It’s that time of year where we split into two categories: those that gripe about Halloween candy and decorations and pumpkin flavored things coming to early and those that can’t wait for ghosts and costumes and fall-flavored beer. Pumpkin beer has been released earlier and earlier each year—with some releases coming in the summer. Industry wise, there are good reasons for this. Most people’s consumption of pumpkin beer drops after October 31st and the availability of fresh pumpkin doesn’t matter as much for production since most consumers prefer their beer to taste more like a Starbucks drink. The popularity of pumpkin beer has skyrocketed over the last few years with everyone from small breweries to big names like Sam Adams and Michelob getting in on the fall flavor. If you’re excited to try out some pumpkin brews with fall barely on the horizon, check out some beers that are making pumpkin available early.
Ballast Point Brewing Company: Pumpkin Down
The name was inspired by the Mike Myers comedy So I Married and Axe Murderer, giving this Scottish Ale extra points for creativity in naming. With flavors of smoky caramel and toffee malt that compliment the roasted pumpkin and hint of spices, this 5.7% ABV beer is one to try.
Southern Tier Brewing Company: Southern Tier Pumpking
Pumpking has been coming out early for a few years—understandable in NY where you’d rather have two seasons of fall and skip winter all together. At 8.6% ABV this dark orange beer tastes like pumpkin pie filling with a cinnamon-and-sugar finish.
Dry Dock Brewing Company: Dry Dock Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Real pumpkin is added to the mash of this brew, along with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, mace, and cloves. Coming in at 9% ABV, this malty brew is sold in 22-ounce bombers and is not for the faint of heart. We suggest saving it for sweater weather.
Redhook Ale Brewery: Redhook Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter
Another beer featuring real pumpkin, this porter is made with pureed pumpkin, spices, and topped off with maple syrup during fermentation. The chocolate flavor you’d expect from a porter is there with enough pumpkin flavoring to make it a fall favorite. It tends to fly off the shelves by the end of September, so don’t wait too long to try this brew.
Have a favorite pumpkin beer we missed? Let us know!