A Day at the World’s Best Pumpkin Beer Fest

By Danica Jorge |
FWX BIGGEST PUMPKIN BEER FESTIVAL 2

© Danica Jorge

It’s been eleven years since Seattle’s Elysian Brewing Company hosted its first annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival. And while the GPBF has the trappings of your run-of-the-mill fall pumpkin events—a giant pumpkin weigh-off, pumpkin carving, a costume contest—the 80 different gourd-inspired beers are what gave the festival its cult-like following. 

This year, Elysian is taking its pumpkin beer fest on the road, bringing its award-winning pumpkin brews to some of the best beer cities in the U.S. “We’re taking the show on the road, along with some fan-favorite pumpkin beers, such as Gourdgia On My Mind and Punkaccino. We’re bringing The Pumpkin Roadshow to some of our favorite bars in cities across the country,” said Josh Waldman, the Head Brewer at Elysian. While the brewery has created over 350 recipes since opening in 1996, Elysian Brewing has staked out a reputation for making some of the best pumpkin beers anywhere.

Some of the highlights from Seattle’s big event included a huge amount of all-orange-clad festival-goers, an enormous ice sculpture, and winning pumpkins from weigh-off placed around the entire outside area. However, a crowd-favorite part of the night was when the Elysian Brewers marched outside and surrounded the largest pumpkin at the festival, which weighed in at a whopping 1,452 lbs. Two holes were then drilled into the outlandishly large pumpkin and Elysian beer started flowing out. Pitcher after pitcher was filled with the delicious pumpkin beer and they were passed around to fill everyone’s complimentary snifter.

Elysian Brewing Company holds the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival each year in Seattle, and we can all keep our fingers crossed that the smaller, traveling version will continue on next year, marking the second Great Pumpkin Roadshow. Make sure to buy your tickets for next year early—they sell out quickly! 

Related: How to Tell if You're a Beer Geek or a Beer Snob 
What's a Day at Oktoberfest Really Like 
5 People You See at Every Beer Festival

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