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Best pumpkin beers this season

I really get into the pumpkin beers and they tend to vary season by season.

The best I have had this yr are

Dogfish Pumkin
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin
Southern Tier Pumking

Others I have had range from mediocre to poor. While I prefer a sweeter pumpkin ale to a dryer one, Post Road's Pumpkin was pretty good this year.

What are your favourites?

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  1. Hands down Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin. One of the few that has a balance of malt, spices, AND hops. Just waiting for my local to put it on tap so I can suck down more than my share.

    Cambridge Brewing Company - A local brewpub's pumpkin came out really well this year - too bad one of the bartender's there think its so precious that he wouldn't allow me to mix it with their porter. Black pumpkin ale with hop character will be all the rage in the future....

    1. I bought a assortment sixer of pumpkin beers and was not blown away by many, Ive become more of a fan of the traditional oktoberfests. Of the ones I had, several are a little too pumpkin pie/spice flavored for me but my favorite so far is Dogfish Head. Blue Moon, Souther Tier, Post Road were okay to me but again, were more of the ones that were pumpkin pie sweet.

      Personal favorite is a local brew in New Brunswick at Harvest Moon Brewery- slight hint of pumpkin (not the spices) that are really delicious.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yankeefan

        I like the ones that taste like you are eating a pumpkin pie, caramel ad spices galore. I can't drink more than a couple but I really do enjoy them every year as a nice dessert/change of pace

        1. re: MVNYC

          My wife enjoys the same thing, she loves the Post Road.

      2. Tried Dogfish Punkin in the bottle, liked it, then had it on draft at the local tavern and liked it even more.
        Maybe because I drank a far bit of it in college, but I am quite fond of Buffalo Bill's (can't believe that it wasn't until I moved across the country that I realized that their brewpub is right near my grandma's home in California - d'oh!).
        I have a twenty-two of the Weyerbacher that I'm saving, but am looking foward to.

        1. The Shipyard Pumpkin Ale was my favorite last fall. It's of the pumpkin-pie sweet tasting variety.

          1. Smuttynose Pumpkin is good on draft this year.

            1. I love the Weyerbacher pumpkin myself. I loved the somewhat subtle pumpkin flavor and the spicy finish. Too many pumpkin beers end up tasting like flavored malt drinks to me. There was no doubt the Weyerbacher was first and foremost a beer.


              1 Reply
              1. re: tjason1

                I finally had that twenty-two I was saving and couldn't agree with you more - this is an amazing brew! Think I might pick up a few more to have at Thanksgiving.

              2. best one i've had this year is the pumpkin stout from cape ann (fisherman's) in mass. it's available in 6-packs at better beer stores in massachusetts. i think the sweetness and richness of pumpkin and associated spices meld better with a darker beer.

                1. My husband is brewing pumpkin beer as I type. Anyone have any experience with this? He's concocted his own recipe, and we're hoping it's great after our Thanksgiving feast. The pumpkin smelled fabulous as he was roasting it this morning!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: 4maxwelz

                    I've brewed one for the last 3 years - just went on tap last week and is quite nice. I have been using roasted and raw pumpkin in the mash and adding spices at the end of the boil and adjusting with a spice extract (soak pumpkin pie spices in vodka) when I keg.

                    I wanted to try to sneak another one in just in time for Thanksgiving - this time a black pumpkin ipa - but may not be able to get to it this year since I am buying a house and moving.

                    1. re: LStaff

                      Make sure you use the right pumpkin--not the jack-o-lantern type but the pie pumpkin.

                      1. re: rollawaydadew

                        Didn't think about that....we'll see how it tastes around Thanksgiving.

                        1. re: rollawaydadew

                          I think I used a Jack-O-Lantern (stole one of the kids on the front porch). I did spice the heck out of it before roasting though.

                    2. Southampton and Dogfish. Both better on tap than bottle. My local distributor has both available in growlers.

                        1. I wasn't wild about the Dogfish this year. I'm with you though on the Weyerbacher, this is the first year I've tried it. And the Post Road Pumpkin Ale continues to impress, though Weyerbacher edges it out a bit. I like a good pumpkin/pumpkin-pie-spice balance and the Weyerbacher gets it just right.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: joypirate

                            The Southern Tier is really good as far as actual pumpkin taste goes and nnot just spice. You get a big blast o pumpkin in the beer and the spices complement it very well. While not overly sweet it does provide a rich caramel malt backbone

                          2. Any one have Buffalo Bill's? A friend prefers that brand.

                            I find the whole idea an abomination.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: FrankJBN

                              Buffalo Bill's is the Miller Lite of pumpkin beers, IMO.

                              1. re: brentk

                                If I recall correctly, Buffalo Bill's pretty much created (some of us might say "is to blame for") the modern day "pumpkin beer" by brewing an early attempt at a authentic colonial era pumpkin beer and then trying to "save" it by dumping in a bunch of spices normally associated with pumpkin pie.

                                1. re: brentk

                                  I think that Jack's and Harvest Moon's Pumpkin ale are the miller lites of pumpkin ales. Anheuser Busch and Coors to be exact.

                                  Buffalo Bills was my first and I prefer it over Dogfish Head, which I found to be only spice and no pumpkin.

                                  1. re: Lixer

                                    I have to disagree, I thought the opposite about the Dogfish. I liked the characteristic that the squash taste was there with the roasty flavor and wasnt any level of overkill from the spices and sugars.

                                    1. re: yankeefan

                                      that time of the year is upon us again. brought home some imperial and some smuttynose pumpkin ale. where did the summer go?

                                    2. re: Lixer

                                      Jack's and Harvest make up 75% of the market in STL. Not much else to be had.

                                2. I had the opportunity to try Southern Tier Pumking yesterday and was disappointed. I didn't get enough pumpkin taste and instead found the nose and taste to be profoundly of vanilla wafers, ginger snaps and oatmeal cookies. Now was that unpleasant? No, but I recall Dogfish Head having more pumpkin "meat" taste as it were. Maybe it comes down to preference. But what makes it tough is that there is broad disagreement apparently between what some consider pumpkin spice taste and pumpkin meat taste.


                                  1. My perpetual vote for pumpkin beer is Alpine's Ichabod. Past versions have been on my short list of favorite beers. I think they're mixing it up this year and doing a Doppelbock Pumpkin beer instead of a Belgian style sour. Should be available around Halloween but it might be hard to come by. I might be able to get some for trade if anyone wants.