This year’s winner: Elysian’s Punkuccino. I was a little skeptical of a coffee-chocolate-pumpkin beer, but the flavors are perfectly balanced–a molasses-malt head, rich pumpkin, coffee, and stout with a little sweetness.
I got to try a lot of these at the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival–highly recommend the event. Special thanks to my family in Ohio for hooking me up with the Midwestern beers!
There are many types of pumpkin beer, so I’ve listed what I tried in several categories: pure pumpkin, pumpkin with spice, all spice, pumpkin with other flavors, and ciders. Some are sweet, some spicy (hot), some pure pumpkin spice, some pumpkiny, some citrusy. (This is not the best categorization system, but there were too many ales to do it by beer type.) Please note that I don’t care for particularly sweet beers but that it’s fine if you do!
Hope you find one you love!
Pumpkin + Other Flavors (not just pumpkin spice)
Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale – Elysian
5/5 Coffee-chocolate-pumpkin beer. A molasses-malt head, rich pumpkin, coffee, and stout with a little sweetness. Well balanced.
Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale – Lexington Brewing and Distilling
5/5 Sweet, bourbon, pumpkin, and light on the spice.
Dark O’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout – Elysian
4.5/5 Chocolate, pumpkin, and cinnamon. Even better than last year’s.
Pumpkinator (Bourbon Barrel Aged) – Saint Arnold Brewing Company
4.5/5 Bold; sweet with molasses; strong molasses and pumpkin flavors with a hint of cloves. A little syrupy.
Hansel and Gretel Pumpkin Pilsner – Elysian
4.5/5 Extremely gingery, tart beer with a hint of pumpkin.
Whiskey Dick Cantwell – Schooner Exact
4/5 My comment on Untappd: “Such whiskey wow”
Gourdon’s Extra Dry – Elysian
4/5 A botanical dry gin pumpkin beer.
Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale – Rogue
5/5 Big pumpkin flavor with a hint of vanilla, ginger, and clove. Very crisp and fresh.
Country Pumpkin – Ithaca Beer Company
4/5 A little tart, very pumpkiny.
Punk’n (2014) – Uinta
3.5/5 Solid pumpkin ale.
Kill Bill 5 – Elliot Bay Brewing
3/5 Tastes like a pumpkin seed.
Pumpkin with Spice
Night Owl Pumpkin Ale – Elysian
5/5 My favorite from last year.
Pumpkin Ale – Rivertown Brewing Co. (Ohio)
Big pumpkin flavor with molasses and nutmeg; a little bitter.
Ichabod Ale – New Holland
4/5 Pumpkin, ginger, malt, and cinnamon. (More pumpkin than in 2008. I missed you!)
Pumpkin Ale – Laurelwood
4/5 Robust pumpkin ale with spices; not too sweet.
Fall Hornin’ – Anderson Valley Brewing Company
4/5 Solid pumpkin beer with lots of cinnamon. Creamy and smooth.
The Great Pumpcan – Madtree
3.5/5 Pumpkin pie spice, caramelized malts, and a solid pumpkin flavor.
All Spice, No Pumpkin
Pumpkin Spice Ale – Two Beers
4/5 Like pure pumpkin spice, no pumpkin.
Jackalope Imperial Pumpkin Porter – Beer Valley Brewing
3.5/5 Solid porter with pumpkin spice. Little light on the pumpkin and a bit sweet.
Fermentation Without Representation Imperial Pumpkin Porter (release #15) – Epic Brewing
4.5/5 A sweet pumpkin porter, but well balanced.
Pumking 2014 – Souther Tier
3.5/5 This is way sweeter than last year’s, it seems. Sugary noses, good pumpkin flavor, slightly sour, but extremely sweet.
Out of Your Gourd – Redhook
4.5/5 This is a sweet port with roasted malt. The maple is a nice complement to the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Pumpkin Porter – Alaskan Brewing Co.
3/5 Solid porter with pumpkin pie spices. Fairly sweet. Not a lot of pumpkin flavor – overpowered by porter?
Boo Radley Pumpkin Ale – Naked City
2.5/5 “Why so sweet”
The Gourdfather – Elysian
2/5 Barleywine. Way too sweet for me.
Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus – Brewery John Martin
5/5 Cider-esque, sour pumpkin lambic.
Superstition – Black Market Brewing Co.
4/5 Sour pumpkin ale.
Krumpkin – No-Li Brewhouse
4/5 A sour, tart cranberry-pumpkin beer. Tastes like Thanksgiving sans sugar.
Habanero Pumpkin Porter – Bluebird Microcreamery and Brewery
5/5 Very spicy–goes well with the pumpkin. (I made kabocha TexMex a lot in Kanazawa and it’s delightful.)
Coche de Medianoche
5/5 At the beer festival, this was a spicy, cumin-spiked, rich pumpkin ale; at the bar, it was thinner and less spicy.
Smoked Pumpkin – Tieton Cider Works
4/5 Light, crisp, a hint of smoke.
Doc’s Draft Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider – Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
4/5 Semi-sweet pumpkin-apple cider with some spices.
Pumpkin Spice – Seattle Cider Company
3.5/5 Cinnamon, allspice, clove, with a hint of pumpkin. More apple than pumpkin. Semi dry.
Private Reserve Pumpkin – Woodchuck Cidery
3/5 Solid pumpkin cider.
Non-Pumpkin Fall Drinks
Helltown Rye-ot – Christian Moerlein
5/5 Spicy with hints of pepper and chocolate.
Wassail – Honey Moon
5/5 Straight-up cinnamon mead.
Fall Harvest Seasonal Hard Cider – Woodchuck Cidery
4.5/5 A cinnamon cider.
Mortis Sour Persimmon Ale – Elysian
4/5 Persimmony and sweet, almost like a cider.
Wicked Cider Baked Apple – d’s
4/5 Eerily accurate. Sweet.