Paige Latham Didora
all jack’d up on fall beer
The high today is 69 degrees and I am loving it!
Don’t hate me for saying that…I love summer. I go to the beach several times a week, I love to sail and to kayak, and I look forward to family barbecues and weekend farmer’s market hauls.
But when the high is somewhere between 62 and 73 I find myself breathing a sigh of relief. My windows are open, I sleep better at night, I look forward to turning on the oven, and fall spices and crock-pot meals abound. I’ll miss the beach by Thanksgiving time, but for the next month or so, I couldn’t be happier.
Fall is by far my favorite beer season: porters, spiced ales, barleywines, coffee stouts, harvest ales, yum! Fall is about more than just pumpkin beer (although I am a HUGE fan), and not all of the beer is rich and dark. Oktoberfests dominate the next month or so with accompanying ambers, nut brown ales, porters, fresh-hopped ales, and the occasional biere de miel.
One unique brew that I’ve been drinking over the last few weeks is Third Street Brewing’s Jack’d Up Autumn Ale. Although there is a significant spice component to the taste, it doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie at all. It tastes more like a chili or fall stew. Somehow the taste is quite savory and intriguing.
The malt character is moderate with some bready notes. Spices quickly take over the palate with strong cinnamon and moderate nutmeg and ginger. The finish is slightly bitter and somewhat crisp.
Today I paired Jack’d Up with a new recipe for ham and cheese turnovers and it worked very well. I didn’t (as usual) follow the recipe exactly; I used reduced-fat crescent rolls in place of pizza dough and tried both swiss and cheddar cheese.
Despite the label, Third Street Jack’d Up isn’t a pumpkin beer. And it isn’t an Oktoberfest, either. It is a beer that is reminiscent of fall and has some elements of both. If you can get your hands on this beer, do try it. It will defy some of the typical “spiced ale” cliche.
Stay tuned because over the next week or so I will will be tasting six different domestic Oktoberfests that boast very tight ratings. Find out which to skip and which to scoop up!