Pumpkin Beer Tasting

This beer tasting was done about a month ago, so I’m a bit behind, but I still wanted to post it. My husband and I love craft beers. We love checking out local breweries, and sampling new craft brews from around the country. Every fall we check out the seasonal brews, and this year we decided to have an official pumpkin beer tasting.

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The criteria: it had to clearly state that is has pumpkin in the flavor profile. No vaguely “fall” beers – according to hubby.

So we spent what felt like hours in Total Wine picking out the beers. Mind you, they were a little slim on selection by the time we went, but we still came up with a good variety and settled on seven different beers. The original plan was to hog this wonderful tasting to ourselves, but after a little deliberation (and taking into consideration that I’m a lightweight), we decided to have my parents join in the fun.

This was not just some beer tasting (again, according to hubby, this was an “official” tasting, and we had to do it right!). It really was hilarious how serious he was about this, makes me laugh recalling it. We needed clear (not frosted or opaque… Clear!) cups so we could observe the color differences, and we lined them up from light to dark. Then each of us had a piece of paper to write the notes of each beer. (Name, brewery, location, description, etc.)
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Finally, the tasting began! We each smelled and sipped our little samples, making notes as we went. (Dads notes were the best, because he can’t spell for the life of him – mom loves reading his grocery lists). At first we all seemed to like different beers, but as we went back for 4th and 5th tastes we synced up a little more. We also started feeling the beers a little and everything was tasting good. In the end last years favorite was still the reining champ!

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Here was the line up.

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And our light to dark order.

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Here are the individual beers, their info, their ranking, and our “notes”.

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Name: UFO Pumpkin Ale
Description: Unfiltered Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Harpoon
Location: Boston, MA & Windsor, VT
Ranking: #7
Notes: Very carbonated, no spices, light bodied, okay
Link: UFO Pumpkin

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Name: Pumpkin Lager
Description: Lager brewed with real pumpkin and spices
Brewery: Lakefront
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Ranking: #1
Notes: Pumpkin pie, great pumpkin flavor, cinnamon, vanilla
Link: Pumpkin Lager

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Name: Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Description: Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices
Brewery: Brooklyn
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Ranking: #4
Notes: good flavor of spices, mild, sweet
Link: Post Road Pumpkin Ale

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Name: Punkin Ale
Description: Brown ale with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & vanilla
Brewery: Dogfish Head
Location: Milton, DE
Ranking: #6
Notes: sweet, smoky, not much pumpkin flavor, bitter after taste
Link: Punkin Ale

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Name: Pumpkin Ale
Description: Ale brewed with pumpkin, spices and vanilla extract
Brewery: Southampton Publick House
Location: Long Island, NY
Ranking: #3
Notes: strong cinnamon, smells like nutmeg, dark roasted pumpkin, fruity, bitter aftertaste
Link: Pumpkin Ale

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Name: Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale
Description: Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices
Brewery: Anderson Valley
Location: Boonville, CA
Ranking: #5 (I personally ranked this 3 or 4, but majority rules…)
Notes: darker, stronger spices, not much pumpkin, dry (??)
Link: Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale

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Name: Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter
Description: Dark ale with pumpkin, spices and maple syrup
Brewery: Red Hook
Location: Woodinville, WA & Portsmouth, NH
Ranking: #2
Notes: smoky, dark, sweet and smoky, campfire taste
Link: Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter

And there you have it!

I’m sure there will be future seasonal craft brew tastings in the future. We’re practically pros now!

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