There are so many reasons why fall is my favorite season—like the cooler temperatures, smell of cookouts and burning leaves, changing colors, and general excitement that’s always in the air in the form of football games, baseball playoffs, and the approach of upcoming holidays. One of my favorite autumn activities is sitting outside on a brisk afternoon—or inside on a cozy evening—and enjoying a spicy-sweet drink served icy cold or piping hot. If you’re of a like mind, here are six places in Arlington where you can fall-themed brews, cocktails, and coffees:
Division Brewing captures the spirit of the season with the delicious Pumpkin High Ale, an orange-and-amber colored treat (brewed with a whopping 20 pounds of pumpkin) that features spicy notes of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. This smooth brew will go down easy, but don’t be fooled—at 10% ABV, it also packs a bit of a punch.
One of the newest entries on the Arlington bar scene is the delightful 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge, a cozy little Urban Union destination where you can shrug off your troubles and escape to a faraway island, if only for a few hours. This time of year, I recommend ordering the Blackbeard’s Ghost, a spooky blend of Demerara rum, citrus juices, apricot brandy and special spices, or The Zombie, a scarily stout triple-rum mixture featuring passion fruit and absinthe, which the Kahunas plan to serve in a skull with a bleeding head around Halloween.
I enjoy an evening spent at Hooligan’s Pub just about any time (it’s one of my favorite Arlington watering holes), but there’s something about the atmosphere at this Cheers-vibed watering hole that makes it especially warm and inviting during autumn and winter. This fall, drop by to savor the pub’s French Tonic, which stars Remy Martin 1738 combined with raspberry preserves, tonic, and a rosemary and lemon peel garnish—an altogether perfect choice for toasting the fall.
Humperdinks (UPDATE: THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED)
You can always count on Humperdinks Brewpub to come up with something appropriately clever for any season or special occasion. This year, get your fall-and-Halloween beverage groove on with the Humpkin’ Pumpkin Ale or the Frida Fest Oktoberfest (pumpkin flavored and amber draft ales, respectively), as well as the Witches Brew (a vodka, fruit juice, and Blue Curaçao concoction served in a cool goblet-type glass) or the Vampire’s Kiss (a martini with MVP Lemonberry vodka and peach schnapps).
I couldn’t decide which Legal Draft brew to feature, so I asked co-founder Greg McCarthy to make the decision for me. He chose the Old Fashioned Justice, which is Legal Draft’s Presumed Innocent IPA aged in Witherspoon Whiskey barrels and punctuated with notes of orange peel, whiskey, cinnamon, and caramel. This fall treat boasts 9% ABV and a flavor reminiscent of an Old Fashioned cocktail, making it a great choice for a brisk fall evening.
Urban Alchemy (UPDATE: THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FOR PRIVATE EVENTS)
Looking for something to warm you up on a chilly or rainy fall day? Enjoy a classic pumpkin spice latte or Oktoberfest brew at Urban Alchemy Coffee + Wine Bar, which is also rolling out a new menu featuring plenty of fall-appropriate comfort food, including daily rotation of turkey chili, loaded baked potato, tomato bisque and broccoli cheddar soups.
Author’s note: Some of these menu items are available seasonally or while supplies list.