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Pumpkin Beer

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I bought some yesterday-Jack's I think it was called-but it didn't seem very pumpkin-y to me. I tasted more spices-like cinnamon and nutmeg. Is there a brand that has more of a pumpkin taste?

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  1. I don't know if it's available where you are, but Lakefront Brewery(Milwaukee,WI) Pumpkin is like pie in a bottle! It's really rich and sweet, well like a pumpkin pie!

    1. While there is historic precedent for using pumpkin to brew beer in Colonial times, it was used as an adjunct, to replace or supplement the barley malt (costly and in short supply) rather than as a flavoring. The "modern" pumpkin beers are more "Pumpkin Pie Spice Flavored" beers (tho' they do use pumpkin- often puree- in the brew kettle). Nothing very "traditional" about it.

      IIRC my craft brewing lore, Buffalo Bill's Brewpub, originated the current "style"- he brewed an ale with the addition of pumpkins from his garden, it turned out incredibly bland and, in order to "save" it, threw in a bunch of spices.

      1. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. It's great. Give it a try. To me, It's mellow enough to be a very statisfying ale for the fall. I feel it's sweet, but not so much that it's unappetizing. Great as a digestif IMO, especially now...

        2 Replies
        1. re: madgreek

          Punkin Ale has the rich malt base to stand up to spices. It's my favorite of the so-called "pumpkin ales" -- "so called" because many of them aren't pumpkin ales so much as ales flavored with spices used in pumpkin pies.

          1. re: Kenji

            I second DFH Punkin--the only pumpkin ale I would actually buy a 6 pack of.

        2. Jack's Pumpkin Spice is an AB product. If you like something along the same lines, but better try the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin. Balanced and sooo delicious with it's pumpkin pie notes.

          1. My favorite pumpkin beer is the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale. It is fuller bodied than most pumpkin beers, with more subtle pumpkin pie spice flavors.

            If you are anywhere near Boston, Cambridge Brewing Company does a great pumpkin ale they call The Great Pumpkin.

            6 Replies
            1. re: afty698

              Post Road has a good pumpkin ale; its lightly spiced and I believe it is made by the people who brew Brroklyn beers and all their beers are quality products

              1. re: imhungryletseat

                I recently had Post Road and found that it had the spices correct but was nonetheless thin and uninteresting. I agree with the earlier statement that a good pumpkin ale has gotta have malt structure to balance the spice.

                1. re: imhungryletseat

                  Maybe you don't realize Post Road and most of Brooklyn's beers are made at High Falls Brewery in NY who also makes Saranac and Gennesse beers. Not saying that Brooklyn's beers are inferior because of the contract relationship with High Falls, just that it seems odd to see someone say that all the beers brewed by the people who brew Brooklyn's beer are quality products. ;-)

                  1. re: LStaff

                    You're getting your upstate NY "old line" breweries confused. Brooklyn contracts with Matt Brewing Co., in Utica, which brews the Saranac line (previously known in the pre-craft era as the "West End Brewing Co." when it was best known for Utica Club beer and ale). Matt also brewed what was arguably the first contract/craft brew, New Amsterdam, and now contract-brews most of the "Pete's" line (for the East Coast, at least).

                    Genesee and the Dundee line are brewed at what is now known as High Falls Brewing Co., in Rochester (formerly known as Genesee Brewing Co.). They are also a contract brewer for Samuel Adams as well as a number of other beers.

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      Doh! You think I would know better being from upstate NY and all... ;-) Thanks for the correction, but my point still stands..... Along with Saratoga's contracts, it sure does make it difficult to keep track of who brews what in NY.

                  2. re: imhungryletseat

                    I would not call it good or anywhere close. I kept trying to drink it and after three or four swallows it was making me sick to my stomach! I, too found it thin and more than uninteresting...... disgusting.

                2. Wolaver's/Otter Creek Brewery in Middlebury, VT, makes a wonderful organic ale using locally grown pumpkins.... I visited the brewery last week and could see them chopping them up in the back. :) It's pretty widely available in New England and CA, hopefully other places too.

                  Here's a recent article about the beer:
                  http://www.7dvt.com/2008where-there-s...

                  1. Weyerbacher makes a fantastic spiced pumpkin brew, but my fav. is Southern Tier's Imperial Pumpking. It has a distinctive hazelnut and spice flavor in addition to the pumpkin!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kelarry

                      The book on ST Pumking in some circles is that it's an overly spiced, obvious beer. I tend to agree. For me it got to the point where the beer was left behind for the spices in terms of smell and taste.

                    2. My Philly vote goes for the Dogfish head and Smuttynose renditions. Lovely soothing pumpkin pie flavors without feeling like you've been snorting lines of nutmeg. A third place s brew would be weyerbacher, I often find their brews too over the top uneven, but if I'm in the mood for BIG rather than session pumkin beer, theirs is it.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: w.phillyeater

                        I found Smuttynose barely drinkable. Too medicinal.

                        1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                          I did not care for the Smuttynose either. Thought the hops vs. the pumpkin spice was just too much. At least for me though.

                      2. I really enjoy Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale. It's a wheat ale with pumpkin and spice flavors.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: A avenue

                          I also really enjoy this beer. It has a nice pumpkin flavor and blends well with the spices. Very fall.

                        2. Picked up a six of Smuttynose Pumpkin. Liked it a lot. Has more pumpkin smell than flavor but that was fine by me. It's kind of like a Pale ale with the essence of pumpkin. Made a version of a black and tan with it and floated a half pint of Guiness (can't be from a bottle, has to be from a draught can) on top. Even with the guiness on top, you could still smell the pumpkin. I think Murphy's may be a better substitue for Guiness in this application as it's a bit sweeter.