Best Pumpkin Ales & The Sweetest Way to Drink Them

southern tier brewing company imperial pumking aleI'm one of those people who refuses to believe that it's autumn until temps are officially in the 50s every day and leaves on the trees are all different hues of gold and red. Even then, I'll still wear my flip-flops if I'm not going very far. But about a week ago, I did break down and admit I was craving some pumpkin spice goodness from Starbucks. Funny enough, it seemed like overnight, everyone on my Facebook feed had the same inkling. There were statuses about busting out the pumpkin-scented candles, baking up pumpkin bread, or just plain carving pumpkins! Guess I'll admit it ... we're in the thick of pumpkin season! Hence why pumpkin beer is a total must-have right now.

Every year, it seems like more and more breweries are jumping on the pumpkin ale bandwagon. At Whole Foods alone, you can count at least five brands piled high on fancy displays. Here, a few of the best, and then a secret my pastry chef bestie taught me that changed the way I'll drink pumpkin ales forever.


Post Road Pumpkin Ale - From Brooklyn Brewery in NY, this isn't exactly an "in-your-face" sweet pumpkin-flavored beer. It's definitely more subtle, but if you're looking for an ale that's more beer than pumpkin, and more pumpkin (as in squash-like) than pumpkin pie, this is for you.

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale - A Belgian white beer, regular Shock Top is a lot like Blue Moon, and to me, that means it's citrusy with a bit of spice and very drinkable. So when I saw that they introduced a pumpkin seasonal ale this year, I was pretty psyched. The beer is exactly as I expected it to be -- light, slight spice (cinammon-y, nutmeg-y, but not overpoweringly so), very light citrus, and sweet pumpkin. It's delish!

Southern Tier Brewing Co. Pumpking Imperial Pumpkin Ale - This one from upstate NY brewery Southern Tier is THE fave of foodies and rightfully so. Usually served in a goblet, it's like "drinking pumpkin pie," Pumking lovers claim. Um ... sign me up! Note: You can only buy it in a 40-oz. bottle, but it's worth it!

And for all you pregnant ladies and those who prefer a non-alcoholic fix, you could try this DIY pumpkin cider recipe! Sounds out-of-this-world!

Now, as for the best way to serve your pumpkin ale, consider this: A cool glass, filled high with your autumny delicious beer, with a cinnamon-sugar rim. OMG. Are you drooling yet?! You can use a little bit of honey to get the cinnamon-sugar mix to stick to the glass. And then, you're all set. I tried it the other day, and believe me, it's absolutely TO DIE FOR. Elevates your pumpkin beer tasting into a whole new level. Happy drinking!!

Do you like pumpkin ale?


Image via edwin/Flickr

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