The arrival of the seasonal pumpkin beer elicits an array of emotions from the craft beer market–some drinkers celebrate the arrival of the spicy gourd beer with fall fervor, pumpkin-haters decry the beloved pie-ingredient, and thrillists who have tired of the fad demand innovation and exploration of the style. Beer stores across the country are sure of one thing: EVERYONE has an opinion about pumpkin beer.
For those of you who fall into the last two categories, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is proud to bring you some autumnal substitutions and solutions. Now more than ever, breweries are going out of their way to create new recipes for all tastes and preferences and we aim to find a bottle of craft beer that even the pickiest shoppers can feel good about taking home for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Funky Buddha’s Sweet Potato Casserole is a strong ale that lives true to its name. Taking a sip, the tongue is greeted by sweet yam and spicy cinnamon, the beer giving way to a creamy, marshmallow fluff. This decadent dessert beer will make you feel homesick for your grandma’s Thanksgiving staple, taking you back to the sweet finish of the most satisfying meal of the year.
Looking for a more fruit-forward drink? Straddling the line between mead and beer, Zombie Killer by B. Nektar is a mutant of a cider and appropriately named for the Halloween season. This cider-mead combo opens up with a tart cherry carbonation. Unlike its name’s shambling and flesh-hungry origin, Zombie Killer is a crisp, clean variant of mead that quenches thirst and leaves you fruitfully satisfied.
There are some interesting takes on the classic pumpkin beer out on the market. Ballast Point’s Pumpkin Down is a Scottish Ale with pumpkin added. The twist on the style allows for the beer’s more malty, caramel tones to shine through the traditional cinnamon and allspice flavors commonly found in pumpkin beers. This toffee-like combination lightens the seasonal beer and gives it a more layered drinking experience.
Sour beers are all the rage now! Boulevard’s Funky Pumpkin is a pumpkin beer dressed up in a sour costume and it is out to surprise and enthrall your senses. The nose picks up pumpkin spice and gourd-y goodness and that very same pumpkin combination is the first flavor on the tongue. Don’t be surprised, though, because as soon as this dressed-up beer hits the back of your tongue, it reveals itself to a sour swallow! Boo!
There are many ways to celebrate the holidays—and just as many different beers to pair them with. Whether you’re looking for a dessert, a cider, or a twist on the good ole pumpkin beer, the craft beer brewers and the stores happily answer with an abundant selection and new experiences.