The Halloween Mix: Fall Beer and Music Pairings

So while I wait patiently for new records to fall in love with (I honestly have not been jazzed about any new releases enough to write a review in awhile), I’ll do something I love. Besides writing about beer, I love making mixes. While tapes and even CDs are starting to go away as formats, there still is something to be said about a collection of songs that mean something. These are my 5 favorite Halloween songs, paired with some of my favorite pumpkin or autumn beers. Enjoy!

“Black No. 1”- Type O Negative/Southern Tier Warlock

My number one pick for a Halloween song is the quintessential Type O track, “Black No. 1”. I love Type O Negative, and of course with all their references to Nosferatu and Goth culture, I have to rock out to them even harder around Halloween. “Black No. 1” is off their 1993 record Bloody Kisses. This album celebrates its 20 year anniversary this year, so what better time to dust it off and listen to it?

I’m pairing one of my favorite bands with one of my new favorite beers. I didn’t think Southern Tier could top the delicious Pumking, but they did with Warlock, a pumpkin stout that tastes like the darker, evil twin of that tasty pumpkin pie ale.

“Halloween”- the Misfits/Dogfish Head Punkin

Can’t have a Halloween mix without your old pal Glenn Danzig, right? “Halloween” was released as a 7-inch single on All Hallows’ Eve 1981, and later on the Legacy Of Brutality collection in 1985. Who doesn’t love thrashing around a good “bonfire burning bright”, with PUNKIN faces in the night? I wanted to pair the most punk rock track on this list with this totally punk rock pumpkin ale from Dogfish Head. It’s a brown ale, but with pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices, it’s a great seasonal drink. Despite the fact that it’s 7% ABV, it feels much light enough to finish in the short length of the average Misfits track.

“Dead Man’s Party”- Oingo Boingo

Like the Misfits and Type O, I’ll add another Halloween essential to the mix: Danny Elfman. His compositions from movies like Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas are as familiar as the films themselves around All Hallow’s Eve. Elfman fronted Oingo Boingo from 1972-1995, and the title track of 1985’s Dead Man’s Party is a favorite for all Halloween parties, whether you’re dead or alive.

I’ll pair this older favorite with a new beer that I love: 2Roads Brewing’s Roadsmary’s Baby. There are plenty of pumpkin beers out there, but this one stands out with its rum-barrel-aged sweetness. It’s 6.8% alcohol but drinks very easily.

“Time Warp”- Richard O’Brien/Rocky Horror Picture Show

“Time Warp” is a classic Halloween song. It doesn’t feel like Halloween until I’ve done the Time Warp at least 4 times. In that way, I picked a classic Oktoberfest ale to pair with it. Paulaner goes back a little earlier than Rocky Horror, 1810 to be exact, for the first ever Oktoberfest in Munich. I find the Paulaner Oktoberfest to be a little darker than some of the others out there, with that tasty roasted malt flavor.

“I Put A Spell On You”- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

It’s one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 “Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”. The performance is ridiculous but still musically awesome. Isn’t that what Halloween is about? A chance to be ridiculous no matter if you’re a serious musician or not.

I paired Screamin’ Jay, who was born in Cleveland, with a delicious beer that was too. Great Lakes Brewing puts out their Nosferatu imperial red ale, which is a nice change to see amongst all the pumpkin-heavy beers this time of year.