Autumn Ales and Ciders 2016!

My personal favorite pumpkin beer, Buffalo Bill's

It's a common practice to taste new beers and ciders coming out on the store shelves in the late summer into fall. But, what if you went to a brewery or to a beer or cider event? Well, I'm going to share just some of what is being offered this year - 

Short's Brewing Company
Bellaire, MI

Autumn Ale is an English-style Extra Special Bitter (ESB). It has a medium body, amber colour, and full flavor. This beer exhibits a wonderful balance of malty sweetness and earthy, herbal hop bitterness. Autumn Ale won a silver medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival. 
Short's Pub:  121 N. BRIDGE ST. BELLAIRE, MI 49615.  (231) 498-2300. Pub Hours: 11 am to 12 am every day.  Kitchen hours: 11-10 pm Sun-Thurs; 11-11 Fri-Sat. 

Our fall seasonal combines the malty goodness of a German lager with the clean crispness of an American ale. Brewed with Munich malts and a delicate blend of Bavarian hops, it's a full-bodied treat with a nutty-sweet middle, a warming alcohol level and notes of toasted grains. A pre-winter winner.
Breckenridge Ale House: 2531 North 12th Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501, Phone: 970-242-7ALE.

Portland, Oregon

Boone’s Ferry Autumn Ale Festival

Saturday, November 5, 2016
McMenamins Old Church and Pub
(Wilsonville, Ore.)

Come taste the creativity of McMenamins brewers – past and present – coming together for this third annual brewfest! Sixteen fall seasonals will be pouring; nine beers from McMenamins' breweries and seven beers from McMenamins' alumni brewers, which they've cooked up at the breweries they now call home. Many brewers will be on hand to chat and share their knowledge and insights on their craft-ask about their secret recipes!

Boone's Best will be decided by you, the Boone's Ferry Autumn Ale Fest participants.

I'm a little biased as McMenamins is my favorite brewery in all the universe!  The Kennedy School location in Portland is in a beautifully converted old schoolhouse with rooms for rent for the night and constant events all involving wonderful earth-oriented, socially-conscious, and historic-loving activities. Their locations are in historic buildings converted beautifully and tastefully for the perfect setting of enjoying great food and amazing brews.

August 27 and 28, 2016
17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada MI.
Breweries, bands, food, tons of vendors. Oh, does it get any better??? 

At home: Don't be afraid to use dark autumn ales and hard ciders in cooking. The cider is great for deglazing a pan when making pork and the ales are amazing in chili and stew. Add some black bread and you are set! 

Here's my black bread recipe I make every fall (great warm with cream cheese and perfect for dipping!)

Dark Rye Bread Recipe

Ingredients (Makes 2 Loaves)
· 1 1/3 cups strong brewed coffee (or coffee substitute), just hot to the touch (140 degrees F)
· 4 tablespoons butter, softened (or vegetable oil)
· 1/4 cup dark molasses
· 2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
· 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
· 1 cup whole wheat flour
· 1 cup rye flour
· 2 cups bread flour
· 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
· 2 tablespoons raw oatmeal (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease two loaf pans.
In a small bowl combine the coffee, butter, molasses, dark brown sugar, and yeast. Mix thoroughly and allow to set until bubbly and creamy (a few minutes).
In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the yeast mixture. Knead dough (add more bread flour if necessary) and shape into a ball. Allow to rise covered in a warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch down and divide dough and place each loaf in a bread pan. Allow to rise, again, covered in a warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Once done, brush each loaf with butter and sprinkle oatmeal over the top. Remove from pans and allow to cool at least 45 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or cream cheese.

More info: