Last year, my two favorites were Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale - HOWEVER, I have some new favorites thanks to Mike (my husband, who was in charge of the October Brewtal Beer Tasting).
#1 - Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
This beer was actually thanks to KEVIN whom we met at the Battleship NJ beer tasting. He works for Shipyard. This beer will KICK your ass, and I mean it. It's 9% ABV and very drinkable, I didn't find it overly alcohol in flavor, it's dangerous...It is a little heavy on the spice area so if you don't like a heavy spice than it may not be your favorite. I enjoy a bit more nutmeg so this was great. Good pumpkin taste and sweet.
#2 - Cigar City Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Holy crap this was hands down a beer that EVERYONE at the beer club enjoyed and rated highly. I felt like I was drinking pumpkin pie. There was something about this beer, the spice was not overly powering, the perfect amount of sweetness.
#3 - Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin
One word - AWESOME - this was brewed in Bourbon barrels so it is quite different than the other pumpkin beers. The bourbon, wood, and pumpkin was a nice balance. Highly recommend.
#4 - The Bruery - Autumn Maple
I have to say I was a little hesitant, I don't always dig The Breury's beer, but this was delicious. It is brewed with yams so it was a nice change from the pumpkin tasting. It had a nice mix of spice and also a hint of vanilla. I could see this going well with some turkey breast and maybe some glazed root vegetables. Don't know why, but I think I will try serving that next year or if I find it in time for this Thanksgiving.
#5 - Cape Ann Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout
I am only putting this on the list because of the polarity that was expressed in the group that tasted it. I hated it the first time and it grew on me the second time. I don't know if that had to do with too many pumpkin beers that I was taste-testing and wasn't giving this a fair shot or I like more zing to my beer and this was just too AVERAGE. Jury is still out, I would say try it if you don't like a strong pumpkin flavor and are a stout fan. There were a few people in the group that really liked this.
#6 - Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale
I am on and off with SA. I have had some very nice beers lately like their new Imperial Stout and their Latitude IPA. This beer was surprisingly good. Maybe not a Shipyard, a Weyerbacher or Smuttynose, but it was tasty. It was not overly pumpkin-like but had a nice mix of spice and pumpkin without being overly sweet.
Hopefully, you will still have time to check things out, although, I was at the liquor store and the Christmas beers were out and there was nothing left in way of pumpkin, so like I said bookmark this for next year! Stay tuned, I will be posting another beer post very soon that includes a few Italian micro-brews I recently tried and we will be having the November Beer Meeting this week. I will also be posting a little about Mike and I's first homebrew which we will try on Thursday - Brewtal Alpha Porter....
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