I’m quite a fan of The Bruery; the Belgian-flavored California brewery just seems to get things right, and often from unexpected corners. My only complaint is that on most occasions, their beers are only available in enormous bottles. There’s good reason for that – everything they make is bottle-conditioned, and bottling lines are expensive – it’s not surprising that they opt to minimize costs by sticking with a single size. But it can be difficult to find an occasion for 22 oz of a 10% beer; it’s a lot to split between two adults (especially when one of those adults has charitably been called ‘fun-sized’ on more than one occasion). So, it was rather pleasing to find Autumn Maple available by the glass – it was a perfect amount for after-dinner sipping.
The initial impression is one of spices – the aroma is almost closer to mulled cider in some ways, and the allspice is very much in evidence. The many flavors are almost layered; the sweeter vanilla and molasses start things off, but the nutmeg adds a kick to the end. Rather than relying on pumpkin in this fall seasonal, as many breweries do, yams have been employed – many, many yams. But they are never the primary taste – they become more obvious as you go along, but they never overpower things. Cinnamon flits in and out and adds another nice counterpoint to the malty sweetness. For me, the maple was actually one of the more subtle flavors in this beer – but it’s a minor point. All told, it’s an ideal beer for a chilly evening; it would go remarkably well with a bonfire.