19 November 2011

Monthly Top Five - November

Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Fall Beer

Though we are less than a week away from the biggest holiday shopping day of the year, it is still fall, and there is still plenty of time to enjoy some fall beer. Seasonal beers are always interesting, but there is something special about the fall varieties that stand out. Last year's Fall Beer Tasting was a blast, and while 2011 boasts no official tasting, we here at the What have still done our civic duty by going out and enjoying beer.

5. Saint Benjamin Evening Wheat Dunkelweiss - So maybe a dunkelweiss is not technically a Fall beer, but this brew's overwhelming popularity at the Elfreth's Alley Museum's Brew Fest was undeniable. This up and coming Philadelphia brewery has been making a name for itself by providing exceptional, full-flavored beers like this one at a number of events around the City of Brotherly Love. Saint Benjamin will return to Elfreth's Alley for Deck the Alley with a colonial-style porter, so be sure to check them out!

4. Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Märzen - Sometimes it is easy to get confused by brewery names that are similar like Flying Dog, Flying Fish, and Dogfish Head. Luckily, all three are known for their quality brews. Dogtoberfest is no exception. Nor is Flying Fish's Oktoberfish, for that matter. Admittedly, as you will see after the jump, I was focused on pumpkin beers this year and did not devote enough time to Oktoberfests, but you can rarely go wrong with Flying Dog.

Ah, beer. What could be better?
I know! Wafers AND beer!
3. Buffalo Bill's American Original Pumpkin Ale - The popularity of the pumpkin ales was evident this fall. I was scarcely able to get my hands on my top two pumpkin beers, but Buffalo Bill came to the rescue with this delicious option. With good pumpkin flavor and no over-spicing, this American Original was an acceptable substitute for the offerings listed below. Drinking from the orange-capped, fat little bottles brought to mind snacking on spiced wafers. This pumpkin ale makes me look forward to other brews from Buffalo Bill.

2. Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale - Ah, Brooklyn. You have so much going for you.
Like a cool bridge.
And this handy shop.
Bridges and superheroes aside, Brooklyn is home to a phenomenal brewery. While a fan of almost all of the Brooklyn Brewery's outputs, one brew stands above the rest, and that is the Post Road Pumpkin Ale. The aroma, spice, and overall experience of Post Road is an example of one of the best uses of pumpkin, perhaps behind only Jack-O-Lanterns, the Headless Horsemen, Punkin-Chunkin' and...

I like my pumpkin beers the way I like my Wonkas: Wilder.
1. Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale - Dogfish Head is a brewery in Delaware that is essentially the Willy Wonka of beer. And they have Oompa-Loompaed perhaps one of the tastiest beers ever. Punkin' Ale goes down smooth with a subtle hint of almost every fall flavor you could ask for. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, allspice, and oh, right, pumpkin. Consistently rated high by experts and drunkards alike, this beer is an absolute treat to look forward to each Autumn. Just be sure to stock up in September, as I was only able to score one of these delightful brews this year. Now we finally know who Billy Squier was singing about when he said that "everybody wants you."

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