As the pages of the calendar fall away and the leaves begin to change color, your taste buds evolve and you begin to look past the smooth, refreshing ales for beers with more complex character…and maybe the occasional pumpkin.
While the world is waiting in line for pumpkin spiced lattes, a handful of us find ourselves humming and hawing over the seasonal selection at the local pub, or circling the craft beer section of the liquor aisle looking for something new. The entire crew here at Straw Boss HQ combed through every seasonal beer we could get our thirsty little hands on, to build a list of essential Autumn beers for the pumpkin lover (and hater).
Pumking – Southern Tier Brewing
#Rum #BarrelAged #Pumking is BACK! First tapping is 1pm this Saturday at #PumkingFest at the brewery (see our Facebook event for full details) and then it’ll ship out to markets near you! Wanna find it near you? We’re finalizing distribution plans now, so call your local shops and distributors to request it.
Pumking is an ode to Púca, a creature of Celtic folklore, who is both feared and respected by those who believe in it. Púca is said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives, from which they return forever changed. Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let it’s deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun. As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape the Pumking.
Long Live The King.
Punkin Ale – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. Dogfish Head brews their Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.
Punkin Ale is named after the seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin. In fact, Punkin Ale made its debut as it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. (6 months before the brewery first opened for business!)
Since its debut, Dogfish Head has brewed Punkin Ale each and every fall. It’s released right around Sept. 1 each year but when you find it, grab some extra because it’s usually gone by Thanksgiving.
Great Pumpkin Ale – Cambridge Brewing
CBC, the first New England craft brewery to produce pumpkin ale, revived the style in the Boston area in 1990 and continues to brew this beer according to Phil “Brewdaddy” Bannatyne’s original recipe. Other craft breweries have followed suit since then, and pumpkin beer has developed a huge following across the country and beyond.
Brewed with over 150 pounds of fresh, locally grown, organic sugar pumpkins in each batch, it has an appropriately ruddy orange hue. The subtle pumpkin flavor is enhanced by the addition of traditional autumn spices, and is guaranteed to please even the most finicky of the harvest-time ale fanatics.
The Night Owl – Elysian Brewing
A photo posted by Elysian Brewing Company (@elysianbrewing) on
A light to medium bodied, very drinkable pumpkin ale brewed with seven and a half pounds of pumpkin per barrel and spiced in conditioning with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. A delicious seasonal blend of hops lightly bittered with Magnum and Pale, Munich and Crystal malts with both roasted and raw pumpkin seeds added to the mash.
Known both for classic styles and for flexibility and innovation, Elysian has brewed over 350 different recipes since opening in 1996. While Elysian’s brewers use a variety of unusual ingredients, they are seasonally notorious for their pumpkin beers. Each year Elysian hosts the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, where dozens of different pumpkin beers are poured, some of them from giant pumpkins.
RoadsMary’s Baby – Two Roads
Our personal pick for Pumpkin Beer of the year here at the Straw Boss HQ has more going for it than just a simple seasonal recipe. Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby is a traditional pumpkin ale aged in rum barrels for added complexity and depth of flavor. The result is a smooth drinking ale with notes of pumpkin, spices, vanilla, oak and a touch of rum.
Two Roads Brewing Company was founded in 2012 by four friends who dreamed for years of starting a craft brewery. They foster a “road less traveled” philosophy in the beers they make and how they make them.
Hopzeit Autumn IPA – Deschutes Brewery
This modern ale inspired by the time-honored flavors of a Märzenbier combines classic malts with the latest hop varietals from Germany to deliver an herbal and balanced Autumn IPA. Tired of the pumpkin beer domination we see every fall, Hopzeit Autumn IPA harmoniously blends the malt body and flavor of a Märzen with the hop profile of an IPA. Hopzeit translates to “Hop Time” or harvest time, which generally happens at hop farms during the months of August and September.
Try it when you’re ready. It’s 100% gourd free, and for those wanting to embrace fall, but not have it forced upon you: #saynotopumpkinbeer
Oktoberfestbier – Löwenbräu
Served at the very first Oktoberfest celebrations back in 1810, Löwenbräu is a fullbodied & malty brew with a hint of spice & a yeasty tang. A Märzen brewed specifically for Oktoberfest, and appropriately named. Oktoberfestbier or Wiesenbier (“meadow beer,” referring to the Bavarian name of the festival site, the “Wiesn”) is the pride of a brewery whose name translated meas “Lion’s Brew”, but you will need to travel to Munich if you’re trying to sample this traditional recipe.
It’s good go have goals, Gentlemen! Prost!
Tumbler – Sierra Nevada
Sierra Navada’s take on the classic brown ale – full of roasted malt flavor but delicate on the palate and perfect for crisp fall days. Crafted Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, and Smoked malts, Tumbler is the ultimate autumn beer.
Our recommendation: Seek out the Sierra Nevada Seasonal Sampler Pack to enjoy the entire line up from true innovators in the industry. Their Hop Torpedo method circulated still fermenting beer through stainless steel columns packed with whole-cone hops, revolutionizing how they dry hop their beers!