When you ask beer fans about their go-to fall beer styles you’ll probably get 3 major answers; marzen/Oktoberfest, pumpkin beers, and IPAs (from the hop heads who drink only IPA all year long). A couple other styles might trickle in, brown/copper/amber ales or lagers, maybe porters/stouts/dark lagers as the weather gets chilly, and the wet-hopped beers that come with the fall harvest. One set of beers that I think gets overlooked as fall beers (and really all year long) are the Belgian abbey beers, especially hearty styles like dubbels and tripels. Unfortunately these beers aren’t the fastest sellers, so relatively few breweries continue to make them, but I think they fit very well with the season. One new-to-me tripel that I recently found was Erastus from Schilling Brewing in New Hampshire. Schilling specializes in traditional continental European ales and lagers, so I was excited to try their version of this light colored but richly flavored and boozy Belgian style. Schilling Erastus is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Schilling Erastus pours clear deep yellow with a solid white head. The aroma features some spicy and fruity esters from the Belgian style yeast. The flavors imparted by the yeast lead the way, notes of peppercorn, cardamom and bubblegum. A solid malt backbone adds touches of bread dough, sugarcane and biscuits. Some mild hops round out the flavor with hints of grass and herbs. Erastus is medium bodied and drinks very easy for a beer with 9.0% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering yeast and malt flavor. This is an excellent beer, tripel is an underappreciated style and this is one of the better ones I’ve tried. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Previous Schilling/Resilience Reviews: