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It's Pumpkin beer time! What are you favorites?

Rick Sep 17, 2011 12:34 PM

My favorite so far is Pumking, but at $85/case it's not exactly affordable. My gf likes the Dog Fish Head Punkin Ale, I don't mind it, but don't love it. What is everyone else enjoying?

  1. s
    Solstice444 Oct 20, 2012 11:57 AM

    It's a bit late for my report from this year, but my favorite pumpkin beers from the Northeast this year (I sampled about 14 different ones) were Wolaver's, Captain Lawrence, and Saranac.

    1. Dapuma Oct 19, 2012 02:30 PM

      Schlafly Pumpkin Ale 8% is the best Pumpkin Ale i have ever had

      Only sourced around MO, however it is worth paying for shipping for a 6 pack, simply amazing

      Dogfish Head is a solid beer but lacks that pumpkin flavor

      Shipyard SMASHED Pumpkin is pretty good but not as good as Schlafly make sure it is the smashed version at 9%

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dapuma
        JessKidden Oct 20, 2012 03:00 AM

        Schlafly's beers are distributed in all or part of 12 states, from Kansas to their west and then east to NJ, according to their own website. http://schlafly.com/beers/distribution/ Only 8 states get their full line-up but according to their NJ distributor, Hunterdon, the Pumpkin Ale is carried by them.

        Looking at the ratings on Beer Advocate, the Pumpkin Ale is the Schlafly beer that actually has the most ratings -350 - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/583 so it doesn't appear to be rare or limited (perplexing as that is).

      2. d
        DGSullivan Oct 25, 2011 10:26 PM

        Agreed on the Pumking from Southern Tier. It was a huge hit last Fall and just this weekend replaced a Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose that was , well...let's just say we're glad it's gone and Pumking is in it's rightful place!

        1 Reply
        1. re: DGSullivan
          ratgirlagogo Oct 31, 2011 02:19 PM

          We just had Pumking for the first time last night - not something I would like to drink a lot of, but a perfect Halloween party beer, which is what we got it for. I am not crazy for pumpkin beer generally so I've only had a few - Post Road, Smuttynose, Shock Top, and Shipyard - and Pumking is easily better than any of those.

          However I was actually a LOT more excited to find the first six-pack of the 2011 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Now that's the seasonal I look forward to all year!

        2. b
          boingo2000 Oct 24, 2011 10:34 AM

          I've had a number of pumpkin beers this season, and I have to say that hands down, my favorite is one that I didn't even realize existed until I walked into a bar that had it on tap: Sam Adams Double Pumpkin Ale. They must have released it without much fanfare, and it's apparently only available on draft....it's a big (8% abv), dark, rich beer with a ton of spice and a pleasant sweetness. I hope they expand this offering so it will be easier to find.

          1. rob133 Oct 11, 2011 04:39 PM

            Maverick's 2011 Pumpkin Harvest Ale from Half Moon Bay Brewing is about the best I have had so far this year.

            1. b
              bulldogx2 Sep 30, 2011 07:37 AM

              I've enjoyed Schlafly's pumpkin ale this year.

              4 Replies
              1. re: bulldogx2
                daves_32 Oct 10, 2011 05:13 AM

                I second the sentiments for Post Road and Weyerbacher. For a more subtle pumpkin flavor, try New Holland's Ichabod. Excellent in pumpkin beer bread

                1. re: daves_32
                  Fowler Oct 12, 2011 10:25 AM

                  "...pumpkin beer bread"

                  Great idea!

                2. re: bulldogx2
                  Erinmck Oct 22, 2011 07:41 PM

                  I, too, enjoy Schlafly's pumpkin ale. I can't have more than one. Any other recommendations for the KC area?

                  1. re: Erinmck
                    Dapuma Oct 19, 2012 02:31 PM

                    it is SO good, i need to get some shipped to me

                3. c
                  crewsweeper Sep 29, 2011 11:19 AM

                  Flying Dog's Fear has a lot of that pumpkin pie spiciness to it. Nicely balanced.

                  I found the Elysian Dark O' the Moon Stout to be a great example of a good pumpkin brew.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: crewsweeper
                    imhungryletseat Sep 29, 2011 07:36 PM

                    I would venture a guess that most of todays pumpkin ales are not what our founding fathers envisioned them to be, nor how they actually brewed them. Why does everything today need to be over the top...over-spiced over hopped etc... That said, I enjoy Post Road Pumpkin year in and year out...
                    Not to get off track and call me boring, but I can spend the rest of my life drinking 5 beers.....Pilsner Urquell, SN Pale Ale, SS Oatmeal Stout, Duvel and the rotating seasonal be it Spaten Octoberfest, SS Winter Welcome etc...I realize that is more than four beers but I was crazy trying to get it down to five beers!!!!

                  2. s
                    skaboom4202 Sep 28, 2011 03:02 PM

                    Ive tried about 15 pumpkin beers this season. Here is my top 5
                    1. ST Pumking expensive, but worth it.
                    2. Screamin Pumpkin Spiced Ale a little spicy, but very good
                    3. O Fallen Pumpkin Beer
                    4. Shipyard Pumpkinhead
                    5. Hoppin Frogs Double Pumpkin
                    Blue Moon and Weyerbacher Imperial also get honorable mention. Still waiting for sam adams and flying dog pumkins to be available. Also, i recommend adding a shot of pinnacle whipped cream vodka to really make them taste like pumpkin pie. good stuff

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: skaboom4202
                      californiabeerandpizza Sep 28, 2011 05:25 PM

                      I like Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian.

                      1. re: skaboom4202
                        kattyeyes Oct 11, 2011 10:42 AM

                        I wasn't sure if you were kidding or not when I first read your post, but NO JOKE: Pinnacle Whipped is a fun addition to pumpkin beer. I've had it with Shock Top and Shipyard Pumpkinhead. Pumpkin pie in a glass (or in yer bottle!) for sure!

                        A word to the wise for next season, all you pumpkin beer lovers: Shipyard's Smashed Pumpkin sells out FAST, so set your shopping sights on that one EARLY on! CHEERS!

                        1. re: skaboom4202
                          rworange Nov 2, 2011 08:26 PM


                          I thought Blue Moon totally lacked the slightest pumpkin flavor. What I love, love love this year is Indian Wells Brewing Company Spicy pumpkin ale. Wonderful spices and a great pumpkin taste. Whole Foods is selling it in California.

                          Whatever it is Trader Joe's is selling, isn't pleasant. There's a bitter edge to it ... but not good beer bitter edge. No pumpkin taste and the spices overwhelm it.

                          1. re: rworange
                            acetaminophen Nov 2, 2011 08:57 PM

                            I had the Spicy Pumpkin Ale just last week! I've also had the Trader Joe's pumpkin ale (also don't remember the name of it). Here's my comparison, in layman's terms:

                            Blue Moon: like a Blue Moon with pumpkin flavor
                            Trader Joe's: like pumpkin pie with an aftertaste
                            Spicy pumpkin ale: like just the pumpkin pie spices

                            1. re: acetaminophen
                              rworange Nov 2, 2011 09:05 PM

                              Yeah, that is it exactly with the TJ's. It has an aftertaste that isn't pleasant.

                            2. re: rworange
                              boingo2000 Nov 3, 2011 01:48 PM

                              Here in AZ, TJ is selling Kennebunport Brewing Pumpkin Ale, which I believe is part of Shipyard Brewing.

                          2. b
                            brentk Sep 25, 2011 11:53 AM

                            Most of my favorites have limited distribution, but would include a number brewed here in the southeast - Cottonwood. Big Boss and Williamsburg AleWerks among them. I also like a number brewed in the northeast - Smuttynose, Southampton and Southern Tier. Elysian, in the Pacific Northwest, also makes a good one, but my all time favorite would have to be TREAT, the pumpkin porter brewed by Midnight Sun.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: brentk
                              brentk Oct 23, 2011 08:25 AM

                              Tried this year's Dogfish Head a few days ago and would have to add that to my list. I preferred it to the Smuttynose, which is a reversal for me.

                            2. Fowler Sep 20, 2011 08:30 AM

                              I like Lakefront Brewery's Pumpkin Lager.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Fowler
                                cwdonald Sep 22, 2011 06:11 PM

                                Had the Punking for the first time this year.. on draft. Perhaps its should be renamed Imperial Pumpkin Pie Beverage. Over the top to me.... Also tried DFH Punkin' Ale. More subtle.. much preferred.

                                Anybody had Weyerbachers Pumpkin yet this year?

                                1. re: cwdonald
                                  Solstice444 Sep 24, 2011 06:05 AM

                                  I've had the Weyerbacher this year, which is one of my favorites, and it's good, but I think it was better last year. Just had the Pumking on tap yesterday and enjoyed it. I also like Dogfish Head Punkin, Saranac Pumpkin for easier drinking/less spice notes, and Shipyard Pumpkinhead and Smashed Pumpkin. I tried the Cape Ann Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout for the first time this year and thought it was just ok.

                              2. d
                                DavidPalmer Sep 20, 2011 08:22 AM

                                Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale are 2 of my favorites.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: DavidPalmer
                                  kattyeyes Sep 25, 2011 07:22 AM

                                  I'm new to pumpkin beers, but tried Shipyard Pumpkinhead yesterday and really loved it.

                                  Also picked up Shock Top's pumpkin offering. Not bad at all, but preferred the Pumpkinhead. I'll add Smashed Pumpkin to my list to try, too:

                                2. j
                                  jbuttitta Sep 19, 2011 05:44 PM

                                  My favorite so far is Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout from Cape Ann Brewing. There are still plenty more to try. Does Anyone know if Brooklyn Brewing's Post Road Pumpkin will be available in Maine?

                                  1. t
                                    thatwhileifound Sep 19, 2011 02:58 PM

                                    A lot of my old US favorites aren't available here, so ignoring whatever I brew myself, my go-to pumpkin ales are the Phillip's Brewing Crooked Tooth and Central City/Red Racer's pumpkin ale.

                                    1. s
                                      Shaggy Sep 19, 2011 11:23 AM

                                      I like Buffalo Bills and Post Road, but my favorite is Pumking from Southern Tier. I know some purists will respond and say it's overly sweet (and some people will say pumpkin beers are all gross), but I don't care, it tastes like pumpkin pie.

                                      1. Tripeler Sep 19, 2011 03:10 AM

                                        I'm an old timer in terms of pumpkin beer, and still have a soft spot for Buffalo Bill's.

                                        1. a
                                          acetaminophen Sep 18, 2011 09:53 PM

                                          I'll be following this topic closely! I just turned 21 in June, and I just had a Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale at dinner yesterday. It was delicious, so I'm looking forward to discovering other pumpkin beers.

                                          1. JessKidden Sep 17, 2011 01:20 PM


                                            I prefer cherry pie to pumpkin pie, so if ever I wanted a malternative - FMB (flavored malt beverage), that'd be my choice.

                                            I just wish Tastykake would make a malt & hop flavored Tastykake Pie.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: JessKidden
                                              Chinon00 Sep 26, 2011 07:57 AM

                                              Ok Jess I'll take the bait. Question: Do you see many pumpkin ales being sold on draft or bottle at non-craft beer bars.

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