In the beginning of October we can all feel the change. The long hot summer days are done, there’s that great fall smell is in the air, the leaves start turning. Autumn brings a feeling unlike any other season, memories of Halloween and Thanksgiving, a feeling of comfort.
These feelings are enhanced by the flavors of the season, apple pie, warm cider and pumpkin ale. The problem is breweries release these beer starting in August! That’s like Christmas lights in October, over saturated.
But pumpkin ales don’t suck. They are part of the flavor landscape of this magnificent time. Hanging with family, watching the Macy’s parade and football, eating too much, drinking beer. Pumpkin doesn’t actually add that much flavor to beer (although it does add body). It’s those pie spices that make this style unique. Some versions don’t even contain pumpkin at all! Personally, I like to make my pumpkin ales with pumpkin, as I prefer authenticity.
The great thing about pumpkin ales is that there is no one way to make them. Traditionally they are amber ales with pumpkin pie spice, like our Great Pumpkin Spice recipe. which is malty and spicy, yet easy drinking. I recommend drinking this one while watching It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
They can also be darker, like our Dark Pumpkin Stout, with dark roasted malts, golden naked oats and spiced with lots of cinnamon, ginger and even licorice. This is a great one to have by the fire, if you have a fire. If not, a large candle and an active imagination will do.
If you want to find out what your Uncle George really thinks at this years Thanksgiving with the family, try giving him a few of our King Pumpkin Imperials. A big and bold 8% monster, it's definitely a sipper.
So don’t hate the pumpkin, embrace it! Brew up a batch for the holidays this year and show your friends and family, pumpkin beers don’t suck!