No More Judging! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pumpkin Beer

Seasonal Creep isn’t creeping any more.

Hey. You. Seasonal creep.

You’re my best friend.

Now that it’s September and the summer is unofficially over, there’s no more whining to be made about pumpkin beer and all the wonderful seasonal flavors it brings us. My favorite time of year is back!

Given my propensity for all things pumpkin – especially beer – I’ve anxiously been starting my annual stockpile of pumpkin beers. As you begin to buy up the delicious stock from your local store, here are three recent pumpkin beers I’ve had – one worth seeking out and two to probably avoid.

Reminder: If you need a refresher on my pumpkin beer rating scale, check out this post.

New Belgium Pumpkick


Quick notes: Bland malt aroma, light pumpkin pie spice flavor and the use of cranberries only makes it taste slightly bitter rather than a tart aftertaste.

Rating: One pie slice, for trying.

pumpkin pie-pumpkin beer-beer-fall-autumn-pumpkin-oneTerrapin Pumpkinfest


Quick notes: Solid aroma filled with pie spices, notably cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of orange. The taste is lacking, mostly reminding me of an amber ale. Slight pie aftertaste, but without the smell, this could certainly fall into the “amber ale” category for me.

Rating: Two pie slices, since it at least nails the nose of a pumpkin pie.

pumpkin pie-pumpkin beer-beer-fall-autumn-pumpkin-twoBuffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale


Quick notes: Malt is strong, but taste of actual pumpkin seems unmistakable. Ginger pronounced. This carries an awesome pie taste, dominated by cinnamon. There’s a solid pumpkin pie aftertaste that borders on sugar sweet by the time it goes down the gullet.

Rating: Four pie slices.

pumpkin pie-pumpkin beer-beer-fall-autumn-pumpkin-four

As I continue through this season’s collection of pumpkin beers, expect more ratings to help you pick out the right bottles. If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below.

Cheers to fall!


+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

14 thoughts on “No More Judging! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Pumpkin Beer

  1. I love Buffalo Bill’s. Like you, I’m a big time Pumpkin fan (although, I only plan on buying them at the pub this year) and I’ve tasted a ton of them. This one really stands out as a pumpkin beer and less a spice beer.

    Did you happen to catch my latest post? Pumpkin beer homebrewing havoc. If the batch actually turns out, I’ll have to send you one.

    1. That’s an adventurous brewday I haven’t had, for sure.

      I will gladly welcome the opportunity to try once it’s finished!

      Sidenote: I had Pumking on tap last year – my first time ever – and it was GLORIOUS.

    2. I did a pumpkin brown ale last year around Halloween. I daresay it was my greatest homebrew ever! Will go check out your post 🙂

  2. The Pumking scale is genius, as it is still tops for me after four years and 20 different pumpkin beers up here in Ontario. I had an imported Uinta Oak Jacked and it was up there, and offered a different angle on the style. I’m grateful that we get Pumking every year, but to have it on tap, though, brings out my extreme jealousy! Cheers.

    1. The Unita brew is definitely a good one. I had pumpkin porter and stout made by Epic and Elysian, respectively, last year which were amazing. I don’t know why nobody wanted to pair chocolate malt and pumpkin before!

  3. While I can’t deny the glory of the Pumpking, my heart still lies with Heavy Seas Great’er Pumpkin. I’m not convinced it’s not full of illegal good things.

    1. If you were not such a high-standing Friend of the Program, such blasphemy would get you in trouble.

      However, I agree that Great’er Pumpkin is certainly a very good beer.

    2. Be sure to get to the stores now. I started seeing it pop up online at random places yesterday.

  4. I just posted an article on “season creep” for pumpkin beers on my Facebook page. I commented that I’m over it. I used to get all “but it’s August!!”, but they’ve been me down LOL. I’ve already enjoyed several Pumkings, and I picked up a couple I haven’t had before including Devil’s Backbone’s Ichabod Crandell. It’s starting to feel like fall here in Delaware, Halloween is right around the corner, so why not a little pumpkin in your beer?

  5. Over here in the Netherlands they go bat-crap crazy for pumpkin soup, any time of year. Not a single brew though. Priorities people!

    1. I like where your head’s at.

      I’d gladly take pumpkin anything – I’m making the season’s first pie in the next week or so – but I’m sad to hear pumpkin beer handy properly grabbed hold yet!

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