Hungry Heart

Adventures in healthy living

Pumpkin Beer Review

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I have had so many pumpkin beers this fall!
Overall, I would say that I enjoyed most of the beers I tried. As someone who is not a huge fan of cinnamon and absolutely despises cloves, I am surprised that I preferred the more heavily spiced beers over the more bland ones.
I also liked the brews that were full or medium bodied. I felt the pumpkin and spice flavors went better with a more robust beer.
Here are all the ones I enjoyed:

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

$9-$10 per 4 pack. 7% alcohol

This is my favorite pumpkin beer. Is is a “full-bodied brown ale” with just the right amount of spice. It has great depth and almost a creamy feel without being too heavy. I found myself comparing all the other pumpkin beers to this one.

Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Pumkpin Ale

$8-$9 per 22oz bottle. 8.6% alcohol

I had heard good things about this beer. Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was surprisingly malty, and had lots of spice. To me, it tasted like alcoholic pumpkin pie.

Saranac Pumpkin Ale

$7 6 pack, 5.4% alcohol

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I didn’t remember liking this as much in previous years, but this was one of my favorites. It was just as good on tap at a local bar as it was on this camping trip.
This was a medium bodied beer with a lot of spice. I could definitely taste the cinnamon and ginger. It was also slightly sweet, which balanced the spice. It didn’t have quite the depth that the Punkin Ale had.

Smuttynose Pumpkin AleĀ 

$8-$9 6 pack, 5.6% alcohol

I was glad I liked this beer, as it only came in a 6 pack. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale is lightly spiced and smooth. It was one of the few pumpkin beers I tried that I could actually drink more than one of. If you’re looking to knock back a few, I recommend this beer. If you are looking for a strong, spicy beer, look elsewhere.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale (Brooklyn Brewery)

$8 6 pack, 5% alcohol

I thought this beer tasted the most like pumpkin. It also had a good amount of spice, but wasn’t sweet. Definitely recommended.

River Horse Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin

$9 6 pack, 8.5% alcohol

As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed this as a beer, but I didn’t really taste pumpkin or spices. This was a heavy beer, and I thought a little more spice would have suited it well.

Wolaver’s Pumpkin Ale

$8-$9 6 pack, 5.3 % alcohol

As I said yesterday, this beer was decent. Medium bodied, slightly spicy, but perhaps a little flat. I would drink it again, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this beer. It was so popular at the local beer store that they ran out of 6 packs. I was able to get it in a growler.
I liked the spice in this beer. It was a wheat ale, and I think I would have liked it a touch more if it had a little more body.
This is my friend Emily’s favorite pumpkin beer and recommends it with a shot of Captain Morgan or vanilla vodka.
I’ll have to try that next time!

Not surprisingly, I enjoyed the pumpkin beers that were produced by microbreweries. I tried a few ‘commercial’ brand pumpkin beers and was unimpressed. It seems that brewing a batch of pumpkin beer is best left to small breweries.

Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale (Coors)

$2 per bottle, or a Fall sampler 12 pack. 5.7% alcohol

I was glad I was able to buy this as a single bottle at the beer store.
This had a hint of spice, but was way too sweet. This beer didn’t have much depth, and didn’t really taste like pumpkin.

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat (Anheuser-Busch)

This tasted similar to the Harvest Moon, but was a lighter, wheat beer. It was crisp and drinkable, but not really what I’m looking for in a pumpkin beer. 5.2% alcohol.

Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider

$8 6 pack, 6.9% alcohol

Ok, I know this isn’t really a pumpkin beer. But I do occasionally enjoy a hard cider. This was pretty good, although I didn’t quite get a pumpkin flavor. I was expecting it to be spiced, and it wasn’t. It tasted like a slightly richer, less sweet version of the regular Woodchuck hard cider. Not bad, and would have gone great with the sauerkraut dish I made last week.

This was a fun experiment, but I am certainly ready for a break from pumpkin beer.
(And consuming so many calories in liquid form!)

Did you try any new pumpkin brews this fall?

6 Comments

  1. wow lot’s of work to post this!
    I have an imperial beer from Heavy Seas brewery in Baltimore…come share cuz it’s 8% alcohol!
    Agreed Punkin from Dogfish my fave!

  2. Nice – I am going to have a pumpkin woodchuck cider right now!

  3. I was worried for you when I saw the Woodchuck. Remember the Fall Harvest (or some other seasonal name) version that tasted like a spiced candle?

  4. LOOOVE the shipyard pumpkinhead! That’s alll we drank when I was in Kennebunkport, ME for a wedding. They served it with cinnamon sugar on the rim of the glass (on tap). yum yum.

  5. Ridic: I was nervous about the cider! But it wasn’t spiced at all.
    Den: Must try one with a cinnamon sugar rim!

  6. Cheers pal. I do aptcariepe the writing.

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