Top 10 Beers to Drink on Halloween

Other than eating half of it, what are you planning on doing while handing out Halloween candy? Hopefully you’re planning on scaring the crap out of kids. Or maybe popping in your favorite scary movie. Regardless, why not do that while drinking a seasonal brew?

I’ve sampled each of the beers listed (and then some) to create a lineup of the top ten beers to drink on Halloween. Rather than ranking them, I put them into my own categories in order for you to determine which would be your best pick. I suggest picking two (or three) solid choices that you know you will like. Then, take a risk and try something new! On to the research:

Sweetest Pumpkin Beer: Tommyknocker Brewery’s “Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale”

ABV: 5%

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top. That pretty much sums up this one. It smells like pumpkin pie and tastes like pumpkin pie. This is not for those out there that don’t enjoy sweets, particularly sweet beers. But for those who do, try it out. It’s a great dessert beer. It is medium bodied and has more of a sweet pumpkin taste than the spice taste that most pumpkin beers do. It’s a crisp, clear brew that’s easy (and sweet) drinking.

Spiciest Pumpkin Beer: Sam Adams Fat Jack Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 8.5%

You’ve heard about this one before, but trust me, it’s got all you want for a cool fall night. The brew offers a warming feeling with every sip–the same feeling in your stomach you get from a sip of Jack Daniels—while also delivering the sweet taste of pumpkin. You can taste the spices of cinnamon, ginger, and even the allspice together with pumpkin.

“Tastes Most Like Pumpkin” Beer: Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking Ale

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Oktoberfest for Everyone: Beer Braised Chicken

Come Autumn in Germany (and basically all over the world nowadays), crowds celebrate their inner Bavarian spirit and love of all brewed beverages during the 16-day Oktoberfest beer festival. While we have never experienced Oktoberfest in its country of origin, we can only imagine how fun it would be to gather around long tables in rustic beer gardens, chow down on bratwurst and pretzels, and sing and dance along to live oompah music.

For now, a more realistic approach to celebrate Autumn—and beer—is to put our own Boston twist on a dish braised in Sam Adams Octoberfest beer. The brew’s robust, caramel flavor adds a complexity when simmered slowly with chicken, thyme and root vegetables.

Oktoberfest Beer Braised Chicken

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Endless Road Trip Germany: Joey’s Pizza

There are few things I love more than pizza and weird food combinations, and Germany has a plethora of both. Forget the schnitzel; you can buy personal pizzas at many of the bakeries on the street or most notably the places in the train stations, the same way you’d walk up and buy a pretzel. They even have pizza vending machines if you’re in a hurry or if the stores are closed. My last visit to Germany in 2010 yielded this weird pizza discovery when I saw thunfisch pizza (TUNA PIZZA), but when your best friend moves there and you go to visit for your birthday, things get wild.

After hearing endless stories about Joey’s Pizza, a chain that specializes in weird pizza, I immediately put it on my “must eat” list for my short, 6 day visit.  I know we have some pretty crazy pizza here in America, but we don’t order it or want it enough to keep an entire weird pizza CHAIN in business. I’m not sure if Joey’s thinks that this pizza is normal, or if they market it as being outrageous  (always hard to tell, with Germans). It was my first experience with Joey’s, but not my friend’s, who orders Joey’s regularly as a hangover cure.  Unfortunately they didn’t have her favorite seasonal pizza (Carbonara, topped with bacon and spaghetti), so we decided on three others:

1. Pizza Bombay

chicken, pineapple, curry sauce (still not really sure what this was)

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Endless Road Trip Germany: Kölsch

I think when most people (or at least the people I know) think about German bier, they think of huge, liter=sized bier steins being slung by less-than-covered blonde women. I’m here to blow your mind.

I recently visited Cologne (or Köln), where Kölsch is the local (and pretty much only) beer in the city. Kölsch is also the only beer that may not be brewed outside the Cologne region, as determined by the Kölsch convention of 1985. About ten breweries in Germany produce beer in Kölsch style, but do not call it Kölsch because they are not member of the Kölsch convention (what’s is called then? I don’t know). Serious shit, right? The beauty of (or problem with) Kölsch is that it goes down like water; it somehow never makes you full, and you can easily consume 5 (or 15) after a German meal.

