You may be too old to beg your neighbors for candy, but once you're an adult, Halloween offers plenty of other seasonal treats to look forward to. This includes a whole bunch of limited-run beers with scary label art and spine-tingling (and tongue-tingling) flavors. Here are seven appropriately themed beers to stock your Halloween party with.
1. LITTLE HORROR OF HOPS // SHIPYARD BREWING
True to its name, Shipyard’s rye IPA packs a fiercely hoppy punch. The horror part comes in when you look closely at the label, which depicts a terrifyingly toothy hop-monster dripping blood. It’s only available between September and November, so get it while you can.
2. BRAAAIINS! PUMPKIN ALE FOR ZOMBIES // SPRING HOUSE BREWING
Spring House’s brews aren’t available many places outside the Pennsylvania region, but if you find yourself in Lancaster this fall, head to one of their brewpubs to get a pint of their Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale for Zombies. The brewery blends real pumpkin into the mash and adds a few autumn spices, making it the perfect boozy, bubbly pumpkin spice experience you and your undead friends have been looking for.
3. NOSFERATU IMPERIAL RED ALE // GREAT LAKES BREWING
This hair-raising hoppy ale is named after the titular character in the 1922 German vampire film, a brazen rip-off of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Stoker thought “Nosferatu” meant “vampire” in Romanian, and used the term as a synonym in his book, but it may actually be a mistranslation of a Romanian word for “unbearable” or “horrid,” nesuferit. Great Lakes’ vampiric brew has an 8 percent ABV, so watch that you don’t let it make you into the monster.
4. DEAD GUY ALE // ROGUE BREWING
German-style Maibock ale is available year-round, but during the fall, it really plays up its eerie name, because in honor of Halloween, the bottles glow in the dark. Inside, you’ll find the same malty, caramel ale as always. But you’ll feel really, really cool toasting with it in a dim room.
5. MEPHISTOPHELES // AVERY BREWING
Boulder, Colorado’s Avery Brewing takes its demonic ales very seriously. In fact, the brewery has a whole line of them. The Mephistopheles stout, named after the Faustian evil spirit, is “a tangled and intricate labyrinth of bittersweet rapture,” according to the brewery. If that sounds a little too terrifying, you can also get your fall kicks with their Pump[KY]n porter, which is aged in bourbon barrels for that little extra something.
6. FREAKTOBERFEST // CONEY ISLAND BREWING
take on the ubiquitous pumpkin beer has an unexpected twist: coffee. It’s brewed with beans from Brooklyn’s Cafe Grumpy, creating a pumpkin ale with the slightest hint of chocolatey espresso. It smells like a coffeeshop, but it tastes like you’re enjoying a really great piece of pie with your cup of joe. If that doesn't sound scary enough for Halloween, just check out the crazed eyes of the carny on the label.
7. DEATH HOPPY BLACK ALE // SHMALTZ BREWING
Despite the Day-of-the-Dead-inspired branding, the upstate New York brewery Shmaltz says its Death Hoppy Black Ale is actually a nod to Jewish mourning traditions. Seven kinds of hops, seven kinds of malts, and the 7 percent ABV are a nod to the seven days of sitting shiva. But hopefully the only thing you’ll be mourning is running out of beer.
All images courtesy their respective breweries unless otherwise indicated
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