Pumpkin

A 12-ounce bottle of Whole Hog Brewery's Pumpkin Ale, set against a neutral background, ready for tasting review on the blog 'Denim Beer Machines & Coffee'.

The Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale Review

Whole Hog Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale is an exceptional brew that has been consistently capturing the attention and admiration of beer enthusiasts, especially during its seasonal availability from August through October. Despite pouring with a minimalistic appearance, almost deceivingly so, with few bubbles, this pumpkin ale has an unexpectedly vivacious flavor profile. There’s an artful harmony in the taste where one part brings forth a light and alluring sweetness while the other side resonates with a robust richness that you can’t miss. The beer masterfully balances its pumpkin essence and pie spices, ensuring they enhance the flavor rather than overpower it. Notes of natural cinnamon, nutmeg, and authentic pumpkin shine through, bringing memories of cozy autumn evenings.

Why just read about a beer’s pour when you can see it for yourself?

Undoubtedly, Whole Hog Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale has made a significant mark in the brewing world. Garnering a series of notable accolades from 2012 to 2021, its awards stand as a testament to the ale’s exceptional quality. Such consistent recognition highlights the brewer’s unerring dedication to detail and craft.

With a clean finish, each sip becomes smoother and more delightful than the last, making it an absolute pleasure to the palate. Whole Hog Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale is not just a drink; it’s a journey through autumn’s finest flavors.

See where Whole Hog Brewery Pumpkin Ale ranks on our list

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale
  • ABV: 7 %
  • IBUs: 38
  • Seasonal: Available August through October
  • Awards: 2021 Great American Beer Festival, Bronze Medal, Pumpkin Beer
  • Awards: 2019 Great American Beer Festival | Gold Medal | Pumpkin/Squash Beer or Pumpkin Spice Beer
  • Awards: 2018 Great American Beer Festival | Silver Medal | Pumpkin/Squash Beer or Pumpkin Spice Beer
  • Awards: 2015 European Beer Star, Gold Medal, Herb and Spice Beer
  • Awards: 2015 Paste Magazine, Gold Medal, Pumpkin Beer
  • Awards: 2014 Great American Beer Festival | Bronze Medal
  • Awards: 2012 Great American Beer Festival, Gold Medal, Pumpkin Beer
  • Tasting Notes: Pumpkin pie spices, natural cinnamon, nutmeg, and real pumpkin
  • Brewer: Whole Hog Brewery by Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, Wisconsin-based, independent craft brewery
A one pint can of Tröegs Master of Pumpkins Ale is reviewed as one of the Best Seasonal Beers in the beer blog Denim Beer Machines & Coffee.
A one pint can of Tröegs Master of Pumpkins Ale, brewed in Hershey,Pennsylvania.

On Top—A Review of Tröegs Master of Pumpkins, One of the Best Seasonal Beers

Autumn marks the return of flannel, bonfires, and the ever-popular pumpkin-flavored beers. In this competitive field, Tröegs Master of Pumpkins Ale has distinguished itself as a top contender.

If you’ve been doing your homework on the top pumpkin beers, you might’ve read my “Fluid List: The Best Pumpkin Beers Ranked,” where I ranked some of the best in the business (or, at least, those I’ve tasted). Master of Pumpkins didn’t just make the cut—it rose to the top, a testament to its craft and flavor profile.

After taking my first sip of Master of Pumpkins Ale, it became immediately clear that it was well-named. Oh, it’s not just a moniker; it’s a statement.

Master of Pumpkins Ale pours with an inviting, thick, creamy, off-white head that immediately catches the eye. The beer itself presents a rich, dark brown hue, evoking autumn evenings and a sense of rustic warmth. On the nose, the aroma delivers subtle hints of cinnamon, clove, and, of course, pumpkin—conjuring a nostalgic blend of fall scents. As for carbonation, it strikes a well-balanced medium, providing just enough effervescence to elevate the complex flavors without overwhelming the palate.


Founded in 1996 and hailing from Hershey, Pennsylvania, Tröegs Independent Brewing has a long-standing reputation for crafting award-winning beers. Among their seasonal offerings, Master of Pumpkins Ale stands out. Every ingredient, down to the longneck pumpkins, is locally sourced from Pennsylvania farms, lending the ale an unmatched level of authenticity.

Master of Pumpkins Ale isn’t just another seasonal offering—it’s a finely crafted masterpiece in the realm of pumpkin ales. If you get the chance, don’t hesitate to try it; it comes with my highest recommendation for an autumnal brew done right.

