With autumn’s arrival, it’s time for those funky, fruity summer sours to make some room on the taps for fall beers. And while pumpkin spice is nice and all, Colorado brewers are going beyond the popular fall staple. They’re brewing beers with waffles and maple syrup, reimagining pumpkin beers to give them more pizzazz, and turning one of Denver’s favorite ice cream flavors into a drinkable, boozy treat. Here, seven of the tastiest and most inventive beers to sip this season.
Extra Syrup from Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery
Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery consistently excels in the adventurous beer category, with brews like the Peach Cobbler Sour bridging summer and fall and the Acai Bowl Sour made in collaboration with Goldspot Brewing and Regis University’s brewing program. But Extra Syrup is a super special brunch-inspired beer that took two years to perfect. Jagged Mountain’s “Breakfast in Belgium” is brewed with 200 (!) pounds of real Belgian waffles from Waffle Brothers, plus vanilla and maple syrup.
The breakfast goodies were aged for 21 months in a Stranahan’s Single Malt barrel that had previously aged maple syrup, explains Chad Bratt, a certified cicerone and general manager at Jagged Mountain. “Extra Syrup has huge notes of rich maple syrup, soft oak and vanilla rounding out this 12 percent ale,” he says. Oh, and in return for the maple syrup barrel, Jagged Mountain gave Stranahan’s an empty barrel that had aged its Devil’s Abyss Russian Imperial Stout for the distillery to further age its Single Malt Whiskey in. 1139 20th St.
Barrel Aged Pumpkin Paddy from Launch Pad Brewery
With a rocket-themed taproom and a payload of unique beers on tap, Launch Pad Brewery is a fun place to drink. For those who crave a more complex pumpkin beer, the brewery is preparing to unleash its Barrel Aged Pumpkin Paddy, a concoction made with pumpkin purée, spices, brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup. But what really sets this pumpkin brew apart from generic gourd beers is that it’s been aged in a bourbon barrel from Laws Whiskey House. In addition to the Paddy, Launch Pad has some other beers currently on tap that feel just right for early fall, like the S’mores Soyuz, a Russian imperial stout with marshmallow, cacao and graham cracker, and the Just Read the Instructions, a German Hefeweizen with notes of banana, vanilla, and clove. Release Date: October 9; 884 S. Buckley Rd., Aurora
Little Man Salted Oreo Stout from WeldWerks Brewing
WeldWerks and Little Man Ice Cream—two iconic brands known for killing it with their flavors and gaining loyal fans (you’ve seen the long lines outside the milk jug in LoHi)—have teamed up to create a salted Oreo stout. “People can expect to taste Little Man’s Salted Oreo ice cream, but in beer form,” teases Skip Schwartz, innovation and wood cellar lead at WeldWerks. “It will have a really thick body, with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel.” The hint of salt in this beer will cut down on any perceived sweetness, creating an easy-to-drink stout. To hold you over until this much-anticipated mid-October release, WeldWerks is also treating beer drinkers to a root beer float stout (use the beer finder to track it down). Release Date: mid-October; 508 8th Ave., Greeley
Harvest Moon Pumpkin Spice Chai Brown Ale from Steep Brewing & Coffee Company
Steep isn’t just a craft brewery. It’s also a craft coffee roaster, which means this Keystone outpost regularly churns out flavorful in-house coffee-beer collabs like a coffee cream ale with blueberry and chocolate notes. But this fall the brewery is spicing things up by introducing a Pumpkin Spice Chai Brown Ale, which incorporates Steep’s house-made chai tea spice mix. Could a beer get any cozier? Release Date: late-September; 23110 US Hwy. 6, Keystone
Benny’s E.S.B. from Wynkoop Brewing Company
During the All-Star Game festivities, Wynkoop head brewer Todd Bellmyer met Benny, a neighborhood bulldog who was out for a walk. Executive chef Chris Collins and sous chef Sam Kurz, who were slinging grub from Wynkoop’s outdoor grill, treated Benny (a very good boy) to a hot dog. This has led the pup to pull his owner over for a snack every time he walks by—and inspiring a new Wynkoop brew: Benny’s E.S.B., an English-style Extra Special Bitter. The color will be a deep, rich amber and the beer will be exclusively hopped with English East Kent Golding hops to give it a slightly spicy aroma with touches of honey. Raise a glass to Benny! Release Date: mid-November; 1634 18th St.
Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie from Luki Brewery
Back by popular demand, Luki is getting ready to tap Grammy’s Pumpkin Pie. This fantastic fall beer combines a spice blend from an old family recipe with a light brown ale formula to create a balanced brew that comes topped with whipped cream. Made with a smorgasbord of seasonal classics like roasted butternut squash, brown sugar, and pumpkin purée, these suds will hold you over until pumpkin pies hit the table on Thanksgiving. Release Date: Oct. 1; 14715 W 64th Ave. Units A&B in Arvada
Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Porter from Denver Beer Co.
It’s like a peanut butter cup and s’mores collide in this porter from Denver Beer Co. Coming soon to taps and cans, the Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Porter has biscuit, caramel, and chocolate flavors. The beer builds upon the brewery’s beloved Graham Cracker Porter, which nabbed a gold medal in the “Specialty Beer Category” at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. For more tasty creations that blur the line between beer and dessert, head to Cerveceria Colorado (1635 Platte St.), a sister brewery to Denver Beer Co., where you can sip churro beers, like a Churro Stout, Chocolate Chile Churro Stout and a Tequila Barrel Aged Churro Stout. Release Date: November; find Denver Beer Co. beers in the company’s taprooms at 1695 Platte St., 2425 S. Downing St., and 5768 Olde Wadsworth, as well as other retailers here.