Pumpkin Beers – What We Love and Hate

pizza boy pumpkin

Over the past few years it’s been interesting to explore how pumpkin beers have evolved. One of the main reasons I fell in love with craft beer is for the variety of flavors, and pumpkin was definitely a huge drawing point to my early palate. Some of the first ones I ever sampled are pioneers at this point such as Southern Tier Pumking and Smuttynose. Pumpkin beers aren’t just ales anymore either with pumpkin porters and stouts emerging. There are even pumpkin sours and lambics to try if you’re game for something strange.

To say that ‘you don’t like pumpkin beers’ really isn’t a statement one can make anymore with the plethora of varieties on the market. When you tell me that you don’t like pumpkin beers, all I hear is that you had one before that tasted a way you didn’t like and now you’re not willing to try any others. It’s just like the people who say they don’t like IPAs or don’t like stouts. There are some great pumpkin beers available and we want you to give them a second chance.

Pumpkin Beers 2014- What We Love and HateSo, this will not be a ranking list. I repeat, this is not a ranking list. If I have to read one more post about ‘the best pumpkin beers ranked’ or ‘top 10 pumpkin beers’ I might have to quit the internet. People have been asking what pumpkin beers we think are the best and have we had this or that one, so, we put our heads together to give you a list, unranked, of what we like. Everyone’s tastes are different, which we found quickly when discussing our favorites. Without further ado, here are each of our pumpkin beer recommendations, without rank or bullshit.

Tierney loves:

  • Elysian Punkuccino: “It’s like a pumpkin spice latte for grown ups. The aroma is strong with cinnamon and coffee, and the flavor is to die for. I can’t get enough.”
  • Terrapin Imperial Pumpkin Pie Porter: “Once again, this is a great combination of pumpkin spice flavor, cinnamon, and sweet pumpkin flavor mixed with the roasted accents of a wonderful porter. Hunt it down and get you one”
  • Pizza Boy Brewing Punkin Disorderly: “I wish there was more of this beer for you to try, but it’s already gone. Al and Terry did a fantastic job of capturing the pure essence of a pumpkin beer on this one with hints of marshmallow and coconut right next to that gourdy almost sweet potato flavor.”

Chelsie loves:

  • Dogfish Head Punkin Ale: “The one and only. It’s a classic. I mean who doesn’t like pumpkin pie in a bottle? Not too spicy. Not too sweet. Nice ABVs: 7%”
  • Elysian Punkuccino: “What Tierney said. It’s so freaking good. This is coming from a girl who generally doesn’t dig a coffee flavored beer.”
  • Springhouse Brewing BRAAIIINS!: “Ok. So if DFH Punkin Ale is pumpkin pie in a bottle, this is pumpkin pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Sugary sweet. And, I have one hell of a sweet tooth.”

Colleen loves: 

  • Southern Tier Warlock: “It’s different. There aren’t many pumpkin flavored imperial stouts out there! Souther Tier’s Pumking is one of the beers that made me LOVE pumpkin beers, but Warlock makes other pumpkin beers seem not nearly good enough.”
  • Sam Adams Fat Jack: “This was a total surprise. They call it a “double” pumpkin beer which just sounded silly to me. But, it really tastes great! It’s got a great smokiness to it that is perfect for the cooler temperatures this time of year.”

BUT we’ve decided that we hate the following:

  • Elysian Hanzel & Gretel. Tierney says “it tastes like salt water mixed with ginger that you threw up. It’s easily one of the worst beers I’ve ever had”. Colleen said “oh god…yeah…vomit. That’s all I can think about with that one”
  • Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Stout. While Tierney kinda liked it, Chelsie says “There’s way too much going on flavor-wise. Spice, Coffee, Boozy, Sweet, Hoppy, Chocolate. Biscuity. Vanilla. Not my preference.”

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