The Brew Site

Pumpkin beer ruminations

Pumpkins in Central Oregon

I’ve got pumpkin beer on the mind… right now, I’m the #1 result on Google for "pumpkin ale recipe", #3 for "pumpkin ale", #7 for "pumpkin beer"… On Yahoo, I’m #2 for "pumpkin ale recipe" and #9 for "pumpkin ale". Does that make me an expert?

Over on BeerAdvocate, they actually have a Pumpkin Ale style, with 110 different beers listed! Not all of those are still produced, though. Still, that’s a fair showing for such a unique style.

Their top-rated pumpkin beer? Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head.

I think it would be fun to do a pumpkin beer tasting; gather as many pumpkin ales as you can find (homebrewed included!), draw up some rating sheets, and go to town. Would anyone be interested in doing this? I’d have to get my own pumpkin ale bottled and ready first.

Heck, maybe I’ll just do that for myself; buy a bottle or two of every pumpkin beer I can find locally, and review ’em all against each other: Pumpkin Challenge ’06. That would be fun to write.

I have yet to run into another homebrewer that makes a pumpkin ale, although the Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization (which, I’m sad to say, I am not yet a member of, though I am on the mailing list) just did a group brew of a pumpkin ale—and apparently were using a giant pumpkin as the primary fermenter! That sounds like a neat gimmick, but I’d be very, very skeptical… pumpkins don’t last that long after they’ve been opened, and I’d be nervous of letting a pumpkin sit for days with a fermenting liquid in it…

Besides, that would have to be a one big pumpkin to hold 5+ gallons of beer in it.

One final thought… that photo I found on Flickr there, that would make a pretty good beer label, I think. Something to play around with.