The ghouls and ghosts are taking to the streets for some mayhem on Halloween, and that’s all the more reason to barricade yourself in the comfort of your home with a few holiday-appropriate craft beers.
Looking for some hops to help you through an evening of passing out candy? Try this fresh-hopped IPA from Oregon’s Double Mountain Brewery. The bitter, herbaceous punch of the hops is nicely balanced by a slightly sweet finish.
Evil Dead Red
The Halloween seasonal brew from San Diego’s AleSmith Brewery is available in bottles for the first time this year, and it makes the perfect accompaniment to a splatter-flick marathon. A hoppy amber ale, the veteran brewers at AleSmith find a fine balance between pungent hop aroma and toasty, caramel-sweet malts; reach for this if you’ve got any caramel apples lying around.
Named for the industrial neighborhood where El Segundo Brewing Co. is located, and with an image of Ichabod Crane's cranium-challenged nemesis, Smoky Hollow is a rich and dark scotch ale with a peaty, smoky malt character that lingers on your tongue. A good option if you’re not yet a hop-head, scotch ales are prized for being sweet and smooth, and Smoky Hollow is a natural match for any fresh meat off the grill (but especially sausages).
How about something lighter? From San Diego's masters of Belgian-style brews The Lost Abbey, Witches Wit is a refreshing wheat beer delicately spiced with grapefruit zest, orange peel and coriander. Wit beers are easy drinking, and favorites among drinkers still developing a taste for craft beer, and they are a pairing go-to if sea creatures are on your Halloween menu.
Of course, the ever-popular pumpkin brews are natural matches for Halloween, and you have more options than ever when picking a gourdy beer. Gourdgeous from Hangar 24’s Local Fields series is a potent imperial porter that boasts an 8.5% alcohol and backs up the locally sourced pumpkins with rich chocolate malts and a lighter touch with the spices than many other pumpkin beers. But, if you’re looking for a beer that’s more like "pumpkin pie in a glass," try the popular Shipyard Pumpkinhead.
All of the above beers besides Shipyard Pumpkinhead are available in single-serving bottles from better beer stores around town. Pumpkinhead is available in six-packs, and you may even find that at the chain supermarkets.