The taste, however, is not why I love Kölsch (To me, it most closely resembled Bud Lite. Sorry, every German I’ve just offended.) Anyone who has been to Oktoberfest (or one of these American biergarten wannabes) knows that the second half of any liter is consumed slightly cold at best. Instead, Kölsch is supposed to always be served cold; therefore it is presented in dainty, 1/5-liter (about 6.76-oz.) glasses, so it’s easily consumed before it gets even slightly warm. You’d think this would be a problem considering the server would have to bring these around quickly; no fear, the Germans have that figured out too:

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Endless Road Trip Germany: Capri-Sonne, Anyone?

Not soon after I made a joke about not being able to funnel vodka into a Capri Sun, I found myself in Cologne, Germany at BackWerk (which I was disappointed to find out  means “bake and take”)  looking at all the drink options to accompany my sandwich. I spotted a Capri-Sonne with the words “cola mix” and a photo of a a sea of soda with a lemon raft. LEMON SODA CAPRI SUN? Sign me the fuck up.

As I sat on our American flag blanket and consumed what I thought would be a delicious treat, I realized that, unfortunately, the words I neglected were “koffeinfrei” and “ohne kohlensäure.” Caffeine free. Without carbonation. We can probably all agree that Germans are strange, but why why WHY would anyone want to drink COMPLETELY flat lemony soda, out of a foil packet, that won’t even increase alertness? This wouldn’t fly in America (how many times have you heard someone at a restaurant/bar complain about the level of carbonation in their drink?) but as I thought about it more, I realized the Germans are on to something.

Cola Mix Capri Sonne and Rum? A portable, low sugar cocktail with no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners or preservatives that won’t fill you up or keep you up at night but WILL get you drunk? Like I needed another way to consume alcohol in Germany.

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Only in Germany: Meat Vending Machine

I don’t know about you, but the best thing I can get out of a vending machine in my neighborhood is a bag of cheetos and some advil. Not to discount the stuff; the atomic green powder and pills of goodness are my saviors when I’m hungover, but here’s something better.

Enter: the sausage vending machine, which is now gracing the streets in (not surprisingly) Bavaria. Owned by a butcher, he says the inspiration behind the machine came from when he and his friends wanted to have a cookout after the stores were closed (read: drunk barbecue).

I want to go to there.

(Photo: The Local)

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The Top 10 Craziest Street Foods in the World

Editor’s Note: This article is brought to you by Rease Kirchner of TheFlyingFugu.com, a team of foodie writers delivering a menu of delights to your inbox: daring delicacies, foodie travel tips and easy recipes to re-create in your own world kitchen. Follow the Fugu on Twitter @TheFlyingFugu.

For our money, we’d say street food is usually just as delicious as fancier restaurant fare (if not more so). And we’re not just talking about sandwiches and hot dogs. Take a look at the ten wackiest street food finds from around the globe — each one actually a very common find in one particular corner of the earth.

10. Fruit with Chili Powder — Mexico

You may think it’s odd to put something spicy on something sweet, but Mexicans do it all the time. It is very common to pick up fruit in a bowl or on a stick with some spicy chili powder sprinkled on top. Think of it as a twist on the sweet and salty combo — Mexico has sweet and spicy instead! (Photo: Spotreporting)

9. Chicken Feet — China

These grilled feet may look disturbingly similar to a human hand, but don’t worry, they actually come from a chicken. The meat is described as a bit chewier than a chicken leg might be. On the street, they are generally served grilled with some spices, on a stick or just in a basket. (Photo: Whologwhy)

8. Bugs on a Stick — Thailand

In Thailand,insects like crickets, grasshoppers and worms are fried up, shoved on a stick and served up to anyone with a rumbling tummy. The taste varies by the insect and the spices used to flavor them. In general, the insects are crunchy on the outside and a little soft on the inside. Mmm…soft and flavorful bug guts. (Photo: Star5112)

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