Much as we’d like to pretend it’s ‘late summer’, nature won’t play along. The leaves are turning brown, we’re being pelted with conkers on the way into work, and the mornings are getting unmistakeably misty.
So, if you can’t defy the coming of autumn, you might as well embrace it.
What does autumnal beer really look and taste like, though? Many brewers seem to do some word association and so you get lots of beers described as nutty, copper, red or fruity, but which are really the same as the spring, summer or winter ales with a bit more crystal malt.
What would a real autumn beer taste like? It’s apple season, of course, but apples in beer don’t really work — that’s why we have cider — but we’ve said a few times that a good, sour Gueuze reminds us of West Country scrumpy, so that’s a possibility.
Even better, though, would be a good, subtly smoked beer. Nothing tells you it’s autumn more clearly than the smell of a bonfire on the air. I wonder if we’ll have to stick to Schlenkerla (not so subtle) or American examples? It would be nice to come across a few more smoked beers from British breweries.