Rating an assortment of pumpkin-based beers
Tue, Oct 18, 2011 (5:10 p.m.)
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
One of beer’s beauties is that it can be brewed with practically any ingredient. Fruits and vegetables are common, although beers using Hungarian pig (yeah, actual swine) and peanut butter were showcased at the recent Great American Beer Festival. With the season in mind, we explore a sampling of pumpkin-based brews. This is only a sample—you’ll be surprised how many are out there once you start looking.
Dogfish Head Punkin
Normally, Dogfish Head’s beers are substantially more boisterous, but the strong cinnamon and allspice flavors make for a surprisingly easy-drinking 7 percent ABV ale.
Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin
I’m not usually a cider drinker, but the pumpkin cuts the typical cider sharpness. It’s well worth tracking down the world’s only pumpkin cider during its limited seasonal run.
Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale
This is available year round, but you shouldn’t care, because it tastes like pumpkin-tainted dishwater. Please don’t make me drink anymore.
An aptly named beer, because it reminds me of Ashton Kutcher’s similarly titled show. What if you brewed a pumpkin beer that didn’t taste like pumpkin? You just got punk’d by Uinta Punk’n!
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
Best described as pumpkin pie in a bottle, this beer is wonderfully balanced and easily drinkable. I wish this were available year-round.
Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Uinta redeems itself with a wonderful oaked pumpkin ale. A nice balance of toastiness and sweetness weighing in at a robust 10.31 percent ABV.