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Fall brews: Oktoberfest, German and pumpkin beers

Locally brewed pumpkin beers from Blue Point and

Locally brewed pumpkin beers from Blue Point and Southampton Publick House are some of fall's best. Credit: David Reich-Hale

Oktoberfest is winding down in Munich, with 6million visitors downing their final few steins. But you can keep it going here with some excellent 'fest brews.

Typically, these are rich, amber-hued brews, with lots of body and sometimes more alcohol. They're grand on tap and do well in bottle and can, too, befitting a tradition that started in 1810.

If you're looking for a German beer, consider brewers such as Ayinger, Spaten, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. They're reliably first-rate.

American breweries with superior Oktoberfest beers include Samuel Adams, where it's Octoberfest, Victory Brewing, Stoudts, Sierra Nevada, Flying Dog, where it's dubbed Dogtoberfest, Left Hand Brewing Co.'s 'fest beer and, hereabouts, Oktoberfest beer from the Brooklyn Brewery and from Blue Point Brewing Co.

Spiegelau, which has been making glassware for more than 500 years, clearly knows how to serve Oktoberfest beer. The Refresh Beer Stein updates the traditional hoisting glass. It has tapered walls that enhance the aroma. The glass also keeps the carbonation and sustains the foam head. The 22-ounce stein is $19.90 online.

By now, you're seeing plenty of pumpkin brews, too. These require a good balancing act, with pumpkin flavor versus pumpkin overload, enough spice or too much. Some favorites: upstate's Southern Tier Imperial Pumking, Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale from New Hampshire, Dogfish Head's Punkin' Ale, and Long Island pumpkin brews from Southampton Publick House, Great South Bay, Greenport Harbor and Blue Point.

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