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When did all these nips get in the air? It seems like only minutes ago we were reviewing summer time beers, kicking back on the hammock, cranking up The Priest, and sucking down brews with slices of fruit in them. In October, it’s the same thing, only now we’re wearing a sweater and sharing the hammock with a scarecrow named Steve.

Whatever the season, it’s always time for excessive beer drinking. And with the arrival of fall, all these beer festivals and seasonal brews allow us to stretch our discriminating pallets and take another run at tactfully reviewing a choice bunch of autumn’s finest adult beverages. For example, many of the ciders we’ve sampled have a waft of boysenberry and the distinct spicy aroma of cumin. The amber colors are rich, yet vibrant, like falling oak leaves on a pile, er, a pile…a pile of dog shit?

Well, we tried.

Anyway, break out the umlauts and swing the giant sausage: It’s Oktoberfest time!



Hofbrau Oktoberfest
The label on this beer appears to portray some sort of community festival, complete with a Ferris wheel and a bunch of Germans playing ring toss. The beer has that same effect … like you just spent four hours at your local county fair, on rickety "rides" put together by drunk carnies using rubber bands, chewing gum and some strands of their sister's pubic hair. Forget losing your lunch; that elephant ear you scarfed while checking out Loverboy on the Main Stage back in '94 is currently plastered all over the Tilt-A-Whirl car. Congrats! Your intestines just seceded from the union. Don't worry; the bearded lady will certainly clean it up, eventually.

Rating: Carnivale.


Find me a person who really likes cider and I'll show you a person that's chronically constipated. Enter Strongbow, "England's Dry Cider", an alcoholic enema so strong it makes the infamous "Bud Mud" feel like a foot massage. Although the acidic apple flavor found in most ciders is less overwhelming than burly Strongbow's, there's still enough fruit in here to make a man feel like he's wearing an ascot and a Speedo at a skinhead convention. But for those people who like explosive shits and highway rest stops, this is the cider you've been waiting for your whole diarrhea- laden life. Drink up -- and bring extra toilet paper.

Rating: Rainbow-colored colostomy bag, my friend.



Sam Adams Octoberfest
Is it just me, or were the founding fathers a bunch of fudge packers? No, seriously. Come on … look at that hair! This beer was surely brewed to mimic the sweet taste of the Boston Sperm Party. Our country was founded on the anus of tobacco farmers. Ben Franklin was a fucking pimp, luring the interns on the Old Farmer's Almanac down to the bathhouse for a dissertation on what, exactly, "We the People" really means. Rest assured, Paul Revere knew exactly when the British were coming. And George Washington? Don't get me started on that fag.

Rating: Swallow.


Post Road Pumpkin Ale
What's more fun than a pumpkin? When I come back in my next life, I want to be a pumpkin. I'll be round, orange and a welcome addition to most holiday parties. I'll also make it a point to travel over to Post Road brewery and beat the holy crap out of the person who decided to smash me up and make me a beer flavor. If I were a pumpkin, I'd rather get raped on a snowy day by two gourds and a candied yam than take blame for this awful, awful tasting beer. Shame on you, Post Road. I hope your mothers smother you with a pillow while you sleep.

Rating: SIDS.


Call me Ishmael. No, no, call me "Dorothy." Fuck it, call me whatever. This beer is that great unattainable whale, calling from the cold black ocean, empty, mocking. They say that whales are mammals, and I believe it; this beer is covered in hair and seems to have opposable thumbs. In fact, this beer might be the third from the left on the evolutionary chart. Its knuckles are scraping the ground, its forehead is about four feet too wide and it's smacking you over the head with a club and dragging you behind it by your hair. But it's slowly moving up history's chart. It just learned to scrape two rocks together and set fire to your colon. Fire bad!

Rating: Neanderthal.



Brooklyn Oktoberfest
This beer tastes like a half-assed diorama of an Oktoberfest celebration, where someone makes lederhosen from brown construction paper, uses G.I. Joe action figures as German celebrants and serves hotdogs instead of bratwurst. It's almost as if the folks at Brooklyn made this beer the night before it was due in the garage, with dad helping out. The generic red label tells you everything you need to know. It's about as authentically German tasting as Grace Jones' ass.

Rating: Verwässert.





Delirium Tremens
In the Roaring Twenties, Bix Beiderbecke was the Eminem of jazz, the first white musician to crack the black musical form. But his success as a cornet player was extremely short-lived, because Beiderbecke drank so much. By 1931, when he was just 28, Beiderbecke's liver was on the verge of collapse, triggering an outbreak of.delirium tremens. This bout with DT killed Beiderbecke, who took his final breath from a death bed in a New York rooming house, convinced that Mexicans wielding daggers were hiding under his bed, waiting to strike.

Rating: Crazy tasty.


