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Boo! Beer for Halloween

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Happy Halloween!

My CBC RadioActive beer column on Friday took a look at what beer might be appropriate to serve on this day of spookiness. You can listen to it here.

I started with the obvious, mentioning beer names and labels that have a spooky association, including a classics such as Rogue Dead Guy Ale (love the beer drinking skeleton), and others like Clown Shoes Undead Ale, Russell’s Black Death and, if you are into French, Le Fin du Monde.

I also considered the value of pumpkin beer. I know this seasonal style has been very popular (although, I think, waning – a topic for another day) for the last few years. It seems to have a natural connection to the trick-or-treat evening. The irony of the whole style is that pumpkin plays almost no role in the flavour, it is all about the pumpkin pie spices. There are many pumpkin ale offerings this year, but I note a couple prairie options, including Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie, Olds College Jack Olds Lantern and Yukon Angry Hessian.

But then things get interesting. I wanted to go past the obvious and offered up the idea that a variety of creative seasonals could work for Halloween. I briefly talk about beer with maple syrup but quickly shift to what I was interested in. The Bruery’s Autumn Maple, which may be one of the scariest beer to come across our path in a while. To use their description it is a “Belgian style brown ale brewed with yams, molasses, maple syrup and spices.” Scary complex.

We tried it on-air and I was impressed at how much the host, Portia Clark, enjoyed it. Myself I was stunned at its ability to be complex and anchored at the same time. A bunch of flavours came through, including molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, earthy yeast notes, clove, nutmeg and other spices. Yet, they melded. It was impressive.

At any rate, listen to the piece to get some ideas for what you can drink tonight as you dole out candy to miniature princesses, goblins, Connor McDavids and (we hope not) Donald Trumps.

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