Whether you're stocking up for a Halloween party or just looking for the perfect fall beer to pair with chili, you're likely to see quite a few pumpkin beers on the shelves of your local bottle shop. Which are the best of the bunch? We asked our group of experts to share their favorites.
'@pumpkin-beer' on Serious Eats
These five pumpkin beers are definitely worth seeking out this fall.
Pumpkin beers are simultaneously the most beloved and most reviled concoctions in the pantheon of seasonal brews. But pumpkin beer can be an ideal pairing for some of our favorite autumn meals. Read on for a few suggestions.
I had a happy enough childhood by most reasonable measures. My parents were nice people who didn't much care for children but loved and provided for me anyway. I give them a lot of credit for that, because it's easy to devote your life to raising your children if you happen to be wired to do so. My parents, despite their extreme youth, didn't know how to relate to children very well, which is why I was lucky enough to be raised as a miniature adult. Adults are WAY cooler than kids.
The pumpkin madness that autumn brings lasts just a few short months, but there's still plenty of time to make and enjoy a delicious homebrewed Pumpkin Ale. Brewers have been using pumpkin in beer for a long time, and the list of commercial versions gets longer every year. But with no clear defined style, and limitless spicing choices, pumpkin ale is a fun opportunity for beginning and experienced brewers alike to flex their creative recipe skills.
Far from being a modern invention of the craft beer scene, pumpkin beers have a long history in the US. The main reason pumpkin was adopted as a beer ingredient during the early colonial period was simple availability—pumpkins were a native plant (one completely unknown to most Europeans before the 16th century, while good malt was not so readily accessible. In the first pumpkin beers, the meat of the pumpkin took the place of malt entirely.
Among my fellow beer nerds, it's not the need for long sleeves that makes it autumn. It's not the burnished leaves or the candy corn. The real reason to be excited for the coming of fall is the arrival of autumn seasonal beers. Here's a sampler of this year's pumpkin brews.
Surely jack-o-lantern-flavored, cinnamon-perfumed beer isn't serious beer. We tried seven pumpkin beers, and as it turns out, some were actually pretty good—especially with a bowl of chili.