The spooky season is here and it’s time to fear the beer once again. The Demogorgans of the beer world are back to stalk you and infiltrate your refrigerator. Beware these monster beers or you could end up in the upside down or, worse, sideways.
Carton Brewing, Atlantic Highlands
Potion, Imperial Candy Stout, 11% ABV
If adult trick-or-treating is a thing, then Carton Brewing has come up with the perfect addition to your pillowcase full of goodies. Riffing on a pastry-stout style, they’ve come up with a “candy stout” that sports a subtle nose of chocolate and peanut butter but is still an imposing imperial stout. Now, if a creeper in a hockey mask offered me a peanut butter cup, I’d probably take my chances. Potion indeed. You can fall under the spell of this beer at Carton’s first annual Allhallows Eve Mixer on Halloween, starting at 6 p.m. when they start pouring Potion. And you can even bring a four-pack home, if you dare.
Neck of the Woods Brewing, Pitman
Meet Your Maker Imperial Stout, 14% ABV
There’s a monstrous dark presence lurking in this Neck of the Woods. Meet Your Maker is a big imperial stout that has spent 15 months haunting bourbon barrels. It then emerged as a deep, dark, looming shadow which will beguile you with velvet and a dizzying boozy note. Meet Your Maker is a nod to brewery partner Frank Price’s monthlong hospitalization with COVID-19. Frank won that battle — and what better way to celebrate than with a killer beer like this one? Meet Your Maker is a complex sipper that’s perfect for contemplating life’s rich pageant and whatever stalks the woodland shadows.
Czig Meister Brewing, Hackettstown
Condemnation of Memory Imperial Stout, 12.3% ABV
Damnatio Memoriae is Latin for condemnation of memory, an ancient Roman punishment that consisted of removing a person’s name and references from all official documentation. In essence, the poor offending soul was thrust into the darkest corner of history and completely forgotten to time. Ironically, the deep chocolaty malt of this Imperial Stout is hard to forget. Sip Condemnation of Memory with great care though. If you don’t, your own memory could fade to fuzzy. Keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine. Probably.
Remember folks, approach these monsters with caution. They are not to be trifled with and you don’t want to end up with your upside down and your downside up. Happy Halloween, and stay safe!