You can find pumpkin-flavored anything these days, but we have a favorite among fall-flavored treats: pumpkin beer. It’s a great way to ring in the season and switch out that lager you’ve been drinking all summer. But like the notorious pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin beer has been known to start some heated debates. Some love it, others hate it. In any case, we think everyone should give it a try this fall.
Pumpkin beer (more precisely, pumpkin ale) offers a unique spice that, well, literally spices up your evening brew. In addition to pumpkin flesh, some of these ales incorporate ingredients such as coffee or cinnamon to up the ante even more. Plus, the ABV is typically higher than regular beers — something we’ll gladly take.
If you’re thinking of getting adventurous this autumn, or need to satisfy a pumpkin beer craving, read on. We’ve rounded up 9 of the best pumpkin beers to sip this fall.
1. Southern Tier Pumking
This rich pumpkin ale from Southern Tier is an ode to Púca, an autumn creature from Celtic folklore. Púca isn’t your typical Halloween monster, however. Instead of spooking wanderers, he whisks them off into the night for a wild, unforgettable ride. This sweet but dry beer delivers that wild ride and boasts top reviews from over 7,000 customers on Beer Advocate.
2. Elysian Punkuccino
Coffee is a fairly common addition to pumpkin beers, upgrading the taste with a touch of rich bitterness. This Elysian Punkuccino does it better than any other coffee beer, coming straight out of Seattle, the coffee capital of the U.S. It’s creamy, delicious and makes a perfect adult substitute for chocolate on Hallows eve.
3. Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat
Blue Moon is one of the bigger brands to venture into the pumpkin patch, and they nailed it with this Harvest beer. The taste profile is a nice balance between sweet and spicy with some cinnamon to boot. Enjoy it out of a nice sniffer or goblet to get all the autumnal scents.
4. Saint Arnold Pumpkinator
This Pumpkinator from Saint Arnold holds the #1 spot for top-rated pumpkin beers on Beer Advocate. Oh, and it also won gold at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. If that doesn’t convince you, then maybe a 10.5% ABV will.
5. Whole Hog Beer Pumpkin Ale
Looking for pumpkin pie in a bottle that happens to get you tipsy? Go for this pumpkin ale from Whole Hog. It’s not too sweet, though, with leading flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. Enjoy it after dinner on a cold night as a wholesome, delicious way to warm up.
6. Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
This Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin is the brand’s second pumpkin beer (the other being Pumpkinhead), but experts who’ve tried both prefer this one. The beer has a big-bodied flavor that uses ingredients such as Willamette and hallertau hops to balance the sweetness of the pumpkin. But be warned: this beer has a 9% ABV. After a few you might look like an actual ghost the next morning.
7. Denver Beer Co. Hey! Pumpkin
Most pumpkin beers come in larger craft bottles, but if you need cans, pick up some of this brew from Denver Beer Co. It’s ideal for camping, bonfires or other outdoor activities before it gets too cold, and it’s actually a great pumpkin beer too. It has a spicy cinnamon flavor with some breadiness, making it ideal for pairing with a thick sweater and falling leaves.
8. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Dogfish’s Head Punkin Ale gets a unique flavor from organic brown sugar. It might sound gross, but it’s actually very tasty, and might even convince the pumpkin beer skeptic in your group to like the stuff.
9. Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
If spiciness is your thing, go for Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale. It’s one of the stronger, spicier pumpkin ales, making it best served in a real sniffer or goblet. It also has a high ABV (8%) and flavor highlights including cinnamon, vanilla and caramel.