It's The Time(Beer) of the Season

Six Pumpkin ales for Autumn tasted and informally rated.

I had stayed away from seasonal Pumpkin beers thinking they would be sweet and sort of like drinking pumpkin pie with added alcohol.  A heavy and sweet beer... Last week I was at Wegmans (I am NOT an employee) and there were so many different labels and brews!  I did not want to get a six-pack of each type but they have this deal where you can make your own six pack from many different breweries.  I bought 6 different pumpkin brews (see picture and note all have fun labels and are also empty):

The beers:

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Easton, PA)

Sarnac Pumpkin Ale (Adirondaks, NY)

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (Milton, Delaware)

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale (Golden, CO)

Uinta Punk'N Ale (Salt Lake City, UT)

America's Original Pumpkin Ale (Hayward, CA)

The beers are listed in the order in which I enjoyed consuming them. Each has the ale base and the difference is the amount of flavors used such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin flavors, allspice, brown sugar.

  I was pleasantly surprised how the different flavors blended together.  Each beer  was tasty and the flavors finished differently on the palate and as the beer changed temperature, different notes of flavor appeared.  Weyerbacher seemed the most consistent in terms of taste from start to finish and America's seemed to have the least amount of distinct flavors.  Not a bad one in the batch according to my taste.

I am not a beer expert and I expect my review would met by much under reporting and failing to use the proper words to discribe the body, taste, character, etc of each beer by those in the know.  But for about two bucks a bottle, it was a reasonable and fun way to enjoy seasonal beers without having to buy an entire case or six pack (Pennsylvania's antiquated malt beverage laws are outrageous at best, but that's for another blog/rant).

So, although we haven't quite officially made it to autumn, the breweries have and these six were worth the time spent ejoying them.

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Brittany Tressler September 18, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I'm having a hard time getting past the summer beer flavors - 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon is my favorite!
David Powell September 18, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I'm with Brittany. Not quite ready to give up the summer beers yet. That said, I had a glass of Sam Adams Oktoberfest a week or two ago. I'd forgotten how good it is.
John D'Alessandro, IV September 18, 2012 at 04:21 AM
I've managed three different Oktoberfest-style beers so far this year (Sam Adams, Sly Fox, and Yuengling), but I can't get myself to drink a pumpkin-sepcific beer until I actually see a pumpkin in its native autumn climate. ;) Hell or High Watermelon was my favourite choice after Stout's beer fest a few summers back. I was surprised just how much I liked it. Actually bought a case, and I rarely do that with a non-traditional beer. I'm still working through a Maibock phase, and they're still available ... I'll have a pumpkin come Thanksgiving, I think!
mark smerkanich September 18, 2012 at 07:21 AM
The tough part is trying to find any summer beers. They continue to be my favorites and I would drink them year round but come September, boom! they're gone and like all other seasonal stuff sold in the US, the actual holiday or season starts too early. I figured I'd try pumpkin beers in mid September because by mid October the winter and Christmas beers will be the only ones available. As a retired school teacher I laugh when I see back to school supplies in stores on the 4th of July. I'm sure people stock up and by September have forgotten where their supplies were stashed.


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