It’s a craze that’s sweeping the nation, invading our candles, coffee, and beer. Most of us welcome it with open arms each autumn, pairing it with fiery colored trees and tractor rides. Pumpkin has a long history in the United States.
All About Beer writes, “‘The pumpkin thing is as American as apple pie. Pumpkin pie? Come on, that’s as American as you can possibly get,’ says Bill Owens, founder of Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, CA, and brewer of the first commercial pumpkin beer in the country. ‘When you have something that’s so culturally deep, everybody loves it.’”
According to Beer Advocate, “Often released as a fall seasonal, Pumpkin Ales are quite varied. Some brewers opt to add hand-cut pumpkins and drop them in the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. These beers also tend to be spiced with pumpkin pie spices, like: ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.”
Essentially, a brewer adds pumpkin (raw, roasted, puree, flavoring, or spices) early on in the brewing process. They will also adjust their malt, hop, and yeast selections to best complement the pumpkin flavor. The flexibility of pumpkin beer means pumpkin can be found in everything from stouts to pale ales and pilseners.
All About Beer elaborates, “And in terms of beloved pumpkin spice-flavored foods, pumpkin beer is right up there with the Pumpkin Spice Latte. In the last 25 years or so, pumpkin beer has gone from an experimental specialty beer made by a handful of brewers to a seasonal phenomenon and a major force in the craft beer market.”
One of the great beauties of the pumpkin beer is its variability. All ingredients, including the pumpkin itself, can vary. Specifically, this style can be created with pumpkin puree, roasted pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices.
CraftBeer.com offers what might be the best fall pairings for your pumpkin beer: roasted turkey, camembert cheese, and coffee flavored ice cream.
Other popular seasonal beers for Autumn are porters and stouts, whose malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors fit right in with crunchy leaves and crisp weather. For a full look at our fall seasonal beer, head to our blog!