Our 9 Favorite Pumpkin Beers
Southern Tier Pumpking
For a decade now, New York’s Southern Tier has been brewing its equal parts famous and infamous Pumking: a nearly 9 percent ABV monster that drinks like liquid pumpkin pie. It's got the warm spiced notes, the sweetness, and the heft that are classic in a pumpkin beer, and it's a good place to start if you're not sure where to go with this drinking a pumpkin thing.
Southern Tier Warlock
For a decade now, New York’s Southern Tier has been brewing its equal parts famous and infamous Pumking: a nearly 9 percent ABV monster that drinks like liquid pumpkin pie. Personally, I’ve always adored its dessert-like intensity, but knowing that so much pumpkin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, a few years ago, the brewery introduced Warlock: a beer that essentially cloaks the classic Pumking in a cloud of Imperial Stout. If you like big intense beers but lean towards stouts instead of pumpkin beers, give Warlock a try.
If you don't love Pumpking's dessert-like intensity, try Southern Tier's Warlock: a beer that essentially cloaks the classic Pumking in a cloud of Imperial Stout. If you like big intense beers but lean towards stouts instead of pumpkin beers, give Warlock a try.
New Belgium Pumpkick
If your beef with pumpkin beers is that they’re already a bit too heavy, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing has a beer that takes a lighter approach to the style. Beyond simply using the typical round orange squash and seasonal spices, Pumpkick also includes cranberry juice and a “touch of lemongrass.” The result is a pumpkin beer with a bit of refreshing tartness that won’t weigh so heavily on your palate.
Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela
For years, the irony in Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales’ name was that the brewery didn’t make crowd-pleasing pumpkin beers. Quite the opposite, this Michigan operation earned a solid reputation by specializing in complex and intense funky farmhouse and sour styles. Eventually, however, Jolly Pumpkin decided to bring that joke home to roost by finally doing a pumpkin brew – but doing it their way: a both sweet and sour delight that even includes a “gentle kiss of cocoa.”
Almanac Pumpkin Pie de Brettaville
After last year’s phenomenal Pumpkin Sour, this year, the California-based brewer is slated to release another wild-fermented, barrel-aged pumpkin beer that takes “a bright and aromatic farmhouse ale with a blend of twelve ‘brett’ yeast strains” and adds in caramelized pumpkin and pie spices before maturing the whole thing in wine barrels. Admittedly, no one I know has actually tried this beer yet, but based on their past work you might not want to miss it.
Downeast Cider Pumpkin Blend
If your biggest gripe against pumpkin beers isn’t the “pumpkin,” it’s the “beer,” Massachusetts’ Downeast Cider House has your answer with its seasonal Pumpkin Blend cider. Granted, this cider doesn’t really have the refinement of any of the beers on this list, but if you’re looking to indulge in pure fall pumpkin spice without any interference from malt sweetness or hoppy bitterness, Downeast’s Pumpkin Blend tastes like October just exploded in your mouth. It’s not for everyone, but for a small percentage of pumpkin beer haters, this crowd-pleasing cider may be a revelation.
Bourbon Imperial Screamin' Pumpkin
A smooth, fruity beer aged for ten months in bourbon barrels, this beer has both the spicy sweetness of a run of the mill pumpkin beer, plus an extra earthiness from its time in barrels.
Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
With notes of cinnamon, ginger, and habanero chile peppers, beer expert Anne Becerra deemed this beer “a good food-friendly beer for the Thanksgiving table.