Ten Best Pumpkin Beers to Try This Harvest Season

Categories: Booze Hound
David Minsky
Oktoberfest is out; pumpkin beers are in. But do they taste like a pie or a pumpkin? If you're feeling a little apprehensive about drinking brew made from an oversize gourd, remember that beer is beer and that no two pumpkin beers are the same.

There is a history of brewing beer with pumpkin. During the American colonial era, malt was hard to come by and pumpkins were a readily available native plant. So pumpkins replaced malt. And author Samuel Stearns considered pumpkin beer an herbal remedy in his 1801 book The American Herbal, or Materia Medica.&

Try some of these pumpkin beers to get into the spirit of the season.

10. Shipyard Pumpkinhead
If pumpkin beers weren't on the list of seasonal beers to try, this one is a good starter because it doesn't have a pumpkin flavor, nor is it spicy like a pie. It has a bit of tang and tastes a little like Blue Sky organic cola.

Shipyard's Pumpkinhead is now found in cans (retailing about $8.99 at Total Wine), a better choice of drinking container because exposure to light is nonexistent, and light destroys beer. Any beer is better in a can.

9. Samuel Adams Pumpkin Harvest Ale
At Sam Adams, brewing with pumpkin is like brewing with hops: They just dump as much as they can into the barrel. Each barrel (31.5 gallons) of Sam Adams Pumpkin Harvest ale includes 17 pounds of pumpkins, according to the company's website, giving it a heavy pumpkin taste. Throw in some deep-roasted malts and pumpkin pie spice, and you have a Sam Adams beer that tastes sort of like a pumpkin. And it's found anywhere, even at gas stations.

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Pumking comes in 22oz bombers, not 16oz bottles.

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