The Best Craft Beer

The Best Craft Beer: October 2017

Does life keep getting busier or is it just me? Seems like every time I look up, it’s time to make my list of the best craft beer for the prior month.

October was a month full of school and sports activities for my kids while every day seemed to mean less and less daylight. But as the month ends, it reminds me that there are a lot of fun times ahead as Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.

On the beer side of things; it was just as good as any other month and I got to drink some amazing craft beer.

Here’s the Best Craft Beer I had last month:

Haunted House

Brewery: Allagash Brewing – Portland, ME

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 6.66%      IBU: N/A


Doomed by a love of pitch-black Porters and our Allagash House Beer, we summoned the recipe for Haunted House. Roasted Barley and Blackprinz malt curse this beer with a gravely dark hue. Hopped with Tettnang, Chinook, and Saaz hops, this beer ends with a ghost of coffee-flavored bitterness and hauntingly complex malty palate.

Why it made the list?

Allagash Haunted HousePart of the fun of drinking craft beer is discovering new beers from new areas. While I am familiar with Allagash, I haven’t have much of their beer.

So let’s just say I was a bit jealous when my wife went to visit family in Portland, Maine and got to visit their brewery. But she thought of me and brought home some of their limited release Haunted House Hoppy Dark Ale.

This beer is only available in Portland so it would have been nearly impossible for me to get my hands on it otherwise. So not only was it a treat to try some of their limited edition beer, it was the perfect beer to drink on Halloween.

This beer starts out really hoppy with most of the aroma and flavor being mostly floral and earthy. It ends malty and a touch smokey. It has a nice medium body to it. I really hope I can find a way to get this beer each year.

Hobo Life

Brewery: Lord Hobo Brewing – Woburn, MA

Style: Session IPA

ABV: 4.5%      IBU: 74


Lord Hobo Hobo Life Session IPA heavily dry-hopped with Citra. Notes of lemon-lime and grapefruit zest, with a dry, effervescent finish.

Why it made the list?

I’ve often been skeptical of session IPAs. Many just seem to be a less impressive IPA. But not this one.

While the ABV and body remained light, the flavor was not. There’s big time aroma and flavor from the hops in this IPA.

With the use of Citra, it provided lots of citrus and fruit flavors. And since it was light and well carbonated, I drank it quite fast . . . almost too fast.

This brewery just recently started to distribute their beer into my area (Cincinnati) and so far I’ve been really impressed with them.


Brewery: Calusa Brewing – Sarasota, FL

Style: IPA

ABV: 7.2%      IBU: 55


Calusa Citronious Shake IPAMilkshake IPA with Lactose sugar/Vanilla/Mango

Why it made the list?

It’s good to have beer friends.

A friend of mine stopped by on a Sunday to watch football and drink craft beer. This is one of the beers he brought with him. He trades beer often and gets it from all over the country.

I can’t say that I’ve had a beer from Sarasota, FL until this one.

This was a standout from that mini bottle share that featured a few IPAs as well as some dark barrel-aged selections.

The lactose sugar and vanilla made this beer for me. It had a nice balanced sweetness to it but wasn’t heavy.

I’d keep my eye out for this brewery because if the keep making beers like this then they will become really popular.


Brewery: Southern Tier – Lakewood, NY

Style: Pumpkin Beer

ABV: 8.6%      IBU: 30


Southern Tier PumpkingAll Hallow’s Eve is a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent. It is thought that we harness this magic to brew our powerful pumpkin ale. Not so, but it is with great respect to the magic of their trade that our brewers produce this fine beer. Take a whiff of this complex ale and your journey has just begun. At first sip, a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds, yet anther victim enraptured by the Pumking.

Why it made the list?

I like pumpkin beers; I know many of you don’t or are at least burnt out on them.

But not me.

I’ve already talked about this one in my most recent Craft Beer Spotlight so head over there to get more info on it.

As much as I like this one; I like their stout version, Warlock, even better. I just haven’t gotten any of it this year which is a complete oversight on my part.

In addition, they offer a Cold Press Coffee Pumking this year that I’ve heard it amazing. So try to get your hands on that one if you can.

If you haven’t had much from Southern Tier, I highly recommend checking them out. Especially their Blackwater Series which are dessert beers in the truest form.

Related Article: Craft Beer Spotlight – Southern Tier Pumking


Brewery: Wooden Cask Brewing – Newport, KY

Style: Barrel-Aged Stout

ABV: 10.2%      IBU: N/A


Wooden Cask CorruptionWooden Cask’s Reformation Scottish Stout barrel aged in Buffalo Trace Barrels

Why it made the list?

At Wooden Cask, they believe you deserve a well-crafted more flavorful beer drinking experience.

And with a focus on traditional English, Scottish, and Irish styles, they are brewing up some great craft beers in Northern Kentucky.

This beer starts out as a really good Scottish stout then it was aged in Buffalo Trace barrels.

This stout is smooth, sweet and satisfying. Many beers like this are quite heavy but this one has a medium body. But doesn’t lack any of the flavor you would expect. There’s a consistently strong bourbon flavor throughout that I loved.

I am looking forward to seeing more barrel-aged beers from them in the future.

So there you have it; the best craft beer I had in October.

Those hazy, milkshake, whatever you want to call them IPAs continue to make my list month after month. And I have no doubt another one will make it in November.

But in addition to that, I will continue to drink fall beers as the weather has officially turned cold. And Christmas ales will start making their way back into our lives as well. So November is looking like it will be a great month for craft beer.

What Was Your Best Craft Beer In October?

Comment Below And Let Me Know What Beer I Should Be On The Look Out For

See Last Month’s List Of The Best Craft Beer


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