It's October, the weather's cooling off and the classic idea is a German Oktoberfest-type beer. But there's a world of other malty beers out there.
Moylan's Kilt Lifter (not the only Scottish-style ale to bear a somewhat rude name) is widely available for a reason — it's a big, crowd-pleasing beer, low on hops and positively crammed with malt. It pours reddish medium brown with a moderate tan head, and the nose is just like milk chocolate. A faint smokiness and a little hot bite are all that keep it from being liquid dessert.
But it's big and strong (8% alcohol by volume) and gets along well with lots of foods, particularly beefy dishes. You might even want to try it with ice cream; say, vanilla sprinkled with chopped peanuts.
— Charles Perry
Style: tough-guy cocoa with a kick
Price: $4.50 to $5 for a 22-ounce bottle or $14 for a six-pack.
Where to find it: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, http://www.beveragewarehouse.com; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818) 597-9463, http://www.wadeswines.com; Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, (800) 339-0609, http://www.redcarpetwine.com; 55 Degree Wine in Atwater Village, (323) 662-5556, http://www.55degreewine.com; Whole Foods Markets; Beverages and More stores.