  • Style: Pumpkin Ale
  • ABV: 7.5 %
  • IBUs: 30
  • Available: Seasonal, available September through October
  • Awards: 2019 U.S. Beer Tasting Championship – Best of the Mid-Atlantic Spice Beer
  • Grain: Munich, Pilsner, Special B
  • Hops: German Northern Brewer
  • Yeast: Belgian Ale Yeast
  • Tasting Notes: nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, vanilla bean
  • Brewer: Tröegs Independent Brewing, Hershey, Pennsylvania-based, independent craft brewery
A 12-ounce bottle of Saranac Pumpkin Ale on a white background for a review of the best-tasting pumpkin beers.

Saranac Pumpkin Ale review

As someone who loves fall and all things pumpkin beer, I was excited to try Saranac Pumpkin Ale, a seasonal that captures the flavors and essence of the fall season. The brewery began producing this beer in 2010, with the goal of creating a beer that would showcase the traditional flavors of the season.

The aroma of Saranac Pumpkin Ale is reminiscent of pumpkin pie, with a strong sweet and spicy scent that is sure to awaken your senses. On the palate, the pumpkin flavor is balanced with the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. While it does have a mildly bitter finish, the beer remains refreshing and drinkable.

What sets Saranac Pumpkin Ale apart from other pumpkin beers is the brewery’s commitment to using real pumpkin in the recipe. This adds to the authenticity of the flavor and ensures that you’re getting a quality product. The combination of pale, caramel, and Munich malts also creates a nice balance of sweetness and spiciness.

While it may not be one of my very top favorites, I still highly recommend giving Saranac Pumpkin Ale a try. Its sweet and spicy aroma, balanced flavor, and quality ingredients make it a great addition to any fall beer lineup.

  • Pumpkin Ale
  • ABV: 5.4 %
  • 15 IBUs
  • Seasonal
  • Available in 12-oz Bottles (6-packs)
  • Utica, New York-based Family-Owned, Craft Beer Brewery
DuClaw 31 pumpkin spiced lager beer in a 12oz can

DuClaw 31 pumpkin spiced lager

DuClaw 31 Pumpkin Spice Lager is a seasonal beer that was first brewed in 2008 as a one-time release for Halloween. Dark amber in color, I found it to be tasty, with a slightly bitter finish.

It is nicely spiced, thanks to the addition of pumpkin and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It smells strongly of pumpkin and feels creamy in the mouth, both of which add to the overall taste experience. It strikes a nice balance between sweetness and spiciness, with neither overpowering the other. Bottom line: I found it to be a smooth, easy-drinking pumpkin beer.

  • Pumpkin Spiced Lager
  • ABV: 5.7%
  • 27 IBUs
  • Seasonal
  • Available in 12-oz Cans and Draft
  • Baltimore Maryland-based Craft Brewery
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 as of January 16, 2024, this is the lay of the land.

Back in September 2022, I thought I’d get a head start on Halloween by reviewing some seasonal pumpkin-flavored beers. Initially a skeptic, I found myself on a three-month pumpkin beer odyssey that turned me into a believer. This fall, I’m practically gravitating toward every new store I encounter, eager to unearth the next great pumpkin brew.

The original plan was to focus solely on Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale. But, as is often the case with underestimated experiences, it planted a seed of curiosity that flourished over time. That led me to widen my sampling range, amassing a respectable collection of pumpkin beers over the course of time. You could say my palate has been thoroughly educated in this particular field.

Here are my latest rankings of the best pumpkin beers you should consider sampling this season.

A 16-ounce can of Great Pumpkin Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company, ready for a blog post tasting evaluation on Denim Beer Machines and Coffee.

32: The Great Pumpkin Ale

Cambridge Brewing Company

ABV: 5.4% IBU: N/A

Cambridge Brewing Company’s The Great Pumpkin Ale boasts a rich, copper-tea hue with a generous creamy head. The initial taste hints at a mild bitterness, but the aroma is subdued. While it’s a decent brew, the expected pumpkin and spice notes are elusive, leaving a bit more to be desired for true pumpkin ale enthusiasts.

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

31: Pumpkin Ale

Five Boroughs Brewing Co.

ABV: 6% IBU: 26

Five Boroughs Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale not only boasts eye-catching can graphics, but it also delivers a pleasing light flavor imbued with hints of pumpkin and spice. Marketed as “well-balanced and drinkable,” it largely lives up to that promise. While the ale may lose some points for a lingering, slightly bitter aftertaste, it’s definitely an enjoyable option for those who prefer their pumpkin ales on the lighter side. It’s a brew that engages the senses from sight to taste, making each sip an experience.

