Since it IS that time…
I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin anything……at Thanksgiving, I would always welcome an alternative dessert than the plain old pumpkin pie that America loves. When it comes to Pumpkin beers, a style that has started to come into its own the past two years, there are some that are pretty good.
Often released as a fall seasonal, Pumpkin Ales are quite varied. Some brewers opt to add hand-cut pumpkins and drop them in the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. These beers also tend to be spiced with pumpkin pie spices, like: ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and all spice. Pumpkin Ales are typically mild, with little to no bitterness, a malty backbone, with some spice often taking the lead. Many will contain a starchy, slightly thick-ish, mouthfeel too. In our opinion, best versions use real pumpkin, while roasting the pumpkin can also add tremendous depth of character for even better results, though both methods are time-consuming and tend to drive brewmasters insane.
Here are my Top 5 Pumpkin beers; Post Road was the innovator, and still one of the best.