I wasn't going to call you up, but the beer's doing the talking for me now. I fucked your rank ass boyfriend a few minutes ago and can't get the taste of his cock off my tongue. Why haven't you told him to wash his balls? You can smell the jock itch through his pants! I'm so mad at you for not teaching him proper genital hygiene I could puke. Honestly. There was enough lint in his foreskin to knit socks. I don't know if you handle his dick with tongs, but if you think I'm fucking your boyfriend again, you're crazy.

Rating: Open, honest, cleansing.


Robert the Bruce Scottish Style Ale
Whenever there was a football game on and something bad happened, Grandpa would get so mad he'd beat his chest and scream for me to feed him his "snacks," which he kept in this little gold tube on a necklace around his neck. Then Grandma would scream, Grandpa would pop back up and make me find his beer. Then he'd wave his little pennant, throw up in the magazine rack behind the barcalounger, punch himself in the face and watch the fourth quarter. This beer sucked.

Rating: Fourth and real long.


Take a look at the smirking, hooded motherfucker on the label. Then back that ass up and take another look. He's a little bit Santa, and a little bit homeless perv in the elementary school parking lot, wringing his brown hands and asking for directions to the nearest "gentleman's establishment." What could be so wrong with Pater? He just wants to offer you a mug of his gentle, lemony foam. Even better, according to the bottle, it contains plenty of "brouwerij slaghmuylder," a well-known ingredient in all eldery monk spooge. By the fourth mouthful of slaghmuylder, you'll be begging for the Mater-land, and wondering what leathery delights lay under Pater's cloak. It's a light tongue-kiss of springy ale. The kind of kiss that only a wrinkle-penised Pater can give. Won't you sit on grandpapa's lap, mein leibling?

Rating: Show us on the doll where he touched you.

There's a woman wearing that St. Pauli's girl outfit riding a bucking horse on the label. To be honest, I'd rather have sex with the horse. When did beer label girls get so ugly? I can only take so many more of these loogy-inducing German brews. I have so much phlegm splashing around that you could do a load of wash in my mouth. Go ahead. Mix in the whites and colors. Throw in some oily rags and dirty diapers while you're at it. I. Don't. Care.

Rating: Oversized Load.


I can't tell what the hell letter that is at the beginning of this beer. It looks like an H that was unfortunate to end up vertical, against the wall, with Kobe in a Colorado hotel room. But worry not: This beer's identity apparently won't be revealed by the media, and you can rest assured it won't be required to testify before the grand jury. Oh, wait, look, it has Jordan's number, 23, right beneath its name. Wonderful. Now it'll go and get its dad killed to settle a gambling debt. I love this game.

Rating: FAN-tastic!


How many DeKonicks does it take to screw in a light bulb… nevermind! How many Dekonicks does it take to get me drunk enough to hump a trashcan? Answer: One. Drinking a 5% alcohol, Belgian beer after you're already drunk just makes you feel retarded. Not the bad retarded, mind you, but the good one. The one that makes you feel all handsome and ready to have a knife fight with the gooks.

Rating: Invincible, motherfucker.


Christ. Another cider. All right. We'll suck it up. Funny … like its name, this beer does make me feel like a third of a member of the KKK. My sheets are burnt orange rather than white, my burning cross is simply a piece of lightly toasted kindling and I'm really only offended by people who got slightly red by falling asleep reading Reader's Digest under a florescent lamp. So I'm a lackadaisical racist. Sue me. At least I never dated Condeleeza Rice. What's with her teeth, anyway?

Rating: A pleasant shade of brume.


Good, sweet Christ, I'm in hell. And here comes Belzebuth right behind me with a pitchfork and a pitcher of this crazy stuff to dump down my throat until I throw up on my own feces. Honestly, there's a devil on the front of the bottle, it's brewed in Germany, and it's 13% alcohol--two more sips and I'll stick my head in the oven and turn myself into a lampshade. You're not right, Belzebuth. You're just not right.

Rating: Rock on the headstone.


Jack Cider
Jack Cider is one of those "hard" ciders. It invokes feelings of toughness, courage, and valor. It also invokes feelings of restlessness and uncertainty. Where am I going in life? Will I ever be the person I'd hoped I'd be? Am I even necessary? The thoughts are too much too bear. If I don't stop drinking Jack Cider pretty soon, I'll be sobbing uncontrollably and tearing apart the medicine cabinet for some Tylenol PM. I don't feel tough. I'm not courageous. I am wan, hopeless and ugly. I should be shot. I should be drawn and quartered. I have no reason to live except to be a constant disappointment to the people I love.

Rating: Hollow



In the mood for more beer?

Part One: Cheap Beers.

Part Two: More Beers.

Part Three: Summer Beers.

Part Four: Oktoberfest.

Part Five: Best of the Rest.




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