AUTUMN is here, winter looms on the horizon, and some marvellous new beers are coming into season.

If I were forced to pick only one month in the year in which to drink, it would be either October or November. Yorkshire's breweries produce sublime beers all year round, but it's the darker flavours, encapsulated at the tail end of the year, that I've grown fondest of.

When you leave work in darkness and traipse through the rain or cold, nothing quite hits the spot like a rich, full-bodied pint, preferably of something dark and substantial.

So, what have our local breweries got lined up for us this year? That's what we set out to discover...

Treboom Brewery in Shipton-by-Beningborough seem to have the most intriguing new launch of any of the local producers.

Their Powderkeg is a smoked tea stout, brewed with the addition of a batch of lapsang souchong tea, and created in collaboration with the Rare Tea Company.

York Press:

Jane Blackman, brewery co-owner, said the idea arose from a conversation with a restaurant owner about tea and beer, and the potential for overlap.

She said they wanted to make a beer with an autumn and winter feel, evocative of bonfires, and described the result as a malty, dark, robust beer with a hint of smokiness.

The tea isn't overpowering, she says, as they wanted a beer that people could enjoy a couple of pints rather than only a third or a half.

Up at Melmerby near Ripon, Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales is continuing its series of 25 beers in its 25th year. The November creation will be Hambleton Toffee Stout, which combines four types of malt and two varieties of hop, with a "hit of toffee".

York Press:

Just across the A1 in Dishforth, Paul Holden-Ridgway at Bad Co has finished Smashing Pumpkin, which he says is his best pumpkin beer yet. It may be one for those keen to try something different, rather than traditional beer purists, however.... The brewing process included 175kg of pumpkins, 70kg of brown sugar, and 12kg of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and all-spice.

East of York, Half Moon Brewery at Ellerton has created a beer which apparently "tastes dark" despite being pale. Galatea is an oatmeal pale, which brewer Tony Rogers says looks very pale but has a rich, mealy flavour and body to it. Like porridge with hops, he says. He has also brewed a new mahogany bitter called Anglo.

York Press:

Dave Shaw at Hop Studio in Elvington has also created an oatmeal pale, called Mosaic, as well as three other new beers, and all four left the brewery this week bound for local bars.

Barolo is a dark American red ale, Eau de Lune is a black saison, and Five Lions is an English-hopped IPA, named in honour of York's coat of arms.

And finally.... Brass Castle in Malton have just launched two new beers: a red rye ale called Rubicon, described by owner Phil Saltonstall as a malty autumnal beer, and Black Russian, a formidable-sounding Baltic Porter.