Ready or not, pumpkin beer is here! A harbinger of cool autumn days to some, and a ghastly abomination to others. While some despise the taste, many just don't care for the timing. After all, Halloween is nearly two months away. It's akin to the seeing department store Christmas decorations in July.
While at the Full Sail Hop Harvest tour a few weeks ago, I asked Jamie Emmerson (Full Sail Brewmaster) about the early release of fall beers. Jamie explained that the fall beer season is very short, and is sandwiched between the long summer and winter seasons. Timing is the name of the game, and breweries would rather be early than late. After all, who wants to drink a pumpkin beer on November 1? They turn into—well, pumpkins at the stroke of midnight.
Consumers vote with their dollars and they're buying the gourd beer now! At my local bottle shop, they were flying off the shelves yesterday. Since I'm ready for a change of seasons, I selected four pumpkin beers to profile:
- Fall Hornin', Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Boonville, CA
- Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter, Redhook Ale Brewery, Woodinville, WA
- Pumpkick, New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO.
- Spiced Harvest Ale, Fordham Brewing Co., Dover, DE
The first three on the list are making their debut in wide release. If you want to see my profiles on a bunch of other pumpkin brews, check out my Great Pumpkin Beer Roundup from 2011.
What's your take on pumpkin beers?