Beer

While I appreciate a good cold one, I wouldn't call myself a beer connoisseur or a professional blogger. I'm more like a beer influencer. My reviews are written in simple English without a lot of technical industry jargon. I can't tell you much about hops, brewing temperature, or flavor notes, but I can tell you whether I like or dislike a beer and why. I hope you enjoy and learn from my beer reviews.

Pascal Sugar tells Beer Stories - Cover photo for beer saves lives

Beer Stories with Pascal: The Patron Saint of Beer

Pascal Sugar shares the first in a series of amusing beer stories with the Denim BMC blog. In this video, Pascal shares a one-minute story based on “The Patron Saint of Beer,” but somehow dilutes it into something hilarious about a drunken monk from a small village in England who saved the lives of people who were drinking tainted water in his village by convincing them to drink beer instead of the water.

18 brands of the best pumpkin beers for ranking by the beer influencer blog, Denim Beer Machines and Coffee.

A Fluid List: The Best Pumpkin Beers Ranked

Like First Takes Stephen A. Smith’s “A-List,” this list is fluid. However, this list is fluid, not because of indecision but mainly because there are a lot of pumpkin beers out there, and I haven’t tried them all. OK, there could be some shifting and a change of mind later, but today, this is where things are.

Back in September, I thought I’d get a head start on Halloween by reviewing some seasonal pumpkin-flavored beers. Pumpkin beers were not really my thing (but I’m a fan now), and I ended up on a journey where all I drank were pumpkin beers for three months.

At first, I had planned to simply review Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale, but you know how things you don’t appreciate at the time can come back to haunt you later? As time passes, a voice in your head says, “That was a really interesting flavor; I think you should try it again,” and before you know it, you’re hooked. In my case, I began purchasing six-packs of every pumpkin beer I could find. Now, I’m ranking them. Check out my list of the top pumpkin beers. I welcome you to leave your thoughts and comments.

An artful 12-oz. can of Pumpkin Ale beer by Five Boroughs Brewing Company

# 16 – Pumpkin Ale

Five Boroughs Brewing Co.

Five Boroughs Brewing Company makes a pumpkin beer with beautifully designed can graphics. With hints of pumpkin and spice, I put it in my lighter-flavored category. Its Pumpkin Ale is marketed as “well-balanced and drinkable.” I did enjoy it but deducted points for the lingering, overly bitter aftertaste.

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale 12oz. can or beer for review on Denim BMC blog.

# 15 – Pumpkin Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Co

With most beers, I can write a review after a few sips. Things pop into my head. I know if it’s good or bad right away. In my review of Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale, I really struggled to find something to say about it. Nothing really good or bad stood out, which is why it’s not that high on my list. READ THE OUR REVIEW

A 12-ounce bottle of Harpoon Dunkin' Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale pumpkin beer

# 14 – Dunkin’ Pumpkin

Harpoon Brewery

The pumpkin flavor is mild and has a clean finish, but there are lingering coffee notes that are not apparent at first sip. In fact, the aftertaste reminds me of pre-sweetened cappuccinos from gas stations or Dunkin’ Donuts machines. Watered-down coffee and mechanical cappuccinos do not appeal to me, but to so many Americans, they do. I give the Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin props for originality.

Two cans of New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale beer

# 13 – Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

New Belgium Brewing Company

Originality is rewarded, and New Belgium’s Atomic Pumpkin’s flavor ranks high for its unique, high degree of spicy take. This delightfully punishing pumpkin ale’s name, “Atomic Pumpkin,” says a lot about it. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

# 12 – 31 Pumpkin Spiced Lager

DuClaw Brewing Company

The DuClaw 31 pumpkin spiced lager is dark and tasty. It finishes a little bitter, but it’s nicely spicy and flavorful, with a hint of sweetness.

A 12-ounce bottle of Southern Tier Pumking Ale pumpkin beer

# 11 – Pumpkin Imperial Ale

Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not without flaws, Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Pumking Imperial Ale delivers a punch with a pleasant pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin flavor is evident, but the finish has a secondary boozy taste. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

A 12-ounce can of UFO Pumpkin beer

# 10 – Pumpkin

UFO

The Pumpkin brewed by UFO is a pumpkin beer that is easy to drink, especially if you enjoy unfiltered or hefeweizen beers. It’s medium-bodied with a mellow sweetness, and there’s nothing I find overpowering about it. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

A 12 oz bottle of Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale for the top pumpkin beers ranking

# 9 – Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Brooklyn Brewery

Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewery is above average. It has a nice, sharp finish without a lot of cinnamon and spices. It’s just a smooth pumpkin-flavored beer that’s very refreshing without overbearing traits.

A 1-pint can of Bronx Brewery Tattooed Pumpkin IPA beer with tattoo artwork

# 8 – Tattooed Pumpkin

The Bronx Brewery

Tattooed Pumpkin by Bronx Brewery is a sweet and hazy pumpkin IPA with a slightly bitter finish. It’s better balanced in terms of pumpkin flavor and spices than many of the other pumpkin beers that I’ve tried. It’s sold in limited-edition artwork 4-packs with four different labels, in collaboration with Tuff City Tattoos.

A 12-oz. bottle of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale beer blog review of the best pumpkin beers

# 7 – Pumpkin Ale

Schlafly – The Saint Louis Brewery

First thoughts: molasses, dark, heavy, thick, and full of flavor. Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale is a pure delight of a beer. It’s hazy and sweet, from the first sip to the last, and could easily move closer to the top of this fluid list.