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

30: Pumpkin Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Co.

With many beers, it’s easy to form an opinion after just a few sips. In the case of Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale, it presented a unique challenge for me as a reviewer. Its qualities are more understated, neither strongly positive nor negative, which places it in a more neutral territory on my ranking. For a more detailed assessment, read our review.

29: Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Cigar City Brewing

ABV: 8.8% IBU: 28

Good Gourd by Cigar City Brewing is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale that defies typical pumpkin beer expectations. A mild spice blend and an obvious warmth from its 8.8% ABV enhance its complex flavor profile, which leans toward the pumpkin itself rather than its sweet spiced pie avatar. While the beer is rich and the carbonation subdued, it lands comfortably in the middle of the pack—neither a showstopper nor a letdown. It is a good choice for those who want a darker, heartier take on autumn pumpkin beers.

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

28: Dunkin’ Pumpkin

Harpoon Brewery

ABV: 5.2% IBU: N/A

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

27: Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

New Belgium Brewing Company

ABV: 6.4% IBU: 10

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-oz. bottle of Saranac Pumpkin Ale on a white background to review the best-tasting pumpkin beers.

26: Pumpkin Ale

Saranac / Matt Brewing Company

On the palate, the Saranac Pumpkin Ale did not disappoint. The pumpkin flavor was front and center, balanced by the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Rusty Rail Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Swirl Ale is a sweet pumpkin roll dessert in beer. This photo displays the pumpkin beer in a 16-ounce can against a white background.

25: Pumpkin Swirl

Rusty Rail Brewing Company

ABV: 6% IBU: N/A

Rusty Rail Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Swirl is a unique take on the classic pumpkin ale. Inspired by their popular Pumpkin Roll dessert, this brew offers a sweet profile complemented by a subtle, bitter aftertaste. It doesn’t go overboard on the pumpkin pie spices, presenting instead as a milder, nuanced pumpkin ale. Crafted with real pumpkin puree, lactose, vanilla, and a well-chosen blend of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, it’s a versatile, enjoyable beer that stands out in a crowded pumpkin ale market.

A 12-ounce can of Ghost of Pumpkins Passed gluten-free beer by Departed Soles Brewing Company against a white background for taste review on the beer influencer's blog Denim BMC

24: Ghosts of Pumpkins Passed

Departed Soles Brewing Company

ABV: 4.5% IBU: N/A

Departed Soles’ Ghosts of Pumpkins Passed boasts a rich copper hue, delivering a sweet initiation that crescendos into a hearty pumpkin and spice finale. This gluten-free gem does an excellent job suppressing the mild undertone of bitterness trying to surface while providing me with a light buzz at only 4.5% ABV. A triumph for gluten-free aficionados!

23: 31 Pumpkin Spiced Lager

DuClaw Brewing Company

ABV: 5.7% IBU: 27

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. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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

22: Jack-O Pumpkin Ale

Samuel Adams, Boston Beer Company

ABV: 4.4% IBU: 8

Times have changed in the pumpkin beer landscape. Samuel Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale, once the undisputed champion in my book, has taken a surprising tumble down my list — dropping about 22 places by the end of the 2023 season. Last year’s ale presented an unexpected acidic bite, veering into an overt sweetness that marked a departure from its more balanced, leaning-sweet profile. READ OUR FULL 2022 REVIEW

Blue Point Mother Pumpkin Ale is reviewed in an image of a 12-ounce can with a 6-pack box in the backdrop for the Denim Beer Machines and Coffee blog, which finds it has a mild yet distinctly bitter character that separates it from the sugary-sweet pumpkin beers.

21: Mother Pumpkin Ale

Blue Point Brewing Company

ABV: 5.5% IBU: 25

Blue Point Mother Pumpkin Ale climbs to #21 in my year-end review, boasting a new can design and an improved flavor profile over last year’s offering. The aroma bursts with vitality, and there’s an elevated kick of spice that adds complexity. This ale stands out, offering a break from the overly sweet contenders and presenting a distinctive spin in a packed arena. It hasn’t entered the Top-10 yet, but the 2023 batch has certainly earned my increased admiration.

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

20: Pumpkin Imperial Ale

Southern Tier Brewing Company

ABV: 8.6% IBU: 33

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

19: Tattooed Pumpkin

The Bronx Brewery

ABV: 7.5% IBU: 11

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

18: Pumpkin Ale

Schlafly – The Saint Louis Brewery

ABV: 8.0% IBU: 16

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.

