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We’re Back, Witches!

And Warlocks, of course.

After a necessary hiatus last year to concentrate on budding and growing the newest two mini-pumpkins (see the gourd-geous little chaps pictured), we’re back for the 2017 season to drink along with you from summer to winter through the bountiful harvest of seasonal offerings. Pumpkin beer season is coming, f*ck yeah!

Over the past 5 years we’ve reviewed literally hundreds of pumpkin beers from across the country and beyond, in our 61 beers in 61 days format. But since we started this quest, the pumpkin beer scene has exploded like our waistlines after trick-or-treating. So this year, we’ll mostly be concentrating on new offerings, and some old favorites or favor-hates you won’t want to miss*. We’ll be putting up new reviews and telling you what brews to skip, and which to skip to the store for. Plus, we’d love to hear any suggestions you guys have on brews you’d like to see us try (good or bad…hey, the garbage fire ones are often super fun to review!). Remember – ciders are valid too!

To get a jump into the 2017 season and give you some ideas of great beers to keep an eye out for in the suddenly very orangey beer aisle at your local bottle shop, below are each of our Top 10 favorites of past seasons, listed in no particular order of preference but based on those we loved, found memorable, and that should likely be available this year. As usual, we kept our picks separate, so we don’t know what the other picked…enjoy the harmony/discord!

Nicola’s Top 10 for 2017

  • Schlafly Pumpkin – Shlafly Beer, St. Louis, MO.
  • Dark O’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout – Elysian Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
  • Whole Hog Pumpkin – Steven’s Point Brewery, Steven’s Point, WI
  • Great’ER Pumpkin – Heavy Seas, Halethorpe, MD
  • Slumkin Pumpkin – Somerville Brewing Co. (Slumbrew), Somerville, MA
  • Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale – Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, Akron, OH
  • Master of Pumpkins – Tröegs Independent Brewing, Hershey, PA
  • Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout – Cape Ann Brewing Co., Gloucester, MA
  • Pumpkin Blend – Downeast Craft Cider, Charlestown, MA
  • Pumpkin Crop Lager – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, Framingham, MA

Alex’s Top 10 for 2017

  • Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout – Cape Ann Brewing Co., Gloucester, MA
  • Punkin’ Ale – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
  • Pumpkin Blend – Downeast Craft Cider, Charlestown, MA
  • Dark O’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout – Elysian Brewing, Seattle, WA
  • Pumpkin Ale – Schlafly Beer, St. Louis, MO
  • Slumkin Pumpkin – Somerville Brewing Co. (Slumbrew), Somerville, MA
  • Warlock – Southern Tier Brewing Co., Lakewood, NY
  • Whole Hog Pumpkin – Steven’s Point Brewery, Steven’s Point, MI
  • Imperial Pumpkin – Weyerbacher Brewing Co., Easton, PA
  • Pompoen Red Sour Ale – Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC

And a bonus, throwback special beer we both WISH was available this year:

He Said Pumpkin Baltic Porter – 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA) and Elysian Brewing (Seattle, WA) collaboration, also packaged with He Said Pumpkin Tripel. This double-pack collaboration of two styles was simply PERFECT. We’ll be bugging them to bring it back in the future!

*More details on this year’s format will be updated in a mini-blog and on our website closer to the start of the season.

Happy drinkin’, til Halloween!

Nicola and Alex, @RateMyPumpkins

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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Jolly Pumpkin Brewery – La Parcela (2015)

After having one contender in the pumpkin sour beer category this season, I had to find an admirable adversary for our first beer to hit the ring. Who better than La Parcela, a sour to have appeared on @ratemypumpkins drinking calendar only in our debut season. Pouring a cloudy marigold, this sour is not messing around with it’s pungent sour aroma dabbed with cinnamon and pumpkin. The pumpkin is quickly swallowed and dried out by the powerful Brett and oak barrel aging, but not drowned completely in this smooth ale that allows subtle cinnamon through before warming and releasing rich cacao, a touch of hops, and then giving into a succinct, dry finish.

If Boulevard gave us Sour Pumpkin Beer 101, then Jolly Pumpkin is handing out the PhD. This sour may claim a few years off your life with it’s tartness, but don’t worry, they’re the bad ones anyway. 86/100

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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in 2015 Reviews

 

Doc’s Draft – Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider (2014)

AlexAA: It’s like smelling liquid Big Red w/ a hint of apples & nutmeg, very bubbly and sparkling 6/10

AlexTM: Quite ginger-y plus all-spice, slight toasty pumpkin is hard to discern thru the sweet apples 6/10

AlexP: Apples bob away while dunk-tanking the pumpkin under 3P

AlexO: This is the cider that every year threatens to break up @ratemypumpkins – sorry, Nic. 63/100

NicAA: Sunshine colored with a tempting aroma of cinnamon, sweet apples and pumpkin swirled together with ginger. Very inviting! 9/10

NicTM: Dry start, as the plentiful bubbles move you forward into tart apples, on into sweet fresh pumpkin, all the while wrapped in a light veil of fall spices and delicious fresh ginger. 9/10

NicP: Roasty and sweet, mixed wonderfully with the tart apple. Complimented nicely by the well balanced spicing. 4p

NicO: Beautifully crafted fall cider that doesn’t rely on being candy sweet or super spiced. Pair this with a cheese plate, a crisp day and a leafy fall vista. 92/100

Docs Draft Pumpkin Cider 2014
 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in 2014 Reviews