Top 5 Pumpkin Beers: Drink Up, Pumpkin Kings
B. Mesirow Kern River's Pumpkin Ale and a whole pumpkin
Is there any vegetable more versatile than the pumpkin? They can be turned into delicious pies, magical carriages, whimsical lanterns, terrifying (or hilarious) helmets and, best of all, beer. Pumpkin beers come in a variety of styles, from ambers to porters, Belgian styles to sour wild ales, but the best ones all have an earthiness and spice that's perfectly suited to a cool Hallow's Eve.
5. Stone/The Bruery/Elysian La Citrueille Celeste de Citricado: With the great minds at Stone, The Bruery and Elysian all working together, it should come as no surprise that the new collaboration beer with the ridiculous name (just put "Celeste" into Untappd) is a winner. The base beer is supposedly an amber ale, but it pours much darker, and while it's cold the taste more closely resembles a porter, with a lot of coffee flavor. The listed ingredients are pumpkins (grown at Stone Farms), yams, toasted fenugreek, lemon verbena and birch bark. As the beer warms up, the lemon and spice emerge, and it opens up into a wild bouquet of flavors perfect for a chilly fall evening.
B. Mesirow The newest beer in Stone's collaboration series
4. Dogfish Head Punkin: The Delaware weirdos at Dogfish Head have been putting out the quintessential pumpkin beer for years now. It is big, rich and sweet, with the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices playing well off the brown ale. It almost perfectly mimics pumpkin pie, and the malt and yeast even work to recreate the flavor of crust. The slightly bitter finish serves as a necessary reminder that you are, in fact, drinking beer, and perfectly holds the sweetness in check. Be careful: That 7% ABV will sneak up on you.
Adam Sonnett via Flickr Dogfish Head's Punkin
3. Bootlegger's Pumpkin Ale: Bootlegger's Brewery, the pride of Fullerton, continues to impress with this pumpkin ale brewed with molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin juice. It smells sweet, with a healthy dose of molasses and brown sugar, and tastes powerfully pumpkiny. It is an incredibly rich brew, full of sweet, homey flavors that come together in wonderful harmony. The 6.1% ABV is low enough to keep it quaffable, but big enough to steel your nerves against any ghoulish activity.
B. Mesirow Bootlegger's Pumpkin Ale