Fall has hit the northwest in full force. I spent this weekend wearing cozy flannels, raking leaves, and cuddling up with my dog under a heated blanket watching Harry Potter.
With my renewed zest for fall has come a little pumpkin beer taste test. I recently went to a place I’ve nicknamed beer heaven with a huge selection, and picked up this mixed six pack:
Pumpkin beers, left to right:
Below are some of our notes on the beers and various pumpkin flavors – keep in mind we don’t have what I would call refined or distinguishing palates – these were all beers and so we liked them all!
Uinta Punk’N Pumpkin Ale: a mild, lighter beer that isn’t as spicy. This one tastes more like pumpkin the squash than pumpkin pie.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale: Aside from a really cool label, this beer swings the opposite way from the Uinta- it’s more flavored of pumpkin pie spices than of the pumpkin.
Ace Pumpkin Hard Cider: I hadn’t seen a cider pumpkin beer before this year! This sweet, light, and crisp cider has a strong nutmeg flavor, but isn’t as sweet as your average cider- definitely keeps to the dry side.
Ballast Point Pumpkin Down: This Scottish ale is very malty and not overly sweet – it tastes more like pumpkin bread than pumpkin pie. It has a really fine foam on top that reminded me of whipped cream.
New Belgium Pumpkick: This is a pumpkin beer classic! This ale has a strong nutmeg flavor, and is much more hoppy than malty.
Elysian Night Owl: This beer smells strongly of pumpkin pie before you even taste it. It’s the creamiest beer of the bunch, and very dark.
Kyle and I had a lot of fun sharing these over the last week! So much fun that he bought us two bonus beers from our local favorite beer shop, Beer Store Milwaukie:
Jamaican Me Pumpkin: This fancy, wax sealed beer is a rum barrel-aged imperial pumpkin beer that has a lot going on. As Kyle put it after I read the label to him, “every flavor described was fully present.”
Elysian Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale: Elysian does a decent pumpkin beer (above) but this coffee version is all sorts of exciting. Imagine a darker, more coffee flavored pumpkin spice latte, served cold, with alcohol. This was strong and delicious.