Something that is particularly enjoyable for me about the arrival of cool weather and the colorful change in seasons is getting to visit beer tastings here in USA’s Beer City (East) that feature one of my favorite seasonals: the pumpkin ale.
After a fairly slow rise in popularity, there are now a good variety of these available on the market, ranging from those offered by smaller crafters across the country, to more mainstream companies like Blue Moon, who offers their own Harvest Moon pumpkin ale for purveyors of the pulpy punkin pour.
Recently, Culture of Spirits writer Christopher McCollum joined my girlfriend, my younger brother, and I in attending a generous sampling of different pumpkin beers at our neighborhood brew supply shop Hops and Vines. Among the beers Alex, Chris, and the gang supplied us with, we tried an 8.0% ABV imperial pumpkin ale made by Weyerbacher, cited as “the mother of all pumpkin ales.” Indeed, Weyerbacher’s brew is spicier, more caramelly, and offers a bit more pronounced pumpkin flavor than many of the others. “We have added lots of pumpkin along with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor,” the company’s website states. “This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale.” Indeed, this was one of the most interesting pumpkin beers I’ve tried to-date, but there were a variety of others that presented spicier, more fruit-filled (or rather, vegetable-filled, since pumpkins are in the squash family) surprises.