Pumpkin Beers

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carguy
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Pumpkin Beers

Postby carguy » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:06 pm

I noticed we were starting to stray (as per usual) in the St. Ambroise thread, so I decided to start a new thread for pumpkin beers in general, as it seems to be a popluar subject. It is interesting actually, how the fruit, and fruit flavoured beers that arrive each summer don't garner a lot of interest or respect, but everyone here seems to really enjoy the fall arrival of pumpkin beers, myself included.

Indeed of all the "weird beers" I bring to family gatherings, only the pumpkin beers I bought for last Thanksgiving proved to be enjoyed by everyone, even the ones who claim to "not like beer". Indeed, we even ran out, and I had to make a mid-dinner run to Grand River to pick up a couple more growlers.

I never got the chance to try the Brooklyn Pumpking last year (did it ever arrive?), but I did have the Great Lakes, St. Ambroise, and Grand River. I enjoyed them all, but the Grand River was my favorite of the season, which was great because the brewery is only five minutes away, and unlike the others, it was readily avaliable (to me at least).

I'm looking forward to this years "pumpkin beer season", and interested to hear what all you folks have to say about the different kinds that are out there, and to see how this years vintages compare to last years.

Cheers!
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Postby lister » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:23 pm

The Brooklyn pumpkin did arrive but seemed very limited. I couldn't get any around Toronto but when I happened to be up in Barrie, one of the LCBOs there had some. I tried them all including Southern Tier Pumpkin which I bought in Buffalo/Rochester and my favourites were Great Lakes and Grand River.
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Re: Pumpkin Beers

Postby Derek » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:24 pm

carguy wrote: It is interesting actually, how the fruit, and fruit flavoured beers that arrive each summer don't garner a lot of interest or respect, but everyone here seems to really enjoy the fall arrival of pumpkin beers, myself included.


I don't mind them, but I've sort of seen them as taking up shelf space that could be occupied by a good Octoberfest Marzen. (Much like the fruits displaced the great hefeweizen's we had a few years ago).

I'm still not sure why the octoberfests don't have more appeal... particularly the modern helles?

Fortunately it looks like we'll have some of everything this year!

By the way, I do like the Pumking... full of flavour and the vanilla & biscuit even gives it a subtle hint of pie crust. The two locals are very drinkable, and a good representation of the 'style'.
Last edited by Derek on Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Bobsy » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:02 pm

I enjoy a good pumpkin ale, but they do seem to taste very similar after a while, with only subtle nuances between them. I've found the same things with hefes... tastes of banana and cloves with a light wheat tanginess...

Anyway, I've found our two local options to be great bets (the Great Lakes on cask is awesome), and the Southern Tier Pumking is well worth trying if you want a high-alcohol liquidised pumpkin pie.

I also vote for oktoberfests! Hopefully Black Oak will fill that void.
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Postby carguy » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:26 pm

So this past weekend, I happened to have three different pumpkin beers in the house, and a house full of company, so I took the opportunity to do a blind tasting with some people who think that Sleeman Dark is a walk on the wild side. The results.......

3. Great Lakes - everyone commented that the nose was all cinnimon, and that there was also a lot of cinnimon in the flavour.

2. St. Ambroise - it was the darkest by far, and smelled like a slice of pumpking pie, but the ginger played the lead role in the flavour.

1. Grand River - The most balanced. Smelled and tasted like a slice of pumpking pie, but didn't clobber you over the head with it. Personally, I thought last years batch was better, but I agreed with everyone else that it was better than the other two.
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Postby SteelbackGuy » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:47 am

These are so popular with folks, I don't know why, but they are.

We get all sorts of seasonals at my LCBO store and a lot of them sit on the shelf for some time. But the great Lakes pumpkin ale sells out faster than you can imagine. Every joe 6-pack is buying one. I am not complaining, rather stating fact. I wonder why this is?
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Postby kwjd » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:54 am

SteelbackGuy wrote:These are so popular with folks, I don't know why, but they are.

We get all sorts of seasonals at my LCBO store and a lot of them sit on the shelf for some time. But the great Lakes pumpkin ale sells out faster than you can imagine. Every joe 6-pack is buying one. I am not complaining, rather stating fact. I wonder why this is?


