Basic white girls of the world rejoice! PSL season (Pumpkin Spice Latte season for all you laymen out there) is upon us and everyone is getting into the game. Unlike the Starbucks’ of the world and your token white girl, craft brewers have been playing with pumpkin for a while, since about colonial times to be a little more exact. Pumpkins grow naturally here in North America, so when people came from Europe they discovered these big orange squash-looking bulbs. Naturally, they decided to use them to make alcohol. Lucky for us, the meat of a pumpkin works perfect as a malt, since they have plenty of natural sugars in them. In fact, the meat works so well that actual malts are not even needed.
With such a rich history behind pumpkin beers, I have decided to grab a few at random (yes, actually at random) and see what comes of them. These will for sure satisfy the basic white girl in all of us.
And Now, the Brews
|Lakefront Brewing | Pumpkin | Pumpkin Lager|
|A true homage to those PSLs from your most favorite corporate-run coffee chain. The nose boasts cinnamon and nutmeg with hints of pumpkin. The taste follows the nose with some added sweetness and a touch of yeast. This beer is well balanced with a nice medium body. Grab one of these with the girls, some yoga pants and gossip about the Kardashian’s latest scandal. I heard it was an inside job…|
|6pk btl | 5.8% ABV | 10 IBUs|
|Millstream Brewing | Great Pumpkin | Imperial Stout|
|Starting off, I was pretty excited about this beer. I am a big fan of imperial stouts (I’m one of those guys,) and I usually am pretty okay with the whole PSL craze. The first wiff of this motor oil brought with it the scent of a classic imperial stout; dark malt and chocolate. The following sniffs brought out more pumpkin and other spices. Upon consumption, the pumpkin and spices were somewhat subdued and underwhelming with your typical imperial stout shining through with roast, malt and chocolate. I wish this beer was something more; maybe more pumpkin and spices coming through, more balanced, with some non-artificial flavorings would be ideal. Not my favorite, but if you like Imperial Stouts and not so much pumpkins, this one should suit you well. Grab one of these with your yoga pants and craft-beer-nerd-friends that are trying to get into pumpkin beers and gossip about the latest beer world merger scandal with Anheuser-Busch InBev merging with SABMiller. I heard it was an inside job…|
|4pk btl | 7.6% ABV | 41 IBUs|
|Wasatch Brewery | Black O’Lantern | Pumpkin Stout|
|Another pumpkin stout? Yeeep. Like I said, this was all grabbed at random. The nose on this one is much more like I would expect from a pumpkin stout. A good balance of roast, cocoa, pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, yeast and a little ginger. The taste really follows along with a slight touch of hops, coffee, smoke and biscuity goodness. As it sits out and warms up, the flavors develop into deep and fuller notes. This one is great for getting together with your Halloween fanatic friends who worship the dark lord, your most comfortable yoga pants and gossip about the latest Ozzy scandal. I heard it was an inside job…|
|6pk btl | 6.5% ABV | 5 IBUs|