Finally! We don’t have to wear white pants and we can drink all those delicious fall beer styles we’ve missed since last Thanksgiving. That’s right. The weather is perfect for sweaters, Oktoberfest and pumpkin beer, and beer gardens. This week we’ve got you covered as far as where and what to drink. You’re in charge of your sweater.
The Best Beer Garden: Jersey City
Jersey City residents agree: ZeppelinHall Biergarten & Restaurant is their favorite beer garden in town. With 100 beers, can any other spot compete? Not really. The beer menu is expansive and impressive. The best part? Bartender’s Choice tastings allow you to get a taste of four beers from the region of your choice (Belgium, Germany or the U.S.). That’s 20 ounces of regional beer, giving you an idea of how geography influences beer. We recommend going with at least two friends and getting one flight from each so that you can compare across regions. That’s right, it’s not just wine lovers who get to enjoy comparative tastings!
In addition to beer, ZeppelinHall Biergarten & Restaurant - Jersey City’s fav beer garden - offers German food, pretzels, bbq, Bloody Marys and brunch. And, let’s face it, you’ve got to eat when you’re tasting delicious beer.
Beer Styles To Drink This Fall
Move over shandy and wheat beers, it’s time to bring out the fall beer styles we’ve missed so much. Don’t move to the porters and stouts just yet, though. Instead, look for lagers and other malt forward styles, sour beers, pumpkin and Oktoberfest brews to kick off the season. Here’s how to determine which styles you might enjoy.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to get pedantic about top vs. bottom fermentation. We know what you want to know: what can you expect from the taste of a lager. Lagers are generally crisp and clean, less bitter, and have a lower alcohol content. If you aren’t a big fan of bitty beers, lagers are probably more up your alley. Lagers have hops but they express less bitterly than in ales. They are generally smoother in mouthfeel and sweeter than ales. They are often considered more malty.
Sour beers are one of the hottest styles right now and only rising in popularity. While an old style, they are experiencing a Renaissance thanks to outfits like Crooked Stave. Sour beers use wild yeast. After the first fermentation, fruit is added to balance the flavor. The sugars also cause secondary fermentation.
If you’re not sure how you feel about sour, start with a good raspberry lambic. This will get you used to the tart flavors. Gose (pronounced GO-zuh) is another great option. The addition of salt is a fun twist on what we’re used to in beer. From these, you’ll be introduced to a new side of beer. Try Berliner Weisse for a low ABV sour with some familiar flavors.
There are so many pumpkin beers it’s hard to know where to start, but now is the perfect time to start enjoying them. Our best advice: avoid the mass-produced, overly pumpkin-pie spiced versions. Our favorite? Southern Tier Pumpking. But if you can find them don’t miss Paradox Beer Company Pepitas Grande and Elysian Punkaccino. Those two get all the points for being unique. Punkaccino is perfect for the “pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!” friend in your group. It’s okay, we all have one.
Oktoberfest Style Beers
The official style of Oktoberfest is Märzen, a copper or amber lager beer. It is full bodied and a little spicy, perfect for this time of year.
Enjoy Your Fall
Pop into the shop and let us introduce you to the array of fall beers exploring styles and flavors you know and love or, if you’re feeling adventurous, that you’re willing to try. And get over to ZeppelinHall for brunch, lunch, dinner or late night - you won’t regret it!