Pumpkin Beers

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.)

 

Beer terms

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!

Ratings:

  • ⭐️- OMG, what did I just put in my mouth?!?
  • ⭐️⭐️- Nope.
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️- OK.
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Now we’re talking!
  • 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – I’m in heaven!

 

The Beers

Note: These are just my crazy opinions, shared for your entertainment. 

Pumpkick

by New Belgium, 6% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½  Pumpkin beer with cranberries. Good balance of spices, slight cranberry taste without being too tart.

Pumpkin Ale

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.

Punk’n

by Uinta, 5% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unremarkable fall beer, nothing special here.

Jack-O-Traveler Shandy

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.

Punkin Ale

by Dogfish, 7% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Subtle pumpkin spice, overall good flavor.

Maple Mistress

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.

Pumpkin Harvest

by Tommyknocker, 5% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Meh.

Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin

by Uinta, 10.31% ABV (.31? Who does that?)

⭐️⭐️⭐️ No real pumpkin taste, but still ok. Definite oak flavor. Slight bitter aftertaste.

Warlock

by Southern Tier, 10% ABV

⭐️⭐️½  Stout with pumpkin spice flavor. Ok cold, kinda gross at room temperature.

UFO Pumpkin

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.

Pumpkin Hunter

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!

Ichabod Ale

by New Holland Brewing Company, 4.5% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Crisp, spice flavor. Pumpkin is subtle, and it gets bitter after the first sip or two.

Pumpkin Ale

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.

Headless Wylie

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.

Pumpkin Ale

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Forgettable.

The Great’er Pumpkin

by Heavy Seas Beer, 10% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️½  Boozy. Stronger pumpkin flavor than most barrel aged pumpkins. Some hoppy bitterness.

Mischief Night

by HiJinx Brewing Company, 7.5% ABV

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Strong pumpkin and cinnamon flavor without being over the top. Pumpkin pie aftertaste.

 

My Favorites

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.

 

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