Crisp air, trees ablaze in color and the crunch of leaves under feet, a glowing firepit — all things we don't get to experience during autumn in South Florida.
There's nothing we can do about the weather, but we can turn to fall flavors to evoke the spirit of the season. There's nothing quite like a pumpkin pie-spiced brew or crisp hard apple cider to make you feel like fall is here, even when you're warming yourself over the hot pavement and not a crackling fire.
Here's a roundup of some of South Florida's highest-rated seasonal beers (and one cider) to make the tropical holiday season feel a tiny bit less tropical.
Beat Culture Brewing Company's El Churro7250 NW 11th St., Miami
El Churro, Beat Culture's cinnamon-infused dulce de leche brown ale, evokes the flavors of fall thanks to the ingredients used in the classic Mexican dessert from which it takes its name. Inspired by churros and the dipping sauces and fillings that often accompany them, the beer is packed with dulce de leche syrup, whole cinnamon sticks, and grains that deliver notes of fried-dough goodness. The presence of cinnamon in your glass evokes fall, even if your environs say otherwise. The beer is available on draft and in four-packs to take home for $18.
3 Sons Brewing's Pumpkin Spice Latte236 N. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach
Pumpkin Spice Latte from 3 Sons, currently available on tap, is an amber-hued ale flavored with pumpkin purée in the mash and traditional pumpkin-pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove) in the boil, and treated with vanilla and freshly roasted coffee for a final touch. It's perfect to pair with any of the pumpkins the brewery will have available for carving on October 21 and again October 26-28. The pre-prepped, gutted pumpkins will sell for $12 each and are accompanied by carving tools, stencils, and a tea light, making it easy to carve your own jack-o'-lantern before entering it in the brewery's jack-o'-lantern contest or taking it home. Decorative pumpkins will also be available for $6. Pumpkins will be judged by 3 Sons staff at the end of the second week; the first-place winner receives a $20 brewery gift certificate.
MIA Brewing Co.'s Bad Eddie's Extra Hard Cider10400 NW 33rd St., Doral
It's not New England apple-picking season for Miamians, but you can pretend it is thanks to MIA Brewing Co.'s cider — a first crack at the fermented fruit beverage for MIA, and a first for a local brewery. Made with the same apple base that goes into the brewery's new HRD WTR and hard seltzer line and ringing in at a whopping 10 percent alcohol by volume, owner Eddie Leon's eponymous Bad Eddie's extra hard cider is an unfiltered offering with a smooth, dry finish that contains a hint of apple sweetness. Bad Eddie's is available on draft in the Doral taproom.
Spanish Marie Brewery's Cotton Candy Caramel Apple Sour14251 SW 120th St., Miami
The third edition of Spanish Marie's nostalgic cotton candy sour beer series, Cotton Candy Caramel Apple sour pours a bright green thanks to the addition of green apple cotton candy floss sugar alongside marshmallow, cinnamon, coconut, and caramel. At 8 percent ABV, it's a favorite alongside the brewery's other fall feature, a 7.2 percent ABV Pumpkin Chai Caramel Pie milkshake IPA. Inspired by everyone's favorite fall flavors, the latter is lactose-infused and conditioned with pumpkin-pie spice, chai, salted caramel, and brown sugar, yielding a creamy, indulgent take on autumn in Miami. Both beers are available on draft and as to-go options in single 16-ounce cans, 16-ounce four-packs, and 32-ounce crowlers (while supplies last).
The Tank Brewing Co.'s Prost and Oktoberfest5100 NW 72nd Ave., Miami
The Tank gets into the holiday feels by brewing up a pair of traditional German beers. Dubbed Prost, the brewery's Bavarian-style festbier offers a light, toasty malt body with a mild herbal and spicy hop character, while its traditional Oktoberfest lager offers hints of fresh-baked bread and honey-toasted nuttiness. Prost and the Oktoberfest are available on draft in the Miami taproom — and served up in a massive one-liter mug for $14 in true German Oktoberfest-style fashion if you're feeling especially festive. They're also available in 16-ounce four-packs for $15 (a six-pack with three of each costs $19) to take home.
Unseen Creatures Brewing's Held in Place4178 SW 74th Ct., Miami
Unseen Creatures new Held In Place dark lager is on tap now. Owner/brewer Marco Vital says it's inspired by Oktoberfest beers but made especially for celebrating fall in Miami. Imbued with loads of nutty roastiness, it's nonetheless a crisp and refreshing beer that's perfect for the Florida heat. Enjoy it at the Miami taproom or take it to-go in 16-ounce-can four-packs for $14 apiece.
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