Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beer Me: October Mish Mash

Can you believe it’s October and I haven’t shared a single pumpkin beer with you? FOR SHAME! I have been drinking the pumpkins since they hit the shelves in late August. I’ve had several that are worth mentioning and several that I forgot to photograph. However, there have been some disappointments as well. Some expensive disappointments.
Buckle Up for a bumpy ride........
This comes in regular bottles too but I thought the jug was super cute!
Saranac Pumpkin Ale
From the site: "The perfect hint of pumpkin flavor spiced right with cinnamon, allspice, cloves and ginger. Made with 3,000 pounds of pumpkin per brew, you'll think you just drank fall."
This is a decent, cheaper pumpkin ale. I’m not certain of its availability in a 6-pack but I know it’s included in the fall variety case, 12 Beers A'Fallin! Said variety case is definitely worth your $14.99 (or whatever it is by you) Lots of good, and different, options here. Let’s discuss.
Harvest Ale

From the site: "A balanced mixture of New York wheats and malts combine with a distinctive hop aroma to capture the essence of autumn in every sip."

This was a good crisp fall. It's a bit hoppy but not undrinkable for someone who isn't a hop fan (Me.) Nice alternative to bridging pumpkins and.......


From the site: "A medium bodied copper colored lager. Toasty. Malty. Octobery. An authentic German lager passed down through four generations. One sip will send you straight to Munich.

I always forget how much I like Octoberfests. When I'm through with the wheats of summer, these malted brews are ready to usher me into fall. This was no different and is a great option if you like Octoberfests too. Oh, I forgot to tell you! Over John's birthday weekend, we went to a local Octoberfest celebration and it was super fun! If you have one by you, you should definitely go. There was good music and lots of people dancing. I ate a schnitzel the size of my head that was the most amazing pork I've ever had. We were prepared for it to be totally lame but it was honestly one of the best times we've had in awhile. Score one for Octoberfest!

Black Forest

From the site: "Brewed to pay homage to our founder's homeland, our German-style Schwarzbier is brewed true to style with a deliciously sweet malty flavor. It may be dark in color but it's not heavy on roasted flavor like most people expect in a dark beer."

I liked this one too! It's part of their normal core line of beers but I've never noticed it on the shelves at my store. The description above is dead on. I liked the sweetness but it would pair well with a lot of foods.

The pack also included two other Saranac regulars, Irish Red and Pale Ale. Those weren't my favorite but they're still decent. So, that's six different varieties in one pack! What a bargain!

What is NOT worth your $14.99 is the 4-pack of The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewing Co. 

From their site: "We brew The Fear with local pumpkin puree and secret blend of spices. But, once you take a sip and sniff, those spices become apparent. (Hint: Think pumpkin pie) Anything seasonally spicy or sweet will beautifully complement this rich and complex brew"
1) It hardly has any pumpkin flavor whatsoever, 2) It has a high alcohol content but to me, it didn’t really feel like it, 3) It’s $15 for a 4 pack. Um, excuse me? John actually bought this by accident without knowing the price. Had I been with him at the register, it would have gone back to the shelf. Luckily, he liked it more than I did so he can have mine and be happy. In my opinion, skip this one.

While we’re on the subject, here is Red Hook’s Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter. Bonus points for the cute name, right? 
From Their Site: "Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter is dark chestnut brown in color and is made with pureed pumpkin. Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are added to the whirlpool and maple syrup is added during fermentation. This full-bodied, rich roasty porter makes you want to eat turkey and watch football, or build a bonfire."
This was in a mix-a-six so I don’t really know how much it retails for but the single of it was about $1.75. Anyway…..pumpkin porters do not come across with enough pumpkin flavor for me. Most are subtly slipped in on the finish. I want the pumpkin to be IN YOUR FACE! The spices and other flavors were good, just not enough pumpkin.
Sorry to end on a couple low notes there but we're just getting started! Stayed tuned next week for a Pumpkin Bourbon Beer Showdown!

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