There are any number of famous cocktails out there served up for Halloween. There’s your obligatory Blood Mary, Black Cat Martini and Little Devil and any number of Witch’s Punch recipes. But for the sophisticated celebrant of all things dark and evil, there are a few beers that will eclipse those foofy cocktails any day.
One thing to remember is when to start your celebration. Halloween, at last check, was all about chubby kids in pink tights and angel wings walking from house to house yelling, “Trick Or Treat,” at the top of their lungs. That means that beer celebration of all things dark and evil should not begin until after the witching hour, generally 8:30 or 9 p.m., or whenever the little rug rats have ceased ringing your doorbell incessantly. I say this only because it’s awkward to have a very drunk person dressed as Santa Claus hand your children melted Hershey bars at 7 p.m. True story by the way.
The other reason is that all those little ghosts and goblins haunting your neighborhood make for a gauntlet difficult for sober drivers to maintain, let alone inebriated Halloweeners.
But when it comes time to put the severely over-sugared children to bed and break out the adult treats, what’s it going to be.
For me, Halloween has always been about one thing, dark beer. Here in Montana, Halloween often marks the unofficial start of winter, with frigid temperatures and kids stuff with every conceivable warm cloth mom and dad can fit in a $10 Batman suit.
That means that those semi-dark nut browns from fall can officially give way to the big, dark, sinful beers of deep winter.
My three favorites, all available in Missoula, are, in no particular order:
Full Sail Brewing Co.’s Session Black – This recent GABF Gold Medal Winner is the perfect Halloween beer for it’s dark color, easy drinking lager taste and relatively light body. You can enjoy a few of these without turning into a mumbling, incoherent zombie.
Rogue Ale’s Dead Guy Ale – This obligatory Halloween beer even came in glow-in-the-dark bottles for a while. I have two in my garage. One of my favorite Halloween and fall beers, Dead Guy is a Maibock-style beer that is big, but with sweet, caramel flavors and malty undertones. It goes perfect with almost any kind of Halloween candy, with the exception of Sweet & Sours. Trust me on that.
Avery Brewing Co.’s Mephistopheles Stout – Last in the Demons of Ale series by this Denver brewery, Mephistopheles is perhaps the best treat in your bag of goodies on Halloween. Serve it in a goblet and sip it to reveal all the amazing licorice notes that follow the dried fruits and caramelized raisins before dissolving in a heap of hops on a very stout finish. An ode, if there ever was one, to everything dark and evil.