Every Fall Erica and I get excited about pumpkin beers. And every Fall we completely forget which ones we had liked the year before and which we didn't. So I'm mainly doing a service to me-a-year-from-now by recording some mini-reviews of this Autumn's pumpkin beers.
And let's be clear -- nobody wants pumpkin beer. What we want is clove, nutmeg, and allspice beer -- pumpkin pie flavor, basically. The trick is to get it somewhere between so-subtle-that-all-you-taste-is-beer and Pepsi Holiday Spice.
Pumpkin beer is something of a niche market and so we're usually drinking the products of a number of small breweries. But all that my local Jewel had in the way of pumpkin beers was Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale, brewed by Molson Canadian and imported by Blue Moon Brewing Company (themselves a subsidiary of Coors). So we start off the year with a mega-brewery beer.
The first bottle of Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale -- well, what did I just say about not wanting? It tasted like someone had pureed a pumpkin and mixed it into a beer. A little slimy, in fact. And I couldn't taste the spices at all. A second bottle seemed much more on the mark. It veers towards the subtle end of the spectrum, but we've got that cozy Autumn feeling going on (and not just because I've had two bottles of beer). Erica also gives it the thumbs up.
(Originally posted on the Chicago Metblog, Oct 23, 2006: Pumpkin Beers: Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale)