The Great Pumpkin Exbeerience
Late last year, I wandered into a Whole Foods and bought some pumpkin beer. It was tasty, but I didn’t think much about it. Fast forward to September 2013, and I wandered back into that very same Whole Foods to pick up that very same beer. This time, there were so many choices, and none of them looked familiar! I lost my mind a little bit, and decided to take home six different varieties. Rather than focusing on finding the same pumpkin beer, I reasoned, I would determine my favorite pumpkin beer. I’d drink one every day of October, and have myself an exbeerience.
It was quite a month. I found myself quickly exhausted with pumpkin beers, but somehow oddly compelled to continue drinking them. Some days were easier than others. Pumpkins are a funny thing, especially when you focus on them for an extended period of time. Everywhere I look, I saw them. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin patches, pumpkins named Fred. I started thinking I was gonna turn into a pumpkin. It was terrifying.
I took a photo of every beer*, and rated it from 1-10. It was a simple scale, based solely on how much I enjoyed the taste, regardless of style. Porters, lambics, spiced-brew concoctions: there were all kinds. I’m no expert, but I know what I like, and after this month, I’ve certainly had more than my fair share. My favorites included Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 21st Amendment/Elysian’s He Said Belgian-Style Tripel, and local selections from Wrecking Bar Brewpub and Burnt Hickory Brewing.
Enjoy! It’s time for me to get some much needed rest from all things pumpkin. Until next year, that is.
1. Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale 5/10
2. Kentucky Bourbon Pumpkin Barrel Ale 7/10
3. Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale 9/10
4. Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale 7/10
5. Southern Tier Pumking 7/10
6. Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat 6/10
7. Lakefront Brewery Anniversary Series Imperial Pumpkin 8/10
8. Shipyard Pumpkinhead 8/10
9. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale 7/10
10. America’s Original Pumpkin Ale 6/10
11. 21st Amendment/Elysian He Said Baltic-Style Porter 8/10
12. 21st Amendment/Elysian He Said Belgian-Style Tripel 9/10
13. Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale 8/10
14. Dogfish Punkin Ale 8/10
15. Lakefront Brewery Seasonal Pumpkin 6/10
16. Post Road Pumpkin Ale 2/10
17. Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus 8/10
18. New Belgium Pumpkick 1/10
19. Cask Rum Barrel Imperial Smoked Rye Pumpkin Ale (Wrecking Bar) 9/10
20. Small Batch Wreck-o-Lantern Imperial Smoked Rye Pumpkin Ale (Wrecking Bar) 8/10
21. Brewing Blue Point Company Pumpkin Ale 6/10
22. Mendocino Seasonal Pumpkin Ale 7/10
23. Sam Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin (Draft) 8/10
24. Die Kreuzen Burnt Hickory Pumpkin Porter (Growler) 9/10
25. Gruntled Pumpkin Ale 7/10
26. Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin 6/10
27. Cottonwood Pumpkin 7/10
28. Hoppin’ Frog Hollow Double Pumpkin 8/10
29. Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin 8/10
30. Southern Tier Warlock 9/10
31. Heavy Seas The Greater Pumpkin 7/10
*Some beers not shown were on draft, cask, or growler from local breweries.