The perfect time for pumpkin ales is finally here! Those who are new to the world of craft beers and pumpkin goodness may think this just means choosing between one or two brands at your local market, but there are actually a ton of different types out there, and no two are alike. Some actually contain pumpkin, whether it be pureed, flavoring syrup, or chunks brewed into the mash. Others just use the name because they are made with spices like cloves and cinnamon, so they taste kind of like pumpkin pie. Each option offers a totally unique flavor experience, as well as a totally unique alcohol content! In fact, simply selecting something that calls itself a pumpkin ale is no way to know what you’re in for: you might be sipping something that tastes more like a Starbucks drink and goes light on the alcohol, or a bitter mash-brew that will knock you on your feet if you don’t sip slow!
Luckily beeradvocate.com has compiled this amazing list to help make the selection process a little easier. It provides you with a ranked list of pumpkin beers in order of positive reviews, and tells you the alcohol content and maker of each one. Every entry is also a link to a more detailed review of the beer, which makes it super-easy to find out more about the brews that stand out to you on the list. One of my all-time favorites is the infamous Pumking by Southern Tear, which packs a whopping 8.7% ABV and contains pureed pumpkin, giving it a rich and bold flavor. For something a little tamer, try Harpoon’s UFO Pumpkin. It’s only 5.9%, and it is much smoother and maltier than some of its contemporaries.
No matter which pumpkin ale you choose, you’re bound to have a rich flavor experience that gets you in the mood for sweater weather, Halloween, and the not-so-far-away onslaught of the dreaded Holiday Season. Just remember to drink responsibly and tip your bartenders!
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