This fall, why not skip the Jack (Daniels) in favor of some tasty, fermented Jack O’Lantern? We’ve rounded up a list of local pumpkin beers; enjoy knowing that your dollars are supporting a local producer while you savor a delicious seasonal brew. (Note, breweries marked with a [t] offer tours – check their websites for details.)
First up is Wolavers, our favorite for being local (regional, at least) and brewers of the nation’s first certified organic beer:
- Wolavers Pumpkin Ale Brewed in: Middlebury, VT. Brewer Says: Generous use of Vermont grown organic pumpkins artfully blended with four fresh organic spices craft this seasonal treat. The subtle flavor of pumpkin and mild notes of spice enhance this golden amber ale, making it a perfect choice for the season (5.3% ABV).
Next, the award for “best-named beer” goes to:
- Port Jeff Boo Brew [t] Note: We’re excited about this new-to-the-scene brewery (it opened October 15), but right now you can only find Port Jeff brews at the brewery itself and other Long Island locations. Brewed in: (Port Jefferson) Long Island, NY. Brewer Says: We brew [Boo Brew] using organic pumpkin, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, and our secret specialty spices. With the color of pumpkin and spiced like pie, our Boo Brew easily puts a splash of fall in your glass (5.4 ABV%).
For more local, pumpkiny goodness, check out:
- Blue Point Pumpkin Ale [t] Brewed in: (Patchogue) Long Island, NY. Brewer Says: Brewed with pumpkins from only the most sincere patches, this seasonal brew is golden orange, crisp and delicious, with an innocent hint of cinnamon and nutmeg that articulates our favorite season (6.0% ABV).
- Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale [t] Brewed in: (Williamsburg) Brooklyn, NY. Brewer Says: Hundreds of pounds of pumpkins are blended into the mash of each batch, creating a beer with a warm pumpkin aroma, biscuity malt center, and crisp finish (5.0% ABV).
- Heartland Brewery Smiling Pumpkin Ale & Stumpkin Brewed in:(Fort Greene) Brooklyn, NY. Brewer Says: Smiling Pumpkin Ale is made with honey-roasted pumpkins and simmered with ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. A sweet and spicy harvest treat that goes down smoothly (5.7% ABV). Stumpkin combines the flavor of Smiling Pumking Ale with the hearty roasted chocolate flavor of our Stout (5.5% ABV).
- Sixpoint Autumnation [t] Brewed in: (Red Hook) Brooklyn, NY. Brewer Says: Brewed with pumpkin, ginger and white pepper, and wet-hopped with just-harvested Citra hops from the oldest continually farmed hop farm in the country, it’s a burst of fresh, seasonal spices trapped in a 16-ounce can (6.0% ABV).
- Southern Tier Brewing Company Imperial Pumpkin Ale [t] Brewed in:Lakewood, NY. Brewer Says: Brewed with pagan spirit, Pumking is an ode to Púca, a creature of Celtic folklore said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow its alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you (8.6% ABV).
- Southampton Pumpkin Ale Brewed in: Southampton, NY. Brewer Says: A unique amber-colored brew. We use a generous amount of pumpkin as well tradition pumpkin pie spices to give this unusual brew a definite seasonal character (6.0% ABV).
Where to Buy: Check out the brewers’ websites or BeerMenus.com to find out which restaurants, bars and retail shops carry your pick of pumpkin brews.
Have you tried any of these beers? Which is your favorite? Or do you have another local, seasonal favorite?