It’s autumn and ‘tis the seasons for baking spices and pumpkin desserts to dominate the palate. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and bored considering how many of these dishes we will be force-fed to us between now and Halloween. One of my favorite pumpkin flavored items is beer, but some of them are downright terrible. I’d like to share with you my personal favorites that I think should be at any good Halloween party.
Most pumpkin beers rely on the blend of spices that we associate with pumpkin pie to illicit the memory rather than actual pumpkin and one beer that I think accomplishes this well is Southern Tier Pumking. This is definitely a sipping beer as it weighs in with a hefty 8.6% ABV as well a pretty substantial spice wallop. The spices are dominated by cinnamon primarily, but this beer is still well balanced for what I consider a winter warmer. I believe they have changed their recipe in recent years as the first time I tried this beer I really didn’t like it. I remember it being overly sweet and so spicy that I couldn’t drink it with the Chinese food delivery that I usually order for my Halloween party. I tried it again this year and I was really impressed by how different it was from my memory.
Next is Dogfish Head Punking. This beer is much less aggressively spiced than many pumpkin beers. It is well-made amber ale that smacks of brown sugar with a nice hint of pumpkin that is not over the top. This is probably the best all-around pumpkin beer that the most people will enjoy.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is a New England local that may be hard to find in other areas, but is a really solid and great pumpkin beer that worth seeking out. I have seen it available on some food delivery websites in other areas as a specialty beer. The flavor profile is smoother and creamier than many of the other pumpkin beer offerings on the market. There is a rich mouth-feel that comes with this beer that I this many others are severely lacking.
These are my top three pumpkin beers that you should seek out for your Halloween bash that is fast approaching. Pumking and Punkin are easy enough to find on the shelves of liquor stores across the nation. If you live in New England and have Shipyard in abundance, you should really grab a pack of Pumpkinhead and see what I mean. If not, start scouring food delivery websites and order it before I buy it all.