Pumpkin beer waiting to be poured
You’ve seen it scrolling through your late night social media binging session: A forgotten friend from high school shared a meme with the following insight, “How to enjoy pumpkin beer. Step 1: Throw it in the trash." It is perhaps not surprising that amongst the ever-growing list of pumpkin foods and beverages, beer is virally rejected alongside by connoisseur and casual drinkers alike.
This includes me. To (hopefully) prove myself wrong, I set off on a quest to learn if there were, in fact, pumpkin beers worth tasting. And, following weeks of extensive and thirst-quenching research, I am happy to say there are several that are not only worth going against the negativity train for, but also worth drinking on their own merit.
Each of the 10 beers below are totally worthy of a seasonal quaff in place of your go-to brews. Most are Southern, with a few mixed in from northern breweries, but you shouldn't have too much trouble finding all of them in beer shops in the Southeast.
#1. Good Gourd (Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, Fla.)
High in pumpkin flavor and moderate in spice, this not-very-sweet beer from Cigar City achieves a perfect trifecta of beer, pumpkin and spice. The malt and pumpkin are allowed to speak for themselves, making for an enjoyable brew that doesn’t overtake the palate. I find it most respectable that Cigar City rejected any urges to include imitation pumpkin pie spice and instead focused on creating a genuinely delicious and complex beer. The double barrel-aged Good Gourd Have Mercy is just as amazing and has a hint of yam flavor amongst the spice.
Photo credit: Cigar City Brewing
Next up: a pumpkin ale from St. Louis