Best Pumpkin Beers
Full of sugar and spice and everything nice, pumpkin beers, in particular, are some of the best things about fall. We raided the craft beer aisle and compiled a list of some of the best pumpkin brews around.
Autumn means different things to different people: cooler temperatures, colorful leaves on the trees, chunky sweaters, skinny jeans and college football. But the arrival of fall means another thing to beer connoisseurs across the globe: the chance to experiment with the uniquely rich, earthy and spicy seasonal brews. Full of sugar and spice and everything nice, pumpkin beers, in particular, are some of the best things about fall. We raided the craft beer aisle and compiled a list of some of the best pumpkin brews around.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Delaware, 7.0% ABV
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale was named after the World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition, a pumpkin-tossing festival held every fall in Delware. In fact, this beer was brewed for the festival’s recipe contest and won first prize. This full-bodied brown ale is brewed with real pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices, creating a well-balanced brew that hints at pumpkin without being cloyingly sweet.
Southern Tier Pumking
New York, 8.6% ABV
This pumpkin beer is undoubtedly king. Often described as a “slice of pumpkin pie in a glass,” Southern Tier brings a popular seasonal offering that delights pumpkin beer fans year after year. Upon first pour, Pumking’s aroma is evocative of sweetly spiced pumpkin pie filling and a graham cracker crust, with a ton of smooth vanilla and whipped cream notes. Perhaps the most pumpkiny of pumpkin beers for the season, Pumking truly is delicious.
Maine, 5.1% ABV
Offering a slightly spicy aroma and a light orange hue, Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead has a pleasant pumpkin flavor and a hint of sweet vanilla. With a crisp, clean finish and toasted cinnamon and nutmeg flavor, this isn’t a hard-hitting beer by any means, but what Pumpkinhead does bring to the table is a light drinkability that can’t be beat.
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
Maine, 9.0% ABV
Smashed Pumpkin is Shipyard’s premier pumpkin brew. Several notches above Pumpkinhead on the pumpkin scale, Smashed Pumpkin is an intense, boozy offering complete with notes of caramel, cinnamon and bourbon. Fans of strong ales will have no problem with this one, but beginners might want to ease into a glass of Smashed Pumpkin.
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Pennsylvania, 8.0% ABV
A full-bodied, caramel-colored ale, Weyerbacher’s seasonal offering is smooth and thick with prominent cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar notes, offering more spice than pumpkin flavor. At 8.0 percent ABV, the alcohol definitely shines through and is perfect for an after dinner drink.
- Margaret Price