Seasonally-released pumpkin ales occupy that small space of time between Oktoberfest beers and holiday ales, and taste like it too. They are malty like many Oktoberfest märzens but spiced like holiday ales with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
The best pumpkin ales, in my opinion, are brewed with actual pumpkin. This can be anything from pumpkin puree to actual pieces of roasted squash, but a little pumpkin goes a long way to making a truly unique beer.
These are a few worthy contenders for your fall pumpkin cravings:
1. Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Rich pumpkin flavor with a backbone of brown sugar.
2. Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company - Nutmeg and cinnamon spices are very forward with this one. Vanilla adds a warming note.
3. Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewery - Less pumpkiny than other brews, but with a nice spicy character.
4. Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery - Stronger and bolder than other pumpkin ales, from the pumpkin to the spices to the ABV.
5. UFO Pumpkin from Harpoon Brewery - Malty, spicy, and earthy with an appropriately autumnal crisp finish.
Love pumpkin ale? What's your favorite?