Latest print article: Pumpkin beer!

RiverBend Brewing pumpkin ale

You know at some point I had to… and they’re coming—pumpkin beers! That’s the topic of my latest print article which showed up in the Bulletin this week: Embracing pumpkin beer season.

Most of America’s brewing traditions are imported from other countries — Germany, England and Belgium for the most part. Very few styles can be considered indigenous to our country; California common (steam beer) and cream ale are two examples. Beers made with pumpkins, native to the Americas, are a third.

Yet, there is rarely a style as divisive among drinkers and brewers as this one. It’s a love-hate proposition, and I believe the negative reactions stem from experiencing poorly brewed, over-spiced “pumpkin pie in a glass” versions. No wonder — these can range from cloyingly sweet to thin and astringent.

On the other hand, when brewed well, these beers offer a delicious and unusual experience that can evoke nostalgia for the holidays.

Yes, I’m sure I just heard the collective groan from all of readers who aren’t fans of the pumpkin!