My Kind of Beer With Chris Goddard
AUTUMN PATIO SEASON?
The other night my wife and I were sitting out on the back deck with a couple of friends enjoying yet another night of glorious warm weather along with some of our favourite patio beers when the topic of weather came up. Apparently there is talk that this beautiful summer will transition into an early — potentially snowy — autumn. Being a good lad from southwestern Ontario I immediately got up, went to my garage and grabbed my dog-eared copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac (Canadian Edition) off the wall and brought it out to “set the record straight.” There, in amongst the titillating articles on animal husbandry and an article on 76 Beavers that the Fish and Game department parachuted into some “beautiful Idaho wilderness” is what we were all looking for — the panacea of weather prognostication.
So will there or won’t there be patio beers in autumn this year? Let me break down every week for you and the beers you need to drink during them.
“A FEW SHOWERS, COOL” | October 1st–6th
Not terribly promising but also not bad for this time of year. Being that this week covers off the last big gasp of Oktoberfest it’s only fitting that we sneak in the Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier in here. Some beers of this season start to turn dark and brooding but the Oktoberfest stays light and pale with plenty of citrus notes to quench your thirst. One warning though, it does up-the-ante with a 6.3% ABV so this beer still has some bite.
“SEVERAL SHOWERS, WARM” | October 7th–19th
This block of time is a bit of a tease — warmer than seasonal but with a bunch of showers that don’t really lend themselves to patio beers. Or do they? Great Lakes Brewing’s Saison DuPump welcomes the pumpkin beer season with a fairly refreshing twist. Brighter than your regular pumpkin ale with some extra carbonation zip that takes the spices to the next level.
“SUNNY, WARM” | October 20th–24th
Perhaps we are going to get a few days of rays and patio beers in before November? Spoiler alert: this is it folks. Let’s embrace these last few days with something that doesn’t make life complicated: Thornbury’s Pickup Truck Pilsner. This Czech-styled pils has just a little bit more maltiness and a little bit more hoppiness but holds onto its thirst-quenching properties. Good for whatever the weather may be but especially good on an October patio day.
“SHOWERS, THEN FLURRIES, TURNING COLD” | October 25th–31st
The dream is over people. I won’t even go into what happens next but let’s just say things start to get a little more seasonal and a little less Florida. I have recommended this beer before but gosh darn it I’m going to do it again — Ilkley Brewing’s The Mayan Chocolate Chipotle Stout. The ancient Mayan’s predictions predated the Farmer’s Almanac but the one thing you can count on is their stout. Excellent in all the right places with just enough of everything and not too much of anything. My description might be as vague as The Almanac but take my word for it: get it before it’s gone (and gone it will be very quickly).
DID YOU KNOW : The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a “Snowflake Guide” that outlines the 35 most common shapes of snowflakes? It’s worth the purchase just for that.