2018 Halloween Beers Kickoff the Holiday Seasonals

With Halloween 2018 on the horizon next Wednesday brewers have unleashed some dark and mysterious, candy and cereal-inspired creations for everyone’s favorite excuse to dress up and act silly. Get into the the spirit of all hallow’s eve with these Halloween beers while avoiding trick or treaters and getting white girl wasted or while handing out little diabetes precursors to the neighborhood.

Great Notion: Boo Berry Muffin

Portland’s popular purveyors of hazy IPA and eccentric-themed beers is getting into the Halloween spirit with one of those candy beers they are so good at. This time they have taken their already sought after Blue Berry Muffin beer and added untold boxes of Boo Berry cereal to the mash. This limited release 6% ABV beer was released last Saturday in cans at their NW brewpub. Good luck tracking more down!

Baerlic Brewing: Night Howler Imperial Stout

Award-winning southeast Portland brewers Baerlic Brewing is getting dark, like all goth and stuff with their new Night Howler Imperial Stout which seems to have some relation to their draft-only Father Midnight Stout. Arriving just in time for Halloween, I am not sure if it will warm your bones or shake them with it’s spooky howl of soft carbonation and dark black evil soul. Night Howler Imperial Stout is 10% ABV and available for a limited time in 16oz cans.

New Holland Brewing: Banana Coconut Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout

This Michigan-based brewery is known for their luscious, smooth Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout and the brewery has put out some wonderful variants on it. New Holland Brewing has just released a really unique variant in the Banana Coconut version now and available in 12oz bottles. OK, ok technically this isn’t a halloween beer but with the dark depiction of a dragon, the dessert/candy-like flavor theme and limited nature of this recent release all add up to warranting inclusion. Banana Coconut Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout was just released in November and is brewed with real banana, plantain and coconut wrapped inside a base of creamy, rich bourbon barrel-aged stout. 11% alcohol, 30IBU.

Coney Island Brewing: Count Flocula

I’m not sure if the Germans make their Kolsch with children’s halloween cereal but I will go with it. Count Flocula is the New York-based Coney Island Brewing’s beer made in honor of Freak Week 2018 with an absurd amount of chocolate milk (lactose and cocoa nibs) and fluffy marshmallow creme. Available in 16oz cans and at only 5.5% abv you could pour it over your breakfast cereal for a double dose of childhood nostalgia for all hallows eve.

Block 15 Brewing: Story of the Ghost

This haunted Pale Ale from Corvallis’s Block 15 Brewing is best consumed under the milky light of a full moon. Crafted in a brewery constructed on top of an ancient Indian burial ground with a recipe that includes extra pale malt, flaked wheat, and oats in the grist to produce a smooth, silky body. Assertive late-addition hopping imparts tropical, citrus, and piney hop notes and a haunting amount of hop flavors and alcohol at 8.75% ABV. Available for a limited time in 16oz cans for $4.

Stormbreaker Brewing: Pumpkin Pedaler

Riding into North Portland on a towering black fixie and a head full of fiery squash, Stormbreaker Brewing’s Pumpkin Pedaler is a scary good rendition of pumpkin ale for those who are cautious around jack o’ lanterns. Yes this autumn ale does have notes of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg underneath the thick depths of a creamy white head that definitely won’t smash you in the face with a flaming pumpkin. Bright, seasonally appropriate with just a hint of sweetness, you won’t see this nutty orange brew coming. Pumpkin Pedaler is 7.3% ABV and 13 IBU’s, available now on draft and in 22oz bottles.

Lompoc Brewing: Monster Mash

How could any list of Halloween themed beers not include a beer named after the classic holiday song of the same name by Bobby Pickett? Lompoc Brewing is the 22-year-old Portland brewery who just picked up a GABF gold medal for their Lomporter so you know these guys are going to do great on an Imperial Porter like this one. Brewers built their own monster mash of chocolate and kilned coffee malts with a pinch of rauch malt for complexity. The notes of dark chocolate and coffee coming out of this dark cauldron in a glass that was released just earlier this October. Monster Mash is 8.1% ABV and available on draft and in 22oz bottles.

Wayfinder Beer: Terrifico Horror Pils

The only light beer on the list for a dark Halloween eve is Wayfinder Beer’s Terrifico Horror Pils, one of a new wave of Italian-style Pilsners. The name, beer and style are inspired by Italian culture and the label and name by the influential Italian Horror cinema that predates the American Universal Monster movies of the 20’s. Italian horror is known for it’s disturbing and surreal themes with surreal visuals and themes, they even invented the found footage film and continue to inspire film today. While the same cannot be said for Italian beers, the new dry-hopped and extremely dry style of Pilsners being pioneered there are starting to inspire local brewers and Wayfinder is amongst the first in Oregon to jump onboard. Terrifico Horror Pils is now available for a limited time in 16oz cans and on draft.

Oakshire Brewing: Big Black Jack

Though I am not much of a pumpkin ale fan, Oakshire Brewing’s Big Black Jack is amongst the best and is transcendent of the oft overly spiced and sweet seasonal pumpkin beers. Big Black Jack is an Imperial Porter, 7.5% ABV and brewed with cocoa and real pumpkins. The dark chocolatey depths of Big Black Jack come to the forefront with pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice and ginger creating a pie crust complexity that add depth but dont overwhelm the flavor. Big Black Jack is available now on draft and in 22oz bottles.

Hopworks: Great Gourds of Fire

For the last few years the Hopworks brew team has dusted off their spice racks for a pumpkin beer that eschews the typical Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and goes all Mole on us. Great Gourds of Fire is made with pit roasted local pumpkins from Bella Organic Farm but the brewers bring the heat with additions of  cinnamon, dried ancho chili pepper, cocoa nibs, molasses, cardamom, vanilla and a whole lot of overage trick-or-treaters. 8.6% ABV and available in very limited 22oz bottles and on draft.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com