It was August this year when the pumpkin beers first hit the shelves. As July wains, I start to get excited about the autumn approaching (football, birthday, change in weather) and enjoy the thought of a pumpkin beer or two.
This year I tended to notice the marketing ploy with all the pumpkin beers. It is a gimmick, and yet every good brewer needs one to stay in the game. Some are better than others, and I want to think I'll continue to appreciate a few. But the overkill... And why would I want to purchase a pumpkin beer from a brewery I've never heard of?
This year, I've had 4 different pumpkin beers (I think).
- Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This was early to market this year. I remember liking this much better last year. Nice spice and flavor, but almost too much of it. I'll take the high ABV though, and I enjoy most Weyerbacher beers. Not bad overall.
- Punkin Ale, by Dogfish Head. Perhaps the first true pumpkin beer, and this isn't overly pumpkiny. At 7% ABV, it is worthwhile too. DFH is one of my favorite breweries and I enjoy at least trying all of their stuff.
- The marketing got to me, and I purchased the 22oz Pumking, by Southern Tier. This was a little more bitter and brighter in flavor overall (if I remember correctly) and it wasn't my favorite. Perhaps I was down on it from the beginning. After all, perception is reality.
- Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale. Why not? Sam Adams usually has nice seasonal brews and this was was actually pretty good too.