Back in 2011, I wrote this review on a handful of pumpkin ales. I quickly learned that pumpkin ale is a divisive topic in the word of craft brewing. It is viewed by some as more of a marketing opportunity than true example of brewing craftsmanship. Instead of making this an annual event, I held off until the tension subsided.
That said, here are a few we’ve tried this year:
Roadsmary’s Baby from Two Roads Brewing: This one gets the award for most original name, great artwork and also a few extra points for being based here in Connecticut. Aged in rum barrels, I found it to be smooth and flavorful. Check out their site for a number of other seasonal favorites.
Harvest Patch Shandy from Leinenkugel‘s: I have long been a Leinenekugel’s fan and hope one day to drive a VW Camper Van to the Leinie Lodge. Their Summer Shandy and Sunset Wheat are staples in our fridge. That said, we felt that Harvest Patch Shandy tastes more like a gingerbread cookie than a pumpkin ale. Don’t tell your kids . . .
UFO Pumpkin from Harpoon Brewery: Harpoon is just up the road in Boston, and UFO (Un Filtered Offering) Pumpkin is a great seasonal brew that truly tastes like a pumpkin ale should.
Blue Point Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale turned out to be a nice surprise. I wasn’t as familiar with Long Island’s Blue Point, but it is a solid offering.
Wilhelm Scream from Magic Hat has probably one of the best web sites I’ve seen, which includes an animated video. The Burlington VT brewery got this one right. Great taste without overdoing the pumpkin flavor.
Regardless of your brand, hope you have time for some seasonal brews as we move into the fall. Enjoy!