Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beer Style Breakdown 101: Pumpkin Ale

Turn off the lights.  Close the blinds.  Check the closets.

It's about to get spooky (and delicious) in here.

Pumpkin ales are a fun, minimally hoppy, palate-friendly type of beer.  They are viewed as a novelty beer by some but when done right, pumpkin ales are a welcome change from the usual (and year-round) styles of beer.  I've tried a number of different pumpkin ales but my favorite, the one that embodies all of the spicy, aromatic awesomeness of fall, is Southern Tier's Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Behold...Pumking.


[cue Vincent Price chuckle.]


Pumking is worthy of its imperial title.  It pours a festive, burnt orange color with a bubbly, airy head.  The aroma alone is mouth-watering:  loads of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and rich pumpkin.  But wait until you taste it.  It's like drinking a slice of pumpkin pie.  I kid you not.  I think it would taste fantastic in a beer float but could also be a dessert option all on its own.


Southern Tier sells Pumking in 22 oz bottles but since it's such a decadent beer (not to mention 9% ABV), the bottle is the perfect size for sharing.

In the event that Pumking is sold out, these are also worthy of your time and caloric intake:  Williamsburg Alewerks Pumpkin Ale (VA), Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (PA)

Legend has it that if you pour a pumpkin ale on the 20th night of October with no intention of sharing, the Ghost of Craft Beer's Past will haunt your fridge and you will be cursed with flat, skunky beer for 113 days and nights.


Don't say I didn't warn you.


Night night.


Sleep tight.

12 comments:

  1. Awesome photowork! All hail Pumpking.

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  2. All three you picked are winners in my book. Also, had a Schlafly pumpkin ale recently at Meridian Pint and Room 11, and like that one as well.

    Any beer surprises planned for 10/30?

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  3. Margie - oooh-weee-ooooh (that's supposed to be sceery music.)

    Maximus - thanks guy! Looking forward to trying Hopper Brewing's debut release :D

    Harry - I think I may have sampled the Schlafly pumpkin ale at a tasting but I want to try a full glass. Gotta check out Meridian Pint one of these days, too. Hmm, 10/30 beer surprises...something to think about...

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  4. This is a super great post, I really enjoyed all the picks...I think I will pick up some pumpkin ale.

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  5. This is great. I can see myself watching a stop motion animation involving that bottle.

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  6. Jennifurla - definitely pick some up. It's a festive way to switch up your post-work wind down :)

    Lonely Radish - thanks Sara :D I was trying to create some "dun-dun-DUNNNN" drama all while trying to keep my shooting hand perfectly still. Thank goodness I was recently gifted with a tripod...

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  7. 'But wait until you taste it. It's like drinking a slice of pumpkin pie. I kid you not. I think it would taste fantastic in a beer float but could also be a dessert option all on its own.'

    I bet the pumpkin ice cream and this beer would be heavenly. Or vanilla.

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  8. Your pictures look great Ali and I love the story line. Sadly I have been unable to locate any Southern Tier down here... maybe next year.

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  9. Just in time for Halloween too.

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