5 Pumpkin Beers You Need to Try
Fall has officially returned to the Bismarck-Mandan area and in the beer world, that means pumpkin beers.
There are two things to look for in Pumpkin beers, or two ends of the spectrum. The beer is either very heavy and has a distinct pumpkin taste or it's very light bodied and has more of a cinnamon taste. There's also a very polarizing stigma associated with these beers as well. People love them or hate them.
If you love them, here are some beers to try out as the weather gets crisper:
Cigar City Gourd
Imperial Ale, 8.8%
Good Gourd is often cited as the pumpkin beer against which all others are measured, as it tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. Check the spice list: cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, Zanzibar cloves, vanilla, and nutmeg. And you bet your sweet bippy those spices show up in every sip. It's also 8.8%, so you don't need to drink much of it to get into the Halloween spirit. Also, you can't drink much of it because it only comes in 22-ounce bombers (and on tap, if your state’s bars are lucky enough to carry Cigar City).
Brown Ale, 7%
This is the pumpkin beer for people who say they don't like pumpkin beers. It won't overpower you with pumpkiny-ness, and the finish is quite pleasant. And because it’s brewed by people who always seem to brew beers that sound like that could be absolutely disgusting but always turn out fantastic, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands with a pumpkin pint from Dogfish Head.
Saint Arnold Pumpkinator
Imperial Stout, 10.5%
Some might say this is the best pumpkin beer in America. Those someones happened to be beer judges in 2017 for the Great American Beer Festival, where they awarded the gold in the Pumpkin/Squash or Pumpkin Spice Beer category. The brew doesn’t skimp on ingredients, as it’s the most expensive beer they brew, and it shows. It’s a rich, dark, malty treasure overflowing with molasses, brown sugar, pumpkin spices, and enough pumpkins to bake 437 pumpkin pies, according to the brewery. Pro tip: If you’re in Houston and want one, order it in the literal cathedral Saint Arnold opened a couple months ago. It may not be a religious experience, but at 10.5%, it'll certainly have you speaking in tongues.
Tired Hands Milkshake IPA
OK, so this isn’t the easiest beer to acquire. But if you live near the Philly burbs, are down to follow Tired Hands’ busy/delicious Instagram for the brewery’s new releases (this beer debuted in October last year), and love unique pumpkin beers, this is the one for you. Check it: You get malted oats, real pumpkin, lactose sugar, pumpkin spices, vanilla bean, and their coffee. It was made in conjunction with the Swedish brewery Omnipollo. If you can’t find it in PA, it may be worth the trip to Sweden to see if they have a few extra.
Firestone Walker El Gourdo
American Wild Ale, 6.1%
Paso Robles, California
Even though this beer isn’t called El Scorcho, we still think it’d be good for you and you’d be good for it. The venerable Cali brewery that’s long been thriving in an area known for producing wines has produced this brew that takes a little more time to mature than others: Last year’s variant was aged for 24 months in French oak barrels with roasted, caramelized Cinderella pumpkins, laurel leaf, and walnuts. It’s not quite as easy to find as some other beers on the list, but this complex, funky beast is worth the hunt.
If you like beer, this list is definitely worth checking out. To see more pumpkin beers click here.