Pumpkin beer is a perfect way to celebrate the fall season. Photo by Osvaldo Ruiz, contributor
Pumpkin beer is a perfect way to celebrate the fall season. Photo by Osvaldo Ruiz, contributor

Pints for Knights: Gourd to the last drop

Fall is a great season for beer consumption – the selection of seasonal brews is incredible and you’ll surely find many breweries showcasing their fall seasonal beers. Even more exciting than the variety of Oktoberfest beers is the arrival of pumpkin-flavored beer.

The weather and festivities in October and November just scream pumpkin pie and, well for us, pumpkin beer. So for all you out there in search for the best pumpkin beer, here’s Pints for Knights’ go-to pumpkin beer guide.

For novice beer drinkers, what you want to find in a pumpkin beer is great aroma and taste. Looks can be deceiving and even the amount of alcohol can mask how great a beer it could be.

Such is the case for our first beer on our list. Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale from the Uinta Brewery is a medium-range ale. Not overwhelming taste wise but it packs a punch in its dry finish. This ale has a very nice smell of spices and subtle hints of pumpkin. Within great tasting pumpkin beers, this is a great start.

Kicking it up a notch flavor-wise is the Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale. The aroma in this beer is pretty similar to that of Punk’n Harvest, but the similarities end there. This ale is in the darker side of things. Great creamy head with some mild spicing and light bit of hop bitterness with a round finish. Anderson Valley Brewing Company cooked up wonderful ale that is every bit smooth as it is flavorful.

Rounding up this list before we head local is Pugsley Signature Series: Smashed Pumpkin from Shipyard Brewing Company. This beer is seriously one of the best pumpkin beers out there. Very nice sweetness in both nose and taste. Spice sweetness with a stronger finish than most pumpkin beers. This one starts sweet and ends bitter. I suggest you take a nice big whiff out of this one. Pumpkin pie anyone?

Now, maybe San Diego may not be the first thing people picture when they think of fall. Yet, our breweries have done a great job capturing that feel for us in two amazing tasting beers. From Coronado Brewing comes Punk’ in Drublic Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This is pumpkin glory and spice all the way. Spice up front but settles nicely with a very well balanced finish. It is a very easy beer to drink and certainly one for the IPA fans.

Pumpkin Down from Ballast Point, on the other hand, is a pretty dark brown, and this beer features the caramel and toffee malt flavor of the Ballast Point Piper Down Scottish ale paired with roasted pumpkin. Very aggressively spiced but that doesn’t overpower the taste of the beer overall. The pairing between the Piper Down and pumpkin is just perfect as it delivers one of the best pumpkin flavored beers out there.

Honestly, we suggest you take advantage of the many offerings out there. Some might not be as good as others, but the fun part is that you will eventually find “the one.” Take advantage of this season and find yourself a fantastic pumpkin beer, one that will be simply smashing. Cheers.

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Pints for Knights: Gourd to the last drop