Ah, fall! When the IPAs of summer are replaced with the spicy, malty brews of autumn. From September to November, taprooms and beer stores carry my favorite fall beer, the pumpkin beer.
You may be wondering what makes me qualified to talk about beer? Two things: I have taste buds, and I have a blog. No need for pretense here, anyone can drink a beer and know if they like it or not. No special education required.
My personal preference: I like malty, darker beers, with a strong pumpkin flavor. I don’t like bitter, and am not a fan of hoppy.
These tasting notes are just my opinions and reactions to the beers I tried (Spoiler alert: My brain is a strange place and sometimes makes strange associations. Example: I once tried a beer that I described as fruity, with a hint of adhesive bandage. My husband liked the beer, was horrified at my description, but conceded that my review was 100% accurate.)
You don’t really need to know this stuff, but just in case you don’t and you want to, here it is in super simplified form:
Hoppy: floral, usually bitter taste (although you can have hoppy without bitter).
Malty: nutty/toasty/bready taste
ABV: Alcohol By Volume. The higher the percentage, the higher the alcohol. Here’s my super standardized (aka totally made up) chart of ABV %:
≤ 5%: Was there alcohol in that?
6-8%: Now we’re talking!
≥ 9%: Whoo-ee! That’s got some kick!
- ⭐️- OMG, what did I just put in my mouth?!?
- ⭐️⭐️- Nope.
- ⭐️⭐️⭐️- OK.
- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Now we’re talking!
- 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – I’m in heaven!
Note: These are just my crazy opinions, shared for your entertainment.
by New Belgium, 6% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Pumpkin beer with cranberries. Good balance of spices, slight cranberry taste without being too tart.
by Smuttynose, 6.1% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Hoppiest of the pumpkins that I’ll drink, but not bitter at all. Subtle pumpkin flavor. Decent fall beer.
by Uinta, 5% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unremarkable fall beer, nothing special here.
by Traveler, 4.4% ABV
⭐️ This is terrible. It tastes like someone mixed flat coke, lemon juice, beer, and regret.
Out of Your Gourd
by Redhook, 5.8% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Pumpkin porter. No discernible pumpkin taste.
Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
by Elysian, 5.9% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Pumpkin pie in a bottle without being too sweet. If you want a good beer packed full of pumpkin flavor, this is your beer.
Devious Imperial Pumpkin
by Fegley’s Brew Works, 9% ABV
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is my favorite of all the beers on this list. It’s a darker boozy beer, so if you only like light beers, this is not the one for you.
Imperial Pumpkin Ale
by Weyerbacher, 8% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Pretty good, but I view it as a weaker version of the Devious.
by Dogfish, 7% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Subtle pumpkin spice, overall good flavor.
by Saucony Creek, 8% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Tastes like maple and pumpkin, even though there is no pumpkin. It is actually made with butternut squash. Very good.
by Tommyknocker, 5% ABV
Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin
by Uinta, 10.31% ABV (Oh, I get it.)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ No real pumpkin taste, but still ok. Definite oak flavor. Slight bitter aftertaste.
by Southern Tier, 10% ABV
⭐️⭐️½ Stout with pumpkin spice flavor. Ok cold, kinda gross at room temperature.
by Harpoon, 5.9% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unfiltered, subtle pumpkin. Good if you like unfiltered beers.
Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin
by River Horse, 8.1% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Very little pumpkin, boozy.
Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
by Stevens Point, 7.5% ABV
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Excellent. Spices are more akin to pumpkin bread or muffin, than pumpkin pie.
Trick or Treat
by Evil Genius, 7.8% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Strong chocolate flavor, the pumpkin tastes like peanut butter to me. Nothing wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.
Pumking Imperial Ale
by Southern Tier, 8.6% ABV, 30
⭐️ Tastes like a pumpkin candle. Sickly sweet, and artificial.
Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
by New Belgium, 6.4% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Pumpkin spice flavor with a little bit of heat. Strong cinnamon (which I love). Doesn’t build to an unbearable heat like some spicy beers.
by Devils Backbone Brewing Company, 5.1% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Nutty, subtle pumpkin. Very Decent.
Bourbon-Barrel Aged Devious
by Fegley’s Brew Works, 9% ABV
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 The barrel aging overpowers the pumpkin. While it no longer tastes like pumpkin, it now tastes like a spicy, vanilla bourbon beer. Excellent!
by New Holland Brewing Company, 4.5% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Crisp, spice flavor. Pumpkin is subtle, and it gets bitter after the first sip or two.
by Block House Brewing, 7% ABV
⭐️ Too much pumpkin spice. Too sweet. Too gross.
Post Road Pumpkin Ale
by Brooklyn Brewery, 5% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Definite pumpkin spice flavor. Almost hoppy, but not bitter.
by Rivertown Brewing, 8.1% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Strong maple spice flavor. Sweeter than I usually like in a beer, but not sickly sweet. More of a dessert beer.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
by Atwater Brewery, 7% ABV
⭐️⭐️½ Definite latte taste, but not really pumpkin. Some slight spice. Bitter aftertaste. Couldn’t finish.
by Susquehanna Brewing Company, 4.8% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Good strong pumpkin spice. Lots of cinnamon. Very good.
Jacques Au Lantern Pumpkin Ale
by Evolution Craft Brewing Company, 6.3% ABV
The Great’er Pumpkin
by Heavy Seas Beer, 10% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Boozy. Stronger pumpkin flavor than most barrel aged pumpkins. Some hoppy bitterness.
by HiJinx Brewing Company, 7.5% ABV
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Strong pumpkin and cinnamon flavor without being over the top. Pumpkin pie aftertaste.
Best overall beer:
🍻Devious Imperial Pumpkin by Fegley’s Brew Works
Best pumpkin flavor:
🍺Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale by Stevens Point
🍺Night Owl Pumpkin Ale by Elysian
Best pumpkin plus other flavor:
🍺Pumpkick by New Belgium
🍺Maple Mistress by Saucony Creek
I need to buy more of:
🍺Pumpkin Ale by Susquehanna Brewing Company
🍺Bourbon-Barrel Aged Devious by Fegley’s Brew Works
🍺Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin by New Belgium
🍺Mischief Night by HiJinx Brewing Company
Seriously though, these are just my opinions expressed in my quirky manner. I mean, “regret” isn’t actually a flavor- although I certainly regretted drinking it.