Autumnal trees over road

Six fabulous Autumnal beers from Cornwall

I always think that the weather changes with the months, sometimes only imperceptibly, but as the page turns on the calendar, sure enough, outside there is a change in the air…

This change affects us in many ways, our daily lives are dominated by dates and times, our behaviour adapts to suit the season, our moods and habits change as a reaction to the weather – temperature, sunshine, rain all have a bearing on our actions, our preferences, our likes and dislikes.

This atmospheric influence is particularly evident in our approach to eating and drinking – salads in the summer, substantial hot meals in the winter are an obvious example, but for me, a lifelong beer lover, there is no more eagerly anticipated change than the move from light summer beers to the more robust Autumn and Winter seasonal offerings.

Summer is all about thirst quenching, cooling body and soul with something cold, perhaps straight from the fridge. Light, blonde, easy drinking, low ABV. Often consumed outside, in the garden, on the beach, by the barbecue, it doesn’t really matter where but something to suit those warmer climes.

Then comes the change from those balmy summer days into Autumnal cooling, the leaf fall, the dewy mornings, the colder nights, the evening ritual of lighting of the log fire – and with this change in season comes an imperceptible need for a step change in our beer selection, a need for something more substantial, something more robust in flavour, something to warm the cockles. Something redder, or darker, or both..

Autumn Reds, Dark Stouts, Premium Bitters, Fireside Winter Warmers – for me this is utopia, the climax of the annual wait for these styles to appear, to become more readily accessible, to be more relevant to the time.

Autumnal trees by river
autumnal small beers
open fire

Malt dominant in flavour, the use of darker malts in the brewing process brings nutty, roasted, coffee, and chocolate flavours to the fore, a robustness in the mouth, which can be enhanced by an increase in the ABV. The warmth and smoothness is particularly affected by the strength of the brew. The balance in the mouth, required in any great beer is also highly important… the resinous astringency, sharpness, bitterness, citrus fruit notes found in beer all generally eminate from the hop selection in the recipe.

Brewers, particularly those aiming for a hop dominant style like an IPA, can be guilty of over hopping, of tipping that balance of great flavour into something less palatable – modern styles, particularly DIPA, NEIPA and West Coast IPA’s that rely on bold hop selections can sometimes fall into this category. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of fantastic beers of this style, but in the hands of the over exuberant it can be a trap they tumble into. Whereas there is less danger in experimentation with great malt mixes, and this more traditional style of beer is close to my heart and one that I look forward to as the colder months envelope us.

I’m going to introduce six of these to you – all available on this site, and all slightly different.

AOS The Nancy

The Nancy

From the Ales Of Scilly Brewery, especially ‘imported’ arriving by freighter to us! 4.5% ABV.This is a great example of a premium bitter that tips nicely into our selection due mainly to its colour, user friendly ABV and superbly well balanced all round feel. Smooth and robust, this initially malt dominant and well rounded burnished amber ale grabs the attention from the outset. A beautifully balanced full flavour is followed and complimented by floral and orange hop tones, which linger but do not overpower. We think Nancy is a real stunner!

Keltek Grim Reaper Premium Cornish Ale

Grim Reaper

from the Keltek Brewery in Redruth. 6.0% ABV. A strong, yet deceptively smooth and well balanced winter warmer. Deep Amber in colour with full bodied sweet malt combined with balanced resinous hop and a bitter linger make this a great fireside relaxer. Kick back with the logs burning, the lights off and a full glass in front of you!

Spingo Middle (Angels Tears)

Spingo Middle

Spingo Middle from the Blue Anchor Brew Pub in Helston. 5.0% ABV. No beer selection worth it’s salt can be without one of the Spingo Ales. Steeped in local folklore, Spingo Beers are held in high reverence in Cornwall and beyond. A visit to Helston is incomplete without trying at least one. Spingo Middle is Blue Anchor’s most popular brew – a traditional Cornish sweet strong bitter with an unforgettable flavour. Burnished amber in colour, the first sip is like the first step to heaven. Rich, well rounded and complex, warming and bold to the finish. Water drawn from their own supply adds it’s own particular flavour. This stunning beer was originally brewed in celebration of the return of local soldiers from World War I.

St Austell Hicks Cornish Ale


From the St Austell Brewery. 5.0% ABV. St Austell’s most traditional brew and named after the brewery’s founder. Hicks is full bodied, strong and brimming with flavour. It is brewed with a bold malt mix and lashings of English Fuggles and Golding hops. Deep and complex, this ale is a good alternative to red wine and perfect to drink with steak. It was Gold Medal Winner at the European Beer Star competition 2009.

Treens Resolve


From Treens Brewery in Ponsanooth, 5.2% ABV. Treens are a relatively young brewery having only been in existence since 2016, however that hasn’t stopped them producing hugely acceptable and traditional ales. Resolve is no exception. Full bodied, rich, dark – everything you would expect from a traditional premium stout bitter. Deep, roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee are the dominant aspects in this robust riot of flavour.

Tintagel Caliburn


From the Tintagel Brewery. 5.8% ABV A dark, fruity, robust, spicy beer with a resinous hop aroma, this is a classic Cornish ale. Rich flavours and dark colouring push this beer toward the stout category. A moody handsome brew – Excalibur was the legendary sword of King Arthur, and this beer is a salute to him.

That’s it from me this time. This is a snapshot of some of the beers that we have on the site, which will be an ever evolving section – please feel free to browse and select your own. Next time we will take a look at Stouts in more detail and Seasonal Ciders too, some of which really come into their own in the winter months, particularly around the festive season.

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