Hit a bit of a rough patch these past couple of weeks. I’ll spare you the details. At least for now. You know what rough times call for don’t ya? Come on… You knoooow… Beer. It’s been proven. I’m only relaying the facts here. And, when it’s sweater weather, you opt for pumpkin beer (or some Oktoberfest but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation). Here’s a few of the go-to pumpkin beers we’ve come to enjoy over the years.
Ichabod (by New Holland)
If memory serves me right, Ichabod was the first pumpkin beer I personally ever tried. We’re talking way back in the day. I still find myself going back to this one as it’s a really easy drinker at 5.2% abv (alcohol content, essentially). If you’re looking for something lighter to drink continuously over a festive Fall night, this ale is the way to go. Subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg (along with the obvious pumpkin) remind you that, while you’re drinking something a little lighter now, in a few short months that won’t be the case. A nice ale to start the transitioning of seasons with.
Punkin Ale (by Dogfish Head)
Bumpin’ up the abv a notch with Punkin Ale to 7.0%. The alcohol content isn’t the only thing raised either. The list of extra ingredients also gets an increase. Cinnamon and nutmeg are still present like in Ichabod, along with allspice and brown sugar as well. Those spices do tend to be more up front than the pumpkin which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Punkin Ale is also a different beast in style being a brown ale. Definitely a tad heavier. You probably wouldn’t want to have more than a couple in a sitting but it’s not a complete sipper either.
Pumking (by Southern Tier)
Ahh, Pumking. This one is a classic to The Wife and I. Picked it up continuously for the past few years, always considering it to be “The Favorite”. Wouldn’t say it still holds that title but it’s definitely an excellent brew. Most of the previously mentioned Fall ingredients pour from this one both in scent and flavor. Liquid Pumpkin Pie. That’s what this is. It’s sold only in 22 oz bomber bottles and sits at 8.6% abv. While that’s not astronomically high, it means business for sure. This is something you pick up a bottle of and share its awesomeness with a friend.
Warlock (by Southern Tier)
“The Favorite”. Warlock is the beer that stole the title from Pumking. Had this for the first time last year when it was released and knew it was something special. That thought was only reinforced after grabbing another bottle this year. All the flavor high points of Pumking are here and amplified by the addition of coffee and dark chocolate. The aroma that spills from this is beyond amazing and only matched by its flavor. Plus it’s an imperial stout. There’s no beating an imperial stout. They tend to sit heavy, and the abv is equal to Pumking’s 8.6%, so it’s a sipper. You could always follow up those sips with some of these guys though.
Lots of goodness right there. Of course, this list is by no means definitive. Feel free to chime in with some additions or recommendations (comment, facebook, Twitter, wherever!!). We’re always up for trying some new brews.