Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top


No Comments

NoDa Brewing Co. | Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale

Noda Brewing Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale
Jason Murphy

Although we’re still in the summer months, it’s never too early to be dreaming about those decadent fall weather beers that we enjoy. There are a handful of Oktoberfest style beers already being released in the market, but one we want to talk to in-depth about now is a masterpiece Pumpkin Ale brought to you by NoDa Brewing Company in Charlotte, NC. So let us trade in our pine for pumpkin, as we carve up this beer called Gordgeous!

Concepts of Beer & Pumpkins

The concept for Gordgeous was actually conceived in a garage on a homebrew system by Head Brewer and Co-Owner Chad Henderson. Henderson tells us that he had to alter his homebrew system to be able to use a 78-pound pumpkin as the mash tun! We’re thinking this might be Cinderella’s go-to beer for that simple reason. Henderson explains that they still use the same grains today that he used on the original pumpkin-housed beer. Two Row base and a hefty portion of specialty malts including Caramunich, Special B, Vienna, CaraAmber and Carafoam. During this time period, “non-IPA or Belgian” ale yeast was Scottish yeast, so they kept that as well.

Not Your Typical Pumpkin Beer

The general concept was that based on the fact that most pumpkin beers coming out in his area were basically a mildly amber ale with cinnamon, nutmeg and then an accent spice. Henderson was also annoyed that so many didn’t actually use pumpkin, so he went “stupid mode” and mashed into the actual pumpkin. After the wort was collected to boil, he noticed all the inner meat of the pumpkin-tun were nicely caramelized from the heat, so he cut them out, baked them with brown sugar and then added to the boil.

At the end of the boil, he added his spice blend which he decided not to include cinnamon or nutmeg but instead use the accent spices that he liked from other commercial examples. This is still the blend they use today with ginger, allspice, cardamom, clove and brown sugar. Henderson states the obvious fact that they don’t make pumpkins as large as what would be needed to mash a two-thousand-gallon batch, so they just throw pureed pumpkin into the mash and keep the rest of it basically the same as what he did in his garage.

Image provided by NoDa Brewing Company

Pumpkin Celebrations

While Cinderella might be off to the ball, NoDa also had a celebration recently as well. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Gordgeous! You’re not just looking at any old Pumpkin Ale though. Gordgeous has accolades to go along with it. It has won gold not only once, but twice at the Great American Beer Festival, and we can definitely see why. Not only is it an award-winning beer, but it was Charlotte’s first true pumpkin beer. To date, it remains NoDa’s top-selling seasonal beer.

Image provided by NoDa Brewing Company

A Pumpkin Treat

This beer, or we should say, for this style of beer, Gordgeous just hits different. You hear the term smooth thrown around a lot in the craft beer world, but it’s as smooth as they come. We promise! This beer showcases all of the ingredients in the flavor profile of the beer. Really, it is a beautifully brewed beer and the fine folks over at NoDa deserve a mash tun of credit for how well this beer turns out.

The flavors almost caress the palate as the fine liquid pours over the tongue. You get a lot of pumpkin flavors, but it’s not overdone. It’s like grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie, just right and you want to go back for more. Except Gordgeous won’t fill you up too quickly. That was another aspect we really enjoyed. It’s not too heavily carbonated, and you can actually enjoy a few of these in a sitting. The idea to leave out cinnamon and nutmeg is genius! We think that even if you aren’t really a fan of pumpkin-style beers, you’d really enjoy this beer.

Gordgeous is truly a tremendous beer. It should be tried at least try once to see what all the hype is about. Even if you’re not a pumpkin ale fan, give this limited release a try and see for yourself. If you try it and like it but are down in the dumps because it’s a seasonal release, don’t fret. NoDa has you covered. NoDa will be releasing an Imperial version of the beer called Drop Dead Gordgeous on September 8th. This special 8.8% Imperial version will be available at all retail locations that carry Gordgeous.

Can't visit the site everyday like us? Bummer! No worries, we've got you covered. Submit your email below to receive our monthlyish newsletter on reviews, tours, events and more!

Submit a Comment

5 + 8 =