#pumpkinbeers – PorchDrinking.com
As usual, the crew here at PorchDrinking.com is drinking some great beers this week. You can definitely tell we’re entering the holiday season based off the beers we’re drinking. I think you can make any beer work for just about any occasion, but there are some that perfect for certain times of the year. Here’s What We’re Drinking.
Fall in Wisconsin is an exciting time of year. Hearty, Midwestern men and women come back from the lake, stock up on cheese curds and bratwursts and prepare for Packer season. The crisp, cool air signifies a clear changing of the seasons and thus the beer aisle at your local Woodman’s begins to change with it. The aisles formerly populated by the Midwest’s finest kolsch and summer wheat beers seemingly overnight are now enticing thirsty patrons with Oktoberfests, maibocks and pumpkin beers. Oh God, so many pumpkin beers. Everyone makes them now. My recommendation, coming from years of industrial grade levels of drinking, is to avoid the constant disappointment of so many of the macro breweries “take” on pumpkin beers and go straight to the one pumpkin beer that lays waste to its vast and meager competition.
It’s a well-known (if not scientifically documented) fact that as we get older, we start complaining more about the weather. Sit near an old man on a park bench sometime, there’s really no condition that he can’t find fault with. Too hot. Too cloudy. Too much humidity. Lots of hot air these days; very few cool breezes. Nothing’s ever right or as good as it used to be. EDM music and so forth…
What if you like warm weather, yet long for the beers of winter? What about those of us who hate driving in the snow, but love football? People who are in limbo during this time of year want some beers that can meet the needs of any climate. The changing of the seasons truly is a bittersweet symphony, and as we clumsily straddle the fence that separates pre-autumn excitement from end-of-summer blues, let’s look at six tasty brews that that can help us savor the remaining warmth while preparing for the imminence of gawking leafers and poorly raked yards.
I know right now you’ve read the title and instantly assumed I am counter to everything that is right in the world. You are all chanting your fall mantras, “the spice expands consciousness, the spice is life and who controls the spice controls fall.” But I for one cannot take any more overly sweet, acrid, or overly spiced pumpkin beers. I think the problem is the gourd itself. Pumpkin, at least to the brewing process, primarily bring nothing but starches and very minor sweetness to the party. This inherently pushes the spices to the front and leaves nothing but the harsh wash of cinnamon on the palette. Enter the contender! Apple brings much more than pumpkin in the way of sweetness aroma, fall character, and a lasting drinkability that fits not just for early fall but all the way through Thanksgiving and into early December. A balanced apple pie presence to amplify an amber caramel and malt forward beer style is a match made in heaven.
ABV: 8.0% | IBU: 16
Pumpkin beers have been a contentious issue on PorchDrinking over the past six weeks. Opinions certainly differ on the propriety of drinking pumpkin beer in August, but since we’re well into October, I hope I’m not in the minority in calling pumpkin beer season officially open for business. They’re not for everyone, these pumpkin beers. They tend to offend the Reinheitsgebot in nearly every way possible. Not only do they have adulterating spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, but they’re usually chock full of “pumpkin”.