A can 16-oz. of Beer Tree Brew Mashing Pumpkin Ale is reviewed for the pumpkin beers blog taste review on Denim Beer Machines and Coffee.

17: Mashing Pumpkin Ale

Beer Tree Brew

ABV: 5.6% IBU: 12

Mashing Pumpkins Ale from Brew Tree Brew presents as a smooth, easy-drinking pumpkin ale with a nuanced aroma that’s delicately spiced and subtly earthy. While the carbonation may fade swiftly after pouring, the beer compensates with a rich, lingering flavor profile that satisfies with every sip.

Lakefront Brewery's Imperial Pumpkin Ale, a brandy barrel-aged pumpkin beer in a 12-ounce can.

16: Pumpkin Imperial Ale

Lakefront Brewery

ABV: 10.7% IBU: 20

Lakefront Brewery’s Pumpkin Imperial Ale boasts a brandy-barrel charm with notes of molasses and vanilla. It pours flat with a rich, sweet warmth that makes it a solid choice. It’s a fine brew that tantalizes but lands just shy of my top-10 favorites.

A 16-ounce can of Peekskill Brewery's Ichabod's Fall Pumpkin Ale stands in front of a white background for a Denim Beer Machines & Coffee blog post taste review.

15: Ichabod’s Fall Pumpkin Ale

Peekskill Brewery

ABV: 5.6% IBU: N/A

Peekskill Brewery’s Ichabod’s Fall Pumpkin Ale offers a deep brown pour crowned with a thick, enduring creamy head. Its palate is notably mild, with a harmonious balance of flavor and aroma, devoid of any lingering bitterness. Despite its subdued carbonation leading to a smooth, almost velvety sip, it remains a solid choice for those seeking a gentle, easy-going pumpkin ale experience.

Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale in a 12 oz. bottle for taste review

14: Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale

Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.

ABV: 10% IBU: 16

Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale impresses with its well-balanced profile. The first sip reveals a touch of richness, complemented by an aroma that pays homage to its bourbon barrel aging. Both pumpkin and bourbon flavors are present but not overpowering, striking a harmonious balance. The spices are tastefully moderate, avoiding the pitfall of excess. Overall, a robust, flavorful pumpkin beer with a satisfying kick.

A 12-ounce can of UFO Pumpkin beer

13: Pumpkin!

UFO

ABV: 5.9% IBU: N/A

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-ounce bottle of Whole Hog Brewery's Pumpkin Ale, set against a neutral background, is ready for tasting review on the blog 'Denim Beer Machines and Coffee'

12: Pumpkin Ale

Whole Hog Brewery

ABV: 7% IBU: 38

Whole Hog Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale may pour with few bubbles, but its flavor profile is lively. Striking a harmonious balance, one side teases with light sweetness while the other offers robust richness. The pumpkin and spices make their presence felt, complementing rather than dominating. Contrary to my expectations, there’s no bitter finish—just a smooth and tasty going down. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

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

11: 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.

The Top 10 Pumpkin Beers

Separating the best from the rest

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

10: Pumpkin Ale

Montauk Brewing Company

ABV: 5.7% IBU: 15

This beer will be one of my favorites for as long as I can foresee. Montauk Pumpkin Ale previously held the title as the highest-ranked brew in my light-tasting pumpkin beers category, and it’s easy to see why. The beer impresses with its gentle yet flavorful blend of pumpkin and spices. A delightfully light option, it still stands as a top choice for anyone seeking subtlety in their seasonal sips.

A 16-ounce can of Tröegs Master of Pumpkins Ale to be reviewed on the beer blog Denim Beer Machines & Coffee for an article on the best pumpkin beers.

9: Master of Pumpkins Ale

Tröegs Brewing Company

ABV: 7.5% IBU: N/A

Master of Pumpkins is brewed by Tröegs Brewing Company. It only took a few sips to know this beer was jumping to the front of the line. My first thoughts were that this pumpkin ale is well-named. The name? Oh, it’s not just a moniker; it’s a statement. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

For the beer blog taste review on Denim Beer Machines and Coffee, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company's seasonal pumpkin ale, Leaf Pile Ale, is showcased in a 12-ounce can against a white background.

