9.28.2015

Pumpkin Beer Guide

There are many things to love about fall: gorgeous foliage, cooler temperatures, boots and scarves, apple and pumpkin treats, holidays, and new beers. Seasonal beers have exploded on the market the past several years, and fall and pumpkin beers are the most sought-after of the group. With new brews released each year, it can be difficult to find one that suits your tastes. Luckily, Lindsay and I tested some of the most popular pumpkin and fall beers so you don't have to. It's a tough job, but someone had to do it:

Pumpkin Beer Guide
1. NEW BELGIUM PUMPKICK SPICED ALE. THREE out of FIVE.
This one was good, just not at all what I was expecting! It had hints of cranberries and lemongrass that definitely change things up when compared to other fall seasonals. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I would definitely try it again.  

2. BOULEVARD FUNKY PUMPKIN SOUR ALE. FOUR out of FIVE.
Boulevard makes some of my favorite beers, so I was excited to try this sour. I'm sometimes a fan of sours, and sometimes not, so I was intrigued immediately. This beer has all the spices you find in a normal pumpkin beer but definitely carries the tartness of a sour. I tasted some toffee hints in this.  

3. O'FALLON PUMPKIN BEER. THREE out of FIVE.
This beer was pretty sweet with clear hints of vanilla and caramel. Definitely not something I would seek out, but not a bad beer overall.  

4. UINTA PUNK'N. FIVE out of FIVE.
YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM. But seriously, there are subtle hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove that always work really well with pumpkin. This beer has a great bitter finish that makes it unlike some of the other pumpkin beers I have tried.  

5. SCHLAFLY PUMPKIN ALE. FOUR out of FIVE.
VERY drinkable beer. This beer is on the sweeter side, which I don't normally love, but I really enjoyed how the spices balanced the sweetness so flawlessly.  

6. MOTHER'S OLD SCHOOL OKTOBERFEST. FOUR out of FIVE.
This medium-bodied beer has just enough hops with a good balance of sweetness. It's definitely super drinkable. I know I have had Mother's Mr. Pumpkin so I decided to try this one instead. Honestly, I prefer Mr. Pumpkin and would give that beer a FIVE. 

Pumpkin Beer Guide

7. BLUE MOON HARVEST MOON PUMPKIN ALE. THREE out of FIVE.
I wouldn't classify this as pumpkin-flavored beer which is why I gave it a three. It claims it's crafted with pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg but notes of citrus stand out more. A bit watered down tasting, but not bad.  

8. SHIPYARD PUMPKINHEAD. TWO out of FIVE.
Like the Blue Moon, I wouldn't call this "pumpkin-y"- instead, it's overwhelmingly cinnamon. It reminds me of gingerbread which would be cool if it were Christmas and it was called Gingerbread Beer. But it's not.  

9. CBC GREAT PUMPKIN ALE. FOUR out of FIVE.
Subtle notes of caramel, cinnamon, and clove that balanced beautifully with the pumpkin flavor. The most pumpkin-y of all the beers I tried. I'd definitely buy it again.  

10. SHOCK TOP PUMPKIN WHEAT. THREE out of FIVE.
A wheat-based beer that I found bland. It didn't taste of pumpkin and I didn't notice any of the traditional autumn spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which I found surprising. Nothing exceptional, but easy to drink.  

11. KENTUCKY PUMPKIN BARREL ALE. FIVE out of FIVE.
It's pumpkin-flavored beer aged in bourbon barrels. Need I say more? I saw the year-round Kentucky Bourbon Ale in a few other states this summer, so you may want to check your local distributor for the seasonal edition. The bourbon definitely overpowers the pumpkin, but that's fine by me.  

We had such a blast putting together this post and we really hope that this guide will help you choose the perfect fall seasonal for YOU.

What's your favorite seasonal beverage? Share with us below!

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