Putting the "Boo!" back in "Booze"

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How one celebrates Halloween falls into two camps based on one variable: children. If you don’t have little ones (or, you lucky bastards, they’ve all grown up and are out of the house), October 31 means dressing up in full costume and heading out to the local costume ball, whether held at the local brewery, friend’s house, or larger extravaganza.

If you have children, Halloween might still involve dressing up in costume, but it also means walking along with your kids as they beg for candy. There has been a growing trend, however to have in tow not just the children, but also one of those pull-along carts filled with ice and alcoholic beverages, making for a much more agreeable time for all involved. 

We here at ABV figure if you’re going to cart some booze around, you should get into the spirit of the holiday (pun intended). So here are ten of our scariest choices to stock up on (and one special mention). There were two requirements to be on this list: they had to be locally brewed, and they needed scary or creepy artwork and names. 

So this Halloween, scare up some adult fun and load up your cart with these frightneningly wicked ales. And IPAs. And a cider. And other equally hair-raising monster options. Happy hauntings everyone! Photography by Quentin Bacon for ABV magazine.

(The following descriptions are derived from company websites and are not ours.)

SCREAMING HAND IPA (Strike Brewing)
San Jose
7.5% ABV / 41 IBU
www.strikebrewingco.com

Tropical, resinous hops. Caramel malt base.

SHALLOW GRAVE PORTER (Heretic Brewing)
Fairfield
7% ABV / 33 IBU
www.hereticbrewing.com

Complex & rich chocolate and caramel.

ZOMBREW IPA (Epidemic Ales)
Concord
7% ABV / 90 IBU
www.epidemicales.com

Medium malt body. Balanced bitterness.

SCARFACE IMPERIAL STOUT (Speakeasy)
San Francisco
9.5% ABV / 50 IBU
www.goodbeer.com

Chocolate. Dark bread. Burnt caramel.

BELLADONNA PALE ALE (Epidemic Ales)
Concord • 6.4% ABV
www.epidemicales.com

Balances spice and citrus notes. 

THE HATCHET (Sonoma Cider)
Sonoma • 6% ABV
www.sonomacider.com

Tart. Crips. Dry. Tangy. Smooth.

EVIL TWIN RED IPA (Heretic Brewing)
Fairfield
6.8% ABV / 45 IBU
www.hereticbrewing.com

Huge hops. Rich malt. Bold. Rich.

MIDNIGHT HOPPYNESS IMPERIAL BLACK RYE IPA (Knee Deep Brewing)
Auburn
9.5% ABV / 100 IBU
www.kneedeepbrewing.com

Dark malt, high hop. Citrus and chocolate.

DEATH BY SHMALTZ HOPPY BLACK ALE (Shmaltz Brewing)
New York (but, they were originally from San Francisco)
7% ABV / 70 IBU
www.shmaltzbrewing.com

Seven hops and seven malts. 

FOGCUTTER DOUBLE IPA
Lost Coast Brewery

Eureka
8.7% ABV / 70 IBU
www.lostcoast.com

Bitter. But it’s supposed to be.


SPECIAL MENTION:

CURIOUS BEAST RED WINE
Healdsburg
14.5% ABV / 70 IBU
www.wrappedforanyoccasion.com

Blend of five varietals. Bold. Ripe. Rich.

(We don’t usually cover wines here at ABV, but made an exception because we’re fans not only of Curious Beasts’ wine, but because their label and packaging are innovative and spookily appropriate.)