Pumpkin Beer, Round II

1223045992Thanks to the infinitely patient staff at Sav-Mor Liquors, Chowder has been sampling additional pumpkin beers after the overwhelming response to our post two weeks ago. We assembled a six-pack of our confirmed favorites (Smuttynose) and some that readers suggested (Post Road).

Now that the empties are in the recycling bin, let’s discuss.

Saranac Pumpkin Ale
We had this a few years ago in Maine, which we remembered after seeing the spooky Jack-O-Lantern on the label, and recalled the beer fondly. It’s mildly spicy, and was pumpkin pie-ish without being overwhelming, which is the main complaint we’ve heard about Shipyard Pumpkinhead.

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
New Hampshire’s own Smuttynose offers a spiciness that’s comparable to that of the Shipyard brew, but with a stronger pumpkin finish thanks to the puree.

Wolaver’s Certified Organic Will Steven’s Pumpkin Ale
This Vermont brewery, which owns Otter Creek, says it’s the “first and only” organic offering. Made with pumpkins grown at a farm near the green brewery, we expected it to be crunchy granola like Kashi, but it exceeded our expectations. The spices were subtle, and there was a strong finish. For those who don’t like an overly pie-like flavor, this is a good bet.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale
If you can’t find the Wolaver offering, this is a solid alternative. The flavor is strong, and the spices don’t overpower the gourd. If you have friends who aren’t fans of pumpkin beer, they might enjoy this one.

Boston Beer Works Pumpkin
Maybe we got a bad batch, but this had a strong chemical taste. Like soap. We’d be willing to try it again, but we were not impressed.

It was a good run. Now it’s time to prepare for the winter seasonal offerings. Got any suggestions? We’re trying to wait until after Thanksgiving to stock up on Harpoon Winter Warmer. We’re traditionalists that way.