Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

Fall means Pumpkin Beer Time

If it’s fall it means it’s time for all the pumpkin beer. Some people hate on pumpkin especially pumpkin beer and fall in general. Many like to make jokes about white girls in yoga pants. My feelings about the hatred of pumpkin and fall can be summed up as -

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To further elaborate - I like pumpkin and I like fall. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. We would wear sweaters and pretend we actually needed them when it was 60 degrees out.

I ended up having some friends over to enjoy pumpkin beer. French Twist DC posted her own tasting notes as well as history of pumpkin beer and Girl Meets Glass shared her pumpkin beer thoughts too.Beerbecue participated virtually with the Haybag as he was busy with 2.0. Bill Jusino also tweeted some of the fun. There may even be a DC Beer post on pumpkin beer. Another friend who is in Annapolis did her own pumpkin beer tasting and posted her thoughts. I also found the Great Pumpkin Beer Review with detailed reviews of several pumpkin beers.

There are still pumpkin beers available for purchase at many retail establishments, but I would start buying anything you like now as well as Oktoberfest and marzen. I have waited until October or November and places are sold out of many of the best.

On to my tasting notes-

Epic & DC Brau’s Fermentation Without Representation Collaboration Beer - I loved this one. I found it more balanced with the right about of spice, but still pumpkin flavor. By that I mean, it wasn’t like drinking pumpkin pie.
Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale - I am not sure if it was me or what, but I got strong buttery flavors. It was overpowering. It came off as sort of caramel popcorn. I have a second bottle to try later.
Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale Gruntled Pumpkin - This was not a crowd favorite. It came off as more gourd and squash like. When I drank it on it’s own, the first taste was clover and gourd smacking me around.
Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale - Here was another example of pumpkin beer being more balanced and not simply pumpkin pie in a bottle. It was slightly hoppy and slightly spicy as maybe corriander on the finish.
Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin - It looked light in the pour, but definitely packed a punch. It was more malty like I normally enjoyed. It had more caramel notes with the pumpkin spice flavors popping through.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead - Our group did not enjoy this one. The spices were overwhelming in a harsh way.
Brasserie McAuslan’s St-Ambroise Citrouille - It was light and had minimal nutmeg notes. It was very smooth, but not that impressive.
Heavy Seas The Great Pumpkin - I really enjoyed this beer, but didn’t really consider it a pumpkin beer. It was toasty with great caramel and nutty flavors. I just didn’t get any pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavors.
Flying Dog Brewery, The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale - This was a crowd pleaser. It was a dark color poured, but not very heavy. Plenty of clove notes.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale - This is always another popular pumpkin beer. It’s lighter and more on the pumpkin pie scale with a lot of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg notes.
Matt Brewing Company’s Saranac Pumpkin Ale - This is a middle ground pumpkin beer. It is also lighter with more sweetness in the form of  clove and nutmeg.
Starr Hill Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter - The pumpkin is slightly overpowered by the porter in this beer. It came off as more muted.

In the end, taste is subjective even your own. I find that depending on what I am eating, the weather and even the type of day I had that my taste in beer will change. I may go for a second round of some of these beers especially when it gets a little cooler.