Pumpkin Beer Week: O’Fallon Pumpkin Ale

O'Fallon Pumpkin AleThe O’Fallon Brewery is located just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, and each year brews a seasonal pumpkin ale. While researching the number of pumpkin beers that are available (in bottles) from various breweries, I sent out a number of emails inquiring if there were bottles of these beers that I could acquire for review. The good folks at O’Fallon were able to send me two bottles of their Pumpkin Ale.

[Disclaimer: Most of these pumpkin beer reviews are from breweries who generously sent me several bottles of their respective pumpkin beer after I contacted them.]

O’Fallon puts the "micro" in microbrewery:

Founded in January, 2000 by Fran and Tony Caradonna, the O’Fallon Brewery currently employs seven full-time and six part-time people.  In 2005 we brewed around 1850 barrels of beer…equivalent to about 25,000 cases.

Our 15-barrel brewhouse produces small batches of beer that take about two weeks from brew-day to packaging-day and makes around 200 cases or 30 kegs. We hand-fill our 50 liter and 1/6 bbl kegs and hand-pack each case of 12 ounce bottles in four 6-packs.

O'Fallon BreweryBut don’t let their size fool you. Their batches of beer are distributed to eight states (outside of Missouri) and have garnered awards at the GABF (2005 Bronze for their Unfiltered Wheat and 2004 Gold for their Smoked Porter). They are clearly a brewery to be reckoned with.

Their Pumpkin Ale is available beginning September 1st—it’s their Fall seasonal—and they "add real pumpkin to the mash and then season the finished beer with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves," yielding a tasty, enjoyable 5.5% alcohol beer.

Appearance: Reasonably clear with a bit of a haze (yeast). Color is amber with a brown note to it. Poured a cream-colored head.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spicy and yeast; spices are less prominent than others I’ve had. Malty that is both sticky-sweet and fusel-y.

Taste: Rich and caramel-sweet, a touch of custard, creamy cinnamon spice. Spices are very understated, subtle. Definite roast pumpkin/winter vegetable character. Rich and big malty notes, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and chewy, very nice presence on the tongue. Substantial, satisfying.

Overall: I very much like this, I think it presents an excellent example of the style. I wish I could buy this here in Oregon.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 83 out of 100, with 83% approval from reviewers. On RateBeer, it scores 3.13 out of 5, and is in their 54th percentile.