Captain Lawrence Autumn Blaze pumpkin beer in 12 ounce can and six-pack box.

# 6 – Autumn Blaze Pumpkin Ale

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Blazing clean and refreshing. The Captain Lawrence Brewing Company didn’t go full pumpkin with its Autumn Blaze Pumpkin Ale; instead, it has a very mild pumpkin flavor that grew on me. I later bought a second 6-pack as a change of pace as a dinner beer.

A 12-ounce can of Montauk Pumpkin Ale, ranked the best light pumpkin beer by the Denim BMC blog

# 5 – Pumpkin Ale

Montauk Brewing Company

Montauk Pumpkin Ale reigns supreme among pumpkin beers on the lighter side. The pumpkin and spices aren’t overpowering, but rather delightfully light. This beer is unquestionably the best in the “light pumpkin beer” category of all the beers I’ve tried.

Two Roads Brewing Company's 12-ounce can of Roadsmary's Baby pumpkin ale beer and 6-pack box.

# 4 – Roadsmary’s Baby Pumpkin Ale

Two Roads Brewing Company

Two Roads Brewing Company’s Roadsmary’s Baby is a traditional pumpkin ale that is scary good and wins the “best in overall taste” category. It’s simply a damn good beer. It’s dark and feels a little heavy in the mouth. Aged in rum barrels, this beer has a smooth, complex, fruity, citrusy finish. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

A 12-ounce bottle of Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

# 3 – Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

Elysian Brewing Company

Before ever trying a pumpkin beer, this is what I imagined a good pumpkin beer would taste like: The Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from the Elysian Brewing Company is medium-bodied, lightly sweet, and great from the first sip to the last. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

A 16-ounce can of Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin ale for best pumpkin beers ranking

# 2 – Smashed Pumpkin

Shipyard Brewing Company

It tastes like it was poured from a freshly carved pumpkin. Crack open a can of Shipyard Brewing Company’s Smashed Pumpkin, and you can smell the pumpkin. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy. It’s aged in oak-stave bourbon barrels for three months and has a boozy finish. However, my quick-forming buzz told me it was acceptable: “You’re drinking a bourbon-spiked pumpkin beer; let it ride.” READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale ranked #1 of the best pumpkin beers

# 1 – Jack-O Pumpkin Ale

Samuel Adams – Boston Beer Company

There is not even a close second. Samuel Adams easily holds the title of “the best pumpkin beer.” READ OUR FULL REVIEW

A 16 oz can of Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin beer for a review of the best pumpkin beers

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Review: Drinking beer with bourbon

There’s no doubt this is a pumpkin beer. I cracked the top open and smelled the pumpkin.

Background

Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin is aged for three months in oak staves from Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels. Shipyard Brewing Co. hand labels each can of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Smashed Pumpkin Ale with the year, barrel number, and aging location as an extra touch.

My Review

The initial sip is sweet and pumpkiny. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy. It appears hazy with a deep orange hue. This beer tastes like it was poured from inside a freshly carved pumpkin. Perhaps it’s the bourbon barrel aging, but there’s a strong alcohol taste that I think it could do without. I say “think” because I haven’t finished the 16-oz. can yet and am already buzzed. Woodford Reserve is one of my favorite bourbons, and my buzz has just informed me that the alcohol taste is acceptable. “You’re drinking a bourbon-spiked pumpkin beer; let it ride.”

My conclusion. I love it.

  • Pumpkin Ale
  • ABV: 9.0%
  • 20 IBUs
  • Seasonal
  • Available in 16-oz Cans (4-packs) & Kegs
  • Portland, Maine-based Family-Owned, Craft Beer Brewery
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale 12oz. can or beer for review on Denim BMC blog.

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale review

With most beers, I can write a review after a few sips. Things pop into my head. I know if it’s a good or bad beer right away. I usually have an idea of what I want to say by the time I finish a bottle or can.

I drank a 6-pack of Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale over a few days, each day wanting to get this review done, but nothing came to me. I gave it a few days off in case I was all pumpkined out, but still nothing inspired me. It’s like I had a beer block with the Smuttynose. For me, there is nothing to spin, good or bad.

I considered purchasing another six-pack to force-feed my thoughts, but instead chose to go on. The only thing I recall about this beer is that it was a little bitter with a pumpkin flavor. I guess I failed on this one. Nothing negative to say. Nothing enlightening. It’s simply a pumpkin beer.

  • Pumpkin Ale
  • ABV: 5.9%
  • 54 IBUs
  • Seasonal
  • Available in 12-oz Cans
  • New Hampshire-based Craft Brewery
12-ounce bottle of Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale for review of the best pumpkin beers

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale Reviewed

Before ever trying a pumpkin beer, this is what I imagined a good pumpkin beer would taste like. I could taste the pumpkin and cinnamon on the first sip, and I knew I was drinking a beer. Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale is brewed with pumpkin puree and juice and has a medium body with a mellow sweetness. The finish is crisp, with lingering cinnamon and ginger notes. This beer is more than simply a safe bet for Christmas get-togethers and parties. This is an excellent seasonal beer.

  • Pumpkin Ale
  • ABV: 6.7%
  • 18 IBUs
  • Seasonal
  • Available in 22 & 12-oz Bottles, 1/2 & 1/6 BBL Kegs, and 12-oz Cans
  • Seattle, Washington-based brewery
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