Pumpkin ales are sprouting in bars and liquor stores across the country. But with so many warm and spicy beers to choose from, how will you ever decide on just one? Our handy guide to pumpkin beer helps you select the best fall beverage to match your winning personality.
You don't think beer should be dessert.
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, Smuttynose Brewing Company, New Hampshire:
This golden ale is high on pumpkin, cinnamon, and spicy orange flavors, low on the sweetness -- a perfect choice if you don't enjoy drinking your dessert. Have you ever carved a pumpkin and roasted the seeds? Then you get the idea.
You prefer soda to beer.
Saranac Pumpkin Ale, Matt Brewing Company, New York: This medium brown ale is so smooth and easy on the carbonation, it almost drinks like a refreshing cola. The sweet pumpkin flavor is more subtle than the others.
You love pumpkin pie.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Delaware: Rust-colored ale tastes most like ... you guessed it! Pumpkin pie! It's buttery with notes of brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and other fall spices. Whipped cream not included.
You think pumpkin ale is for wimps.
Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Pennsylvania: Caramel-colored and full-bodied, this 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is not for the faint of heart. More tangy than sweet, it packs a powerful punch with bold pumpkin flavor and nutmeg-cardamon spice.
You are definitely not a beer purist.
Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale, Great Lakes Brewing Comany, Ohio: Amber-colored ale is dry with good bitterness from the hops. It goes great with an (controversial) orange wedge.
You pride yourself for being the first to try new things.
Fire Island Pumpkin Barrel, Fire Island Beer Company, New York: The first seasonal brew from Fire Island, this beer is crisp, fresh, and hoppy with warm autumnal spices.
You're a first-class beer snob.
New Holland Imperial Ichabod Ale, New Holland Brewing Company, Michigan: Reddish-orange ale has big pumpkin flavor with intense, sweet maltiness. Plus, gotta love the name and label.
What's your favorite pumpkin beer?
Image via edwin.bautista/Flickr