As you may know, I’m a little obsessed with all things pumpkin. I make no apologies because the combination of Pumpkin and Craft Beer is just about as great as it gets for me. While I’ve been a fan of some Octoberfest beers for a while, but had never really been exposed to pumpkin beers until about two years ago. So here it is, my love letter to pumpkin beer:
My first taste of pumpkin beer was Southern Tier’s Pumking. It was late September or early October 2013. My husband and I were still relatively new to the craft beer scene, and decided to scope out a local brewpub here in Austin called Black Star Co-op. Black Star brews several of their own beers, but also carries a good selection of other craft beers. Upon entering the pub, I was overwhelmed by all the choices they had. Among these were about 4-5 pumpkin beers. Already being a proclaimed lover of all the pumpkin things, I asked the girl at the counter which she recommended. “Ummm…well…uhhh…a lot of people are ordering the Pumking tonight”. Not exactly the ringing endorsement I was hoping for, but I decided the crowd of people couldn’t steer my wrong. We picked a table outside in the cool evening air. I took the first sip of that pumpkin and spice goodness and all of fall wrapped around me and I knew I was hooked! I told my craft beer mentor about my heavenly experience and she said she loved that beer! I was validated! She also mentioned she’d heard good things about Southern Tier’s Warlock. Flash forward to a week before our wedding. The husband and I took one final pre-wedding date night at Easy Tiger (a beer garden + bake shop) and I was still obsessed with finding more Pumking. “We don’t have that, ” the waitress informed us “but we do carry Warlock”. BINGO. Just when I thought pumpkin beer couldn’t get any better, the warm spices of Warlock proved me wrong. Flash forward again; we got married, honeymooned on a tropical island, drank 10 too many rum drinks, and arrived back to Texas in November where there was no longer any pumpkin beer to be found.
Last year I snatched up a few pumpkin beers and somehow found the willpower to age a couple. However it was 2015 that proved to be the year of my pumpkin craze. Being on Beer Me Three and just an overall increase in knowledge of craft beers, I felt pretty good about being able to select some good pumpkin beers. And apparently by good I mean ALL of them.
This first picture represents all the singles I’d purchased. I feel single bottles are the perfect way to try a new beer before committing to a six pack. Not pictured were two beers I’d already consumed: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and Alaskan Pumpkin. On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being best – aka Warlock) here are my thoughts on the beers I’ve tried so far.