my last bottle, and although there is no freshness dating here I picked it up around September, so it’s within a six month window. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time for a beer like this, given of course that you properly store your beer. I’ve actually had the beer fresh on tap at Taco Mac and didn’t notice a huge difference.
Here’s what the brewery says about their Autumn Ale:
Our fall seasonal combines the malty goodness of a German lager with the clean crispness of an American ale. Brewed with Munich malts and a delicate blend of Bavarian hops, it's a full-bodied treat with a nutty-sweet middle, a warming alcohol level and notes of toasted grains. A pre-winter winner.
Malts: Two Row Pale, Munich, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
Hops: Perle, Hallertau
Breckenridge Autumn Ale has a hefty alcohol content of 6.7% ANV with 21 IBUs. It runs around $9.49 a six-pack here in Georgia. Breckenridge is not the only American craft brewery to make such a beer as this, really an amber ale, which combines the malt and hop characters of a lager with the convenience (for the brewery) of an ale. Ales, after all, are easier to make: you don’t need to tie up the conditioning tanks so long cold aging (lagering) them. The resulting ale is often a tad fruiter from the ale yeast, but these beers are uniquely American and often quite tasty their own right.
Breckenridge Autumn Ale pours to a dark mahogany color with a thick and very creamy head formation and rich toasted nuts, fresh malted barley and molasses in the nose. Taking a sip, the beer is chocolaty and toasty nutty at front then hits you with toffee and dark malty molasses notes in the palate. A soft herbal grassy hoppiness balances the beer off but the malt still dominates this one, even more so with a bit of age.
I really enjoy this beer and I’m sad to see my last bottle go. It’s a refreshing malty break from all the hoppy beers on parade today. My parting with Breckenridge Autumn Ale, however, will only be for a short time, as the beer will be back in my beer fridge again next fall.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.