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Dave Patterson

Dave Patterson is a writer and musician who is thirsty for craft beer. He's been immersed in the New England beer scene for years as a patron and since 2013 as a beer writer. In his attempt to drink all the great beer America has to offer, Dave has become convinced that the Maine beer scene is among the best in the country. He can be spotted throughout the state at breweries, bars, and backyards imbibing brilliant Maine beers. It is his belief that craft beer plays an integral role in bolstering a vibrant local economy, so he urges you do your part by drinking local beer to support your community. Twitter: @PattersonWriter​

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Posted: September 29, 2015

4 Maine fall beers that pair perfectly with autumn: Hop Harvest, D’Automne, Burnside & Red Wheelbarrow

Written by: Dave Patterson
From left: Peak Organic Hop Harvest Oktoberfest,

From left: Peak Organic’s Hop Harvest Oktoberfest (Dave Patterson photo), Rising Tide’s D’Automne (Dave Patterson photo), Foundation’s Burnside (courtesy photo) and Maine Beer Company’s Red Wheelbarrow (Dave Patterson photo).

I love fall. Bonfires on crisp nights. Heavy flannel shirts. Snapping apples off the boughs of apple trees. Oven-fresh cider donuts. The reds and yellow hues of turning leaves. And complex malty fall beers from Maine brewers.

In this fall beer review, I highlight Maine beers that pair perfectly with cold air and fleece-lined sweatshirts. Many fall beers have been on the shelves since August, but my palate isn’t drawn to malty fall brews until the mercury drops.

Here are four that have found that Zen balance of big malty taste while still remaining drinkable.


Brown ales are a great fall beer choice, and Burnside might be the best brown in Maine. Burnside pours with a thick head that laces down the glass as you drink. It has all the rich flavors indicative of a great brown ale: hints of chocolate, coffee, roasted grains and sweet malts. The finish is smooth with clean notes from their house British ale yeast. At 5.1 percent alcohol by volume this beer is malty without kicking you in the teeth.

Burnside Brown Ale from Foundation Brewing Company
: Brown Ale
TASTING NOTES: Coffee, roasted grains and sweet malts
ABV: 5.1 percent
AVAILABILITY: Limited can releases and in growlers at the Portland brewery


Peak Organic’s take on an Oktoberfest is a traditional amber lager hopped with American style hops available during this fall’s hop harvest. Peak Organic’s Oktoberfest has a pleasing aromatic interplay between the amber lager malts and the citrus hops. The initial flavors are caramel and biscuits from the malts. Then come the subtle grass and grapefruit flavors of the hops. Oktoberfest has a clean finish, a result of lager yeast and low alcohol content. This is a nice American twist on a traditional fall beer.

Hop Harvest Oktoberfest from Peak Organic Brewing Company
: Oktoberfest Amber Lager
TASTING NOTES: Caramel and biscuits alongside citrus hop flavor
ABV: 4.9 percent
AVAILABILITY: Sold in six-packs in most stores


Red Wheelbarrow is one of the most malt-forward ales from Maine Beer Company whose award-winning ales and IPA’s are usually hop-forward. This red ale pours a copper color with a head of tiny bubbles. The aroma is a balance of candy malts and citrus hops, while the flavor is a mix of raisins, figs, brown sugar and a hint of pine. The finish hits you with the citrus and piney hops. So much depends on a red ale brewed well in the fall.

Red Wheelbarrow Red Ale from Maine Beer Company
: Red Ale
TASTING NOTES: Candy malts, raisins, brown sugar, citrus fruits and pine
ABV: 7 percent
AVAILABILITY: Sold in 16.9-ounce bottles at most beverage stores and at the brewery in Freeport


This fall saison from Rising Tide is a seductive labyrinth of complex flavors. D’Automne pours dark gold with a thick foamy head. When you stick your nose into the glass, the symphony of this beer begins. The aroma has notes of lime rind, pepper, pear, grass and bread, all with an undercurrent of subtle barnyard funk from the saison yeast. D’Automne has a substantial malt heft from the use of oats in the brewing process. Rising Tide uses a blend of saison and American ale yeast strains here, keeping the finish from being too big on the saison funk. By far the most daring beer on this list.

D’Automne Saison from Rising Tide Brewing Company
: Saison-style Ale
TASTING NOTES: Complex notes of lime rind, pepper, pear, grass and barnyard funk
ABV: 7.5 percent
AVAILABILITY: Sold in 12-ounce bottles at most beverage stores and at the brewery in Portland
These beers will have you covered this fall as you put up storm windows and stack wood for the winter. Cheers to crisp nights and another great autumn in Maine.


Oktoberfest at The Thirsty Pig
12 to 7 p.m. Saturday, 37 Exchange St., Portland.
The Thirsty Pig is the perfect place to celebrate Oktoberfest. They have an unceasing dedication to pouring great Maine beers, and they make kicking sausages in house. This Oktoberfest celebration will feature beer from Rising Tide Brewing Company and the German brewery Paulaner Brewing. Expect stein hoisting and brat eating competitions along with music from Los Blancos.

Funky Bow Trail Hop
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Ledgewood Lane, Lyman. $30 in advance, $35 day of.
Here’s a great way to marry your desire to stay fit and enjoy great craft beer. This 5K race will take place on the farmland where Funky Bow Brewery is located. If you’ve ever been to a growler night at Funky Bow, then you know that you can expect great music, ambience and beer at the after-party when the race is complete. Registration fee includes race admission, a Funky Bow pint glass and one Funky Bow beer.

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