We absolutely love fall, but it does not play hard-to-get. The season comes on strong with pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere! But we’re not complaining. Our only issue is that there is so much pumpkin and so little time, which is especially true when it comes to beer. As soon as the calendar flips to September, the shelves at the beer distributors are lined with seasonal flavors. But as soon as we find a pumpkin beer we love, it’s pulled off the shelves and replaced with a Christmas ale. So we came up with the perfect solution: a pumpkin beer tasting. We snatched up an array of beers to make sure we found the best of the season before it was too late. We reviewed and ranked the beers below to assist in your search for the perfect pumpkin brew for you.
8. Pumpkin Spice Latte: Atwater Brewery
Amber Herb & Spice Beer, 6.8% ABV
Atwater Brewery, you should leave the Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Starbucks. This beer does not taste like pumpkin, spice or lattes. We aren’t sure what it tastes like, but we are sure we don’t like it.
7. Pumking: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 8.6% ABV
This beer will get you buzzed, but we don’t see the hype. If you’re looking to get drunk off of one or two pumpkin beers, this could be the beer for you. If you want to sip on a tasty seasonal brew, look elsewhere. The intense hops overcompensated for the lack of flavor. By our judgement, Pumking is definitely not the king of pumpkin beers.
6. Pumpkin: Lakefront Brewery
Pumpkin Lager, 5.8% ABV
This is one of the only pumpkin lagers in the world, as most other pumpkin beers are brewed as ales. We enjoyed this beer, but it did not stand out compared to the rest of the list. It was a bit drier than the others on our list, which boasted bolder flavors. We feel this lager would appeal to most beer drinkers, but we don’t recommend it as your pick if you’re looking for one stand-out seasonal brew.
5. Post Road Pumpkin Ale: Brooklyn Brewery
Colonial Style Pumpkin Ale, 5.0% ABV
Tastes like an IPA style beer, but without the high ABV to make it worth it. The bitter flavor of barley overpowered the subtle taste of pumpkin. If you enjoy a hoppy beer this may be a good choice, but it might not give you a fall feeling.
4. Harvest Pumpkin Ale: Blue Moon
Pumpkin Amber Ale, 5.7% ABV
With a subtle blend of pumpkin flavor and spices, this beer curbed our pumpkin craving without being overpowering. We can see this being a go-to brew we’ll buy again, but the flavors didn’t stand out as much as others on the list. If you are looking for a classic pumpkin beer, this is our recommendation.
3. Jack-O Traveler: The Traveler Beer Co.
Pumpkin Shandy, 4.4% ABV
This shandy may have you questioning whether to throw on your sunglasses and head to the beach or toss on a scarf and head to the pumpkin patch. The light beer has a strong pumpkin flavor, paired nicely with hints of lemon. If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, this beer can ease your transition into the fall season.
2. Pumpkick: New Belgium
Spiced Seasonal Ale, 6.0% ABV
Immediately after our first sip, we knew there was something different about this one. This beer has a “kick” of cranberry that cuts through the spices of the pumpkin flavor. We can see this pairing perfectly with our thanksgiving dinner. If you’re a fan of New Belgium’s Fat Tire, we recommend trying this brew!
1. Spooky Tooth: Fat Heads
Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 9.0% ABV
Drink more than one and your night might get a little spooky… The smooth, easy-to-drink flavor of this beer makes the high alcohol content surprising. We felt like we could sip on it all night but cut ourselves off after one (especially because we sampled seven beers prior to that). The sweet spices of this pumpkin pie-inspired beer put it at the top of our list. Go pick up a 4-pack, and we’ll give you bonus points for drinking local.
Happy Fall! Let’s get spooky.
Did your favorite pumpkin beer make our list? Comment below and let us know!