Because pumpkin (along with pumpkin pie flavourings) is one of the most underrated food products in the world. We all forget about it for 11 months then you see pumpkin flavoured products in October and you are like, "Oh ya, pumpkin is delicious!" There are pumpkin products everywhere from lattes at Starbucks to donuts at Tim's, so when people see pumpkin beer, it probably doesn't seem intimidating to them.
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Postby mintjellie » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:12 am

DFH Punkin' Ale is worth a look if you're down in the states.

Great Lakes is alright.

Never had St. Ambroise, Grand River, or Southern Tier.

I've been watching the stock numbers at my local LCBO though, and it looks like I'll score some of the St. Ambroise today. :)
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Postby cannondale » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:22 am

kwjd wrote:
SteelbackGuy wrote:These are so popular with folks, I don't know why, but they are.

We get all sorts of seasonals at my LCBO store and a lot of them sit on the shelf for some time. But the great Lakes pumpkin ale sells out faster than you can imagine. Every joe 6-pack is buying one. I am not complaining, rather stating fact. I wonder why this is?


Because pumpkin (along with pumpkin pie flavourings) is one of the most underrated food products in the world. We all forget about it for 11 months then you see pumpkin flavoured products in October and you are like, "Oh ya, pumpkin is delicious!" There are pumpkin products everywhere from lattes at Starbucks to donuts at Tim's, so when people see pumpkin beer, it probably doesn't seem intimidating to them.


Pumpkin certainly holds a special place in all our hearts.

Tried a pile of american pumpkin ales at a recent beer fest near Philly. Most were very good, but I didn't enjoy any quite like I do St. Ambroise Citrouille. Certainly had the worst pumpkin ale I've ever tried, Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin. I really don't know how you can possibly miss the mark that badly. It's like they were trying to make chili, but wound up with Irish stew. The only reasonable explanation is that the people at Blue Moon have never actually eaten pumpkin pie.
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Re: Pumpkin Beers

Postby Belgian » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:59 am

carguy wrote:It is interesting actually, how the fruit, and fruit flavoured beers that arrive each summer don't garner a lot of interest or respect, but everyone here seems to really enjoy the fall arrival of pumpkin beers, myself included.


A lot of fruit beers are really an over-lay of flavor on a simple base beer.

While pumpkin is also a frut, it has the mealy textures and aromas I would associate with potatoes or yams, placing it closer in my mind to something you could make bread out of - and therefore, beer. 2¢.
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Postby DAN-D-MAN » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:34 pm

I'm currently making my second loaf of pumpkin bread (in the breadmaker that is) and will be enjoying it as toast in the mornings with my pumpkin flavoured coffee. Then I'll enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin muffins my wife just made. Oh and later, I'll be sipping some Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale on tap from my keg fridge! You gotta love pumpkin!

As others mentioned here, it's a seasonal thing. You see pumpkins everywhere, including people's verandas and driveways ready for halloween. So, it's natural that we have pumpkin on the brain and want to indulge in some.

Next month... bring on the eggnog!
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Postby JesseM » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:40 pm

I love Pumpkin spice beers. They just make the season for me. The Citrouille still elludes me. I'd say of the ones I've had my fav would be a tie between Highballer and Great Lakes. The Brooklyn was weird to me in that it was a total one-hit-wonder. The first bottle was awesome and then it was a total chore to finish the rest that I bought last year. I forget what others I've had. Matt7215's homebrewed Pumpkin was delightful. 8)
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Postby Belgian » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:49 pm

DAN-D-MAN wrote:I'm currently making my second loaf of pumpkin bread (in the breadmaker that is) and will be enjoying it as toast in the mornings with my pumpkin flavoured coffee. Then I'll enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin muffins my wife just made. Oh and later, I'll be sipping some Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale on tap from my keg fridge! You gotta love pumpkin!


I'm orange with envy. just watch out for that Michael Myers guy... :o
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Postby matt7215 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:40 pm

JesseM wrote:I love Pumpkin spice beers. They just make the season for me. The Citrouille still elludes me. I'd say of the ones I've had my fav would be a tie between Highballer and Great Lakes. The Brooklyn was weird to me in that it was a total one-hit-wonder. The first bottle was awesome and then it was a total chore to finish the rest that I bought last year. I forget what others I've had. Matt7215's homebrewed Pumpkin was delightful. 8)


jesse i still have some citrouille if you need a bottle
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Postby Belgian » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:15 am

Yeah I still have 8 or so Citrouille, that's a lovely beer and probably the best of the lot (though Highballer and Great Lakes are among the best.)
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