Back in September, when the first day of Fall hit, Mark and I celebrated in the most delicious way we knew how- with a pumpkin beer tasting! I went to town at Total Wine and built my own 6 pack, making sure to pick mostly new to us beers. Two of the beers we had are old favorites, but I couldn't pass them up and had to include them in our first day of Fall tasting. GIVE ME ALL THE PUMPKIN BEERS. It's like a switch turned on September 22 and I was in full on pumpkin. NO turning back now.
Pumpkin beer is tricky. Too much squashy taste or too much spice can totally ruin the good vibes. I like a little pumpkin, a little spice and hint of sweet and that warm Fall feeling. I guess you could say I'm particular about my pumpkin beer!
We didn't go in any particular order, other than saving what we predicted would still be our favorite to the very end.
My rankings are as follows:
#1 Cottonwood Pumpkin (Foothills Brewing)
I'm confident this will always be my most favorite of the pumpkin beers. I've loved this one for years and it's the perfect amount of spice and not too much sweet. If you can find this on draft, GET IT! It's so, so good.
#2 King Don's Pumpkin (Catwaba Brewing)
This was another winner! Mark and I both really liked the flavors in this and it was the first beer of the night. Again, not too sweet and a good amount of fall spices.
#3 Pumpkin Pie Porter (Deep River Brewing)
Over the past couple of years, I have grown to LOVE dark beers. They are a great way to end a meal or even as a little dessert beverage. This porter is rich and flavorful.
#4 Pumpkin Down (Ballast Point)
This was a little on the strong side but I enjoyed it for the most part! It was a little heavy on the carmel flavor to me and I definitely couldn't drink more than one but it was good.
#5 Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin (New Belgium Brewing)
I wish I loved this but I just didn't. It was way too spicy for me and the spice overpowered all of the good things it had going. If you like a little spice to your beer, this is definitely for you!
#6 Jack-O Traveler Pumpkin Shandy (The Traveler Beer Co.)
This was like a combo of pumpkin juice and an Arnold Palmer. I think I have decided that Shandys definitely aren't for me.
A few other Pumpkin beers we are loving this season- Gordgeous, from Noda Brewing and Sycamore Brewing's Oh My Gourd. Both are great and local to Charlotte!