Falls Beers Are Brewing

For more than 200 years, millions gather for Germany’s Oktoberfest every Autumn. As the world’s largest fair, it’s lead to the popularity of Oktoberfest beers all over the globe, including here in Naperville.

To prepare for a surge in sales, farmers are busy harvesting their hops, which give fall beers their added flavor. Meanwhile in nearby Warrenville, co-owner of Two Brothers Brewing Company Jason Ebel is working around the clock to meet the high demand.

“People are kind of retreating back – they want to sit around the fire, getting with their family again,” said Ebel. “They’re thinking about bigger beers that are more comfortable and so craft beers increase in sales this time of year.”

Two Brothers call their seasonal brew Heavy Handed India Pale Ale, a drink that celebrates the annual fall harvest of hops.

“Out in Washington state, they grow a lot of Hops and they pick them off the vine and Fed-Ex them to us overnight,” said Ebel. “We put them in the beer in under 18 hours off the vine, which creates a very unique fall offering.

The finished product is a darker, malt beverage that has a citrusy aroma and great fruit flavor.

“This one kind of goes down easy, got good flavor,” said St. Charles resident Paul Rossman.

Meanwhile liquor stores around town are stocking their shelves with a variety of European and domestic fall ales and lagers, like Bell’s Oktoberfest.

“The body’s not too heavy like a stout where it’s noticeably heavy on the tongue but the flavors are more rich and intense than they would be in a summer ale,” said Justin Carroll, Manager at Peterson’s Spirits and Wine.

Another top seller is hex #9, by Magic Hat Brewing Company.

They do a really nice job of adding essential oils as opposed to an outright flavor so you get kind of a mélange of flavors without getting a very heavy-duty sugary addition to your beer,” said Carroll.

Or if you’re hungering for some pumpkin, there’s plenty of pumpkin-flavored ales available. Other top drinks this time of year include Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest, New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale, and Coney Island Freaktoberfest.

Local residents share their favorite drinks of the season.

“Well I’ve only experimented with a few of them but I’d say out of all of them, Sam Adams Oktoberfest,” said Tim Valdez, a Cicero resident.

“I would say it’s Bells Oberon. I just like the smooth taste,” said Chicago resident Tea Gasparovich.

No matter what taste, there’s a fall brew for all beer lovers.

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