Halloween Week: Beers to get you started

Halloween WeekI should be getting to some reviews later this week. In the meantime, here’s a list of Halloween-themed beers to start with.

BridgePort Raven Mad. This one’s gotten some play in the (Oregon) beer blog world lately; it’s a bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Porter, with a 3D label (inspired by Hitchcock’s "The Birds"), specifically themed for Halloween. Jeff has a bit on it, and Beer Northwest has a longer piece. Should be released Thursday in limited 22-ounce bottles.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale. Even though I’m listing it second, to my mind (and Jeff’s, from the piece I linked to above) it’s the original Halloween beer. (So much so, that you’ll notice I used it in the Halloween Week graphic there.) Originally brewed to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead on November 1st, the original bottles (and current bombers) featured glow-in-the-dark labels.

Gritty McDuff’s Halloween Ale. With name like that, you can’t go wrong. This ESB has been brewed each year since 1990 by the Portland, Maine brewery. As they note, it’s "the beer so good, it’s scary!"

Moorhouse’s Black Cat. This English Dark Mild will slow things down a bit at only 3.4% alcohol by volume. Moorhouse’s in fact also brews several different beers based on that most-appropriate theme of Halloween: the Witch.

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale. A pumpkin beer and a cool owl on the label, both work for Halloween for me. Plus, it’s one I’ve already reviewed—and it’s the best pumpkin beer I’ve yet had.

Sculler's IPASkagit River Brewery‘s Sculler’s IPA. I would have preferred the spelling to be "Skuller’s" to match the skull-and-crossbones theme of the label, but beggars can’t be choosers. Plus, I figure no "beer trick or treat" list such as this one would be complete without a Northwest IPA hop bomb in there.

Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout. Talks about bombs—this Imperial Stout is an insane 16.1% alcohol by volume—NO, that is not a typo! With an ABV that high this could easily be the scariest beer on this list but at the same time their description is awesome: "Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish."