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The fall season looks different each year in Charleston — some days call for a light jacket while others bring summer-like heat and humidity. This fickle fall weather means a versatile beverage offering is in order, and local breweries have you covered with cozy ales to enjoy by the fire along with some refreshing sippers to help you hang onto summer. 

Of course, what is fall without (dare we say it) pumpkin beer, plus ambers, marzens, stouts and other classic autumn-themed beers. Local spots also have lighter options like tart, slow-fermented sour beers for when it’s unseasonably hot. 

Each of these breweries have ample outdoor seating, on-premise snacks and beer to-go, allowing for proper socially distanced enjoyment this fall.

Daniel Island’s Indigo Reef Brewing Company just dropped its Sharktoberfest marzen-style lager on Sept. 26. 

“This amber-brown lager highlights the toasty and bready characters of maris otter and Munich grains and finishes crisp and clean,” said Indigo Reef owner Chris Ranere. “This beer is perfect for fall in Charleston because it is light enough to drink in the sun during the day and malty enough to drink around a campfire.” 

Campfires might also make you think of stouts, and a handful of local breweries have the stout you’ll want to drink this season. The Black is Beautiful imperial stout is brewed with coffee, chili and cinnamon, giving it body, depth and just a hint of spice. The beer is part of the worldwide Black is Beautiful collaboration, started by California-based Weathered Souls Brewing, which aims “to bring positive awareness and vibes to the issues of social justice that we face together.” In Charleston, Commonhouse Aleworks, Fatty’s Beer Works, Freehouse Brewery and Low Tide Brewing Co. are all offering Black is Beautiful, with proceeds going to various community-development charities.

Fam’s Brewing Co. has fans of the classic Oktoberfest-style beer covered. 

“Oktoberfest, or Marzen, is one of my favorite styles of beer,” said Fam’s head brewer Justin Famulari. “A crisp, clean lager fermentation lays the groundwork for the hints of floral spice and smooth malt finish to combine together into a refreshing beer.” 

Those looking for a bite with their beer will find an expansive menu featuring pizzas, calzones, subs and more at the James Island offshoot of Famulari’s Pizzeria. 

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Oak Road Brewery was named one of Forbes’ 50 fastest growing craft breweries in the nation, and its Pumpkin Spice Oktoberfest checks all the fall beer boxes. Head brewer Brian Cox, who is also an ER nurse at the medical university, adds pumpkin pie candy sugar to the Summerville brewery’s classic marzen, giving it just enough fall flavor to go with a surprising tart finish. 

“Oak Road Brewery’s Pumpkin Spice Oktoberfest was originally created around a saison I made with pumpkin, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices,” Cox said. “The spice combination of the candi syrup changes the flavor profile of the base Oktoberfest. It creates a clove and spice aroma and flavor in the beer with a dry spice, tart finish.” 

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Each October, Revelry Brewing hosts one of the biggest block parties in Charleston — last year, the brewery had over 2,000 people partying on Conroy Street. Of course that isn’t in the cards this fall, but the popular brewery still has something in store for its sixth anniversary. 

“We are having a week’s worth of releases and special brews going on tap for that week in lieu of our block party,” said Revelry general manager Mike Wagner. 

One of those beers is Night Fishin’, a dark sour that’s brewed with blueberry and vanilla at The Hold, Revelry’s sour beer spinoff on Romney Street. Crack open a bottle and you’ll instantly be hit with the smell of blueberry pie, and the taste won’t disappoint. Night Fishin’ might be a dark beer with deep flavor, but at 4.9 percent ABV, it’s lighter than the color might suggest. 

Like The Hold, Snafu Brewing Company is known for its sour production — in fact, the North Charleston brewery is pouring eight different sours right now. When the weather’s warm, grab a Snafu-Tang, one of Snafu’s flagship beers that’s brewed with oranges and has a “clean and crisp tartness reminiscent of a mimosa.” If you’re after a campfire sour, check out The Elvis Milkshake. Part sour, part stout, the 6.1 percent ABV beer is brewed with bananas, peanuts, honey, vanilla bean and milk sugar. So yes, it’s Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich in a glass. 

Not a fan of beer? Nothing screams fall like apple cider, so check out Park Circle’s Ship’s Wheel Hard Cider, which boasts more than 10 gluten-free draft hard ciders. You can’t go wrong with the 5.5 percent ABV original, but the Tahoma Hopped, which has notes of citrus and pine, is made for this time of year. The North Charleston cidery also invites guests to blend their ciders, with suggested combinations like the Notorious B.O.G., which combines the original Ship’s Wheel cider with one infused with beets.