Much like the temperature, the leaves, and the broadcast TV lineup, fall marks a change in beer, as breweries shift from light summer sippers to offerings that are more dark, bold, and, to celebrate a certain festival in October, “German-y” . Whether you’re a fan of sours, saisons, or marzens, you’ll definitely want to toast these local Autumn offerings. Prost!

(credit: Ladyface Ale Companie)

Ladyface ® Weizenbock
Ladyface Ale Companie
29281 Agoura Rd.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 477-4566

The only thing wrong with this always anticipated seasonal offering from Ladyface is that it’s not available year-round. Ladyface’s weizenbock manages to capture the classic banana and clove notes of a traditional heffe and marries them with strong hints of dark fruits and spices. Approaching 9% ABV, this unfiltered beauty certainly does not hold back.

(credit: Vanessa Y./yelp)

Nandobrau Dark
Eagle Rock Brewery
3056 Roswell St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 257-7866

Released in conjunction with their annual Oktoberfest celebration, Eagle Rock Brewery’s latest entry in their Nandobrau series is a sessionable yet immensely satisfying Munich-style dunkle. Nandobrau Dark offers the perfect balance of light, bready notes imparted by its malt bill along with a slight bitterness courtesy of a Hallertau Mittlefruh and Czech Saaz hop combo. At only 4.4% ABV, you don’t have to feel guilty about filling up an extra-large stein with this refreshing brew.

(credit: Nick Gingold)

Opal Series: Fall Saison
Firestone Walker – The Propogator
3205 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90292
(310) 439-8264

It took long enough, but the brewing operation at Firestone’s Venice location, a.k.a. The Propogator, is finally in full swing. If you were fortunate enough to try the Propogator’s oh-so-refreshing summer saison, then you know the fall variation of their Opal series will definitely be worth seeking out. The addition of malts gives the saison a bolder edge, providing notes of clove and caramel along with reddish orange appearance reminiscent of the changing leaves. Essentially, this is autumn in a glass.

(credit: Phantom Carriage)

Phantom Carriage
18525 S. Main St.
Carson, CA 90248
(310) 538-5834

Thankfully, the horror-obsessed team at Carson-based brewery Phantom Carriage have chosen to honor the guy who immortalized Dracula on the silver screen with a beer that most certainly does not suck. This limited release sour quad (only 1000 hand-waxed 500 mL bottles will be available), brewed with the support and collaboration of the Bela Lugosi family, is quite the beast, coming in at 12.2% ABV. Aged in Zaca Mesa syrah barrels, Lugosi is a dark and complex thriller, the perfect bottle to crack open on Halloween.

(credit: Smog City Brewing)

Smog City Brewing
1901 Del Amo Blvd. #B
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 320-7664

Smog City has finally offered its take on a German festbier and it was definitely worth the wait. This golden amber marzen goes down easy – think a liquid biscuit with a touch of hops and medium carbonation. Basically, this Oktoberfest can be enjoyed any month of the year. Fill up a growler, pick up some sausages for the grill and bring the party to your backyard.

(credit: Beachwood Brewing & BBQ)

Beachwood Brewing & BBQ
210 E. 3rd St.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-4020

Once again, Beachwood will be unleashing this big, boozy, beauty that you probably don’t want to polish off in one sitting. Sadie’s base is a dark ale brewed specifically to be barrel-aged. After a full year in bourbon barrels, the beer transforms into something wonderful and complex with notes of toffee, oak, and raisin. Do yourself a favor and a buy couple of bottles to age and follow how its flavors develop.

Article by David Klein.

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