As the leaves change colors, the beers change too. At Baton Rouge breweries, fall beers are starting to make their long-awaited return.
For Joseph Picou, president and co-founder of Southern Craft Brewing Company, fall beers usually mean heavier, darker and more full-bodied brews. Southern Craft’s Tiger Drool, a pale lager made with Southern wheat and malted oats, has just been released with tailgating in mind. And Picou is already looking ahead, focusing on two new fall brews.
One of these is the Oktoberfest beer, a lager containing 6% alcohol. The brew will be released at Southern Craft’s Oktoberfest party Saturday, Sept. 28.
“The hops are not as pronounced in that one,” Picou says. “We use a German noble hop for that type of beer.”
The other brew, with a release date of Oct. 1, is Citeaux, a dark stout based on English-style oatmeal and coffee. The brew’s name comes from Cafeciteaux Coffee Roasters, where the brewery gets its fresh roasts from. With hints of chocolate and toffee, Picou says this brew is even good for breakfast.
Picou says that it’s important to enjoy the fall brews as much as possible, because Louisiana’s climate doesn’t often make drinking heavier beers more enjoyable.
“Our cool months are very few and far between, it’s October to February, and then everything else is just hot, so I tend to enjoy the lighter, fruitier beers just because in this weather it’s going to be more prevalent,” Picou says. “But when the weather is cool, the fall and in the winter, I do like a good oatmeal stout—a good dark beer.”
At Tin Roof Brewing Co., co-founder William McGehee is also coming up with new seasonal brews, but taking the opposite approach.
“A lot of times, when people think fall beers, they think like Oktoberfest or darker beers,” McGehee says. “But where we live, it’s a hundred degrees for the foreseeable future. We think of fall beers as just refreshing tailgate beers.”
Tin Roof’s recently released Halftime Haze, a lighter hazy IPA with a lot of hop aroma. It’s designed not to weigh down the football fan. McGehee says this brew is great for tailgaters because it’s refreshing, and it’s possible to drink several without feeling heavy.
Other new releases for Tin Roof include Double Dry Hopped Voodoo, which will be available this week before the LSU football game against Northwestern State. The brew is a revamped double dry hopped version of Tin Roof’s Voodoo Pale Ale.
The brewery also plans on bringing back a newer version of its discontinued beer, Gameday IPA, which is a lot more fruity and aromatic and includes more hops. In late September, the Tin Roof team plans on releasing a more traditional beer. They’ll focus on the heavier beers in a few months.
“We like doing more porters and stouts, things like that,” McGehee says. “We’re doing a coffee porter, we’re doing an imperial style, things like that. But that won’t be until later November.”
What are some Louisiana-made beers you turn to in the fall months? Let us know in the comments!