8: Leaf Pile Ale

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

ABV: 5.2% IBU: N/A

Upon the first taste of Leaf Pile Ale by Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, an internal monologue kicks in: “This is excellent—surprisingly light and utterly delightful.” The flavor is an intricate dance of mild pumpkin with a hint of dilution that, rather than detracting, adds to its smoothness. The brew stands on its own, sidestepping the pitfall of flatness, and presents a charming symphony of taste that’s both unique and pleasantly memorable. A truly unexpected and delightful brew that keeps the palate intrigued.

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

7: Smashed Pumpkin

Shipyard Brewing Company

ABV: 10.5% IBU: 35

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

A 12 oz. bottle of Lancaster Brewing Company Baked Pumpkin Ale, for taste review on the beer blog, Denim Beer Machines and Coffee.

6: Baked Pumpkin Ale

Lancaster Brewing Company

ABV: 7.5% IBU: 20

Lancaster Baked Pumpkin Ale is an absolute delight, making a strong impression from the very first sip. Within moments, I knew it had secured a spot in my Top-10 list of favorites. Flavor-wise, it’s in the same indulgent league as Sam Adams Jack-O Pumpkin Ale, offering a rich, pumpkin pie sweetness. Though its finish isn’t as crisp as its rival, it delivers a bolder kick. I was pleasantly buzzed before the bottle was even empty.

Talea Beer Co. Basically Pumpkin Autumn in a 16-ounce can for taste review on the blog Denim Beer machines and Coffee.

5: Basically Pumpkin Autumn Ale

Talea Beer Co

ABV: 5% IBU: N/A

Talea Beer Co.’s Basically Pumpkin Autumn Ale breaks the mold of traditional pumpkin brews. The initial sweetness is unique, flirting with a hint of sourness without fully committing. The overall experience is mellow yet enchanting, setting it apart from any other pumpkin ales I’ve sampled. This is a one-of-a-kind brew that defies easy categorization—absolutely worth the tasting experience for those seeking a pumpkin ale with a twist.

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

4: Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Brooklyn Brewery

ABV: 5.0% IBU: N/A

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.

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

3: Roadsmary’s Baby Pumpkin Ale

Two Roads Brewing Company

ABV: 6.8% IBU: N/A

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

2: Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

Elysian Brewing Company

ABV: 6.7% IBU: 18

Before ever trying a pumpkin beer, this is what I imagined a good pumpkin beer would taste like. Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company hits that mark perfectly. It’s medium-bodied and slightly sweet, tasting great from the first sip to the last. Simply put, if you’re looking for a top-notch pumpkin ale, Night Owl sets the standard. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

A 12-ounce bottle of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale for review of the best pumpkin beers in the Denim Beer Machines and Coffee blog

1: Pumpkinhead Ale

Shipyard Brewing Company

ABV: 4.5% IBU: 18

There’s a new king of pumpkin beers, and its name is Pumpkinhead by Shipyard Brewing Company. This beer brings a refreshing palate to the table, leaving behind a finish that’s impeccably clean and free from any lingering bitterness.

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

Shipyard Brewing Company’s Smashed Pumpkin immediately announces its presence with a robust pumpkin aroma. It’s not subtle, and that’s a good thing. This beer doesn’t tiptoe around its identity; it wears it with pride.

Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin sets itself apart with its aging process. Three months in oak staves from Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels impart a depth that’s hard to find in other pumpkin ales. The meticulous hand-labeling of each can by Shipyard Brewing Co. is a commendable touch, detailing the year, barrel number, and aging location. It speaks to the brewery’s commitment to quality and the consumer’s experience.

When tasting the beer, a thick mouthfeel and a rich blend of sweet pumpkin flavors are present. Its deep orange visual is a direct nod to its pumpkin origins. And the Bourbon barrel aging? It’s evident. A distinct alcoholic note comes through, which might be jarring for some. Initially, I found it a tad overpowering. However, as I progressed through the can, perhaps influenced by the beer’s strength, my perspective shifted. Woodford Reserve’s touch, a personal favorite bourbon of mine, might be playing its part here. To put it simply, “You’re drinking a bourbon-spiked pumpkin beer; let it ride.”

In conclusion, Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin is a beer that commands attention. It’s a bold blend of flavors, craftsmanship, and a dash of bourbon bravado. A standout in a sea of pumpkin ales, it’s a beer experience that lingers, and for all the right reasons.

  • Style: Strong Pumpkin Spice Ale
  • ABV: 10.5 %
  • IBUs: 35
  • Available: Seasonal
  • Hops: Saphir, Willamette
  • Malts: Pale Ale, Whole Wheat, Munich Light
  • Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine-based Family-owned craft beer brewery
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