Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The 31 Days of Halloween: Day 4

Halloween is the best time of the year. It's a wonderfully indulgent time, where your inner ghoul is given societal license to be put on display. To celebrate it to it's wicked fullest, the Midnight Cheese will be posting every day in October with excellent ways to enjoy the season. Whether it's horror films, video games, books or activities, check back every day for some new Halloween fun.

Pumpkin Beer

Many of the characters in our chosen genre of film die horribly. Torturous, painful, mangled- not nice demises. Some of them can see it coming yet few of them make an effort to ease their own passing. Today, true bereavers, I shall ease your shuffling off the mortal coil, whether it be at the hands of a mad man or the end of a machete, with liberal applications of delicious libations. Oh, but not just any beer will do, not during October.

Pumpkin beers come in many base styles. They can start as a wheat beer, an amber ale, a red ale or even a stout. What really delineates a pumpkin beer from other isn't necessarily the addition of the meat of said vegetable, although that can be part of the recipe. Instead, what we've come to expect from pumpkin beers is actually the taste of the four spices used in pumpkin pie: Cinnamon, Allspice, Clove and Nutmeg. The exact amount used really depends on the strength of the beer. In my own brewing, it took two batches to really figure out the amounts needed.

What comes out ranges from the very subtle pumpkin bread like notes to smack-you-in-the-palate pumpkin pie booze. Today I'm going to suggest the two best examples of the latter to you for happy consumption on the day of your demise. I've heard it's easier to quip out snappy one liners in face of death when you're hammered.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
That "Imperial" translates roughly to "knock the unprepared on their ass". This brew from Weyerbacher is a full, rich and delicious beer with plenty of pumpkin spice flavor to back up it's 8% alcohol by volume punch. This is the first Pumpkin beer I discovered and was on the scene early on, before the explosion of imitators hit the market these last few years.

Southern Tier Pumking
This is the pumpkin spice beer. It sells out everywhere it is available. It is a desert in a 750ml bottle. You could eat vanilla ice cream while drinking this delicious explosion of pumpkin pie flavor. It weighs in at a liver crushing 9% alcohol by volume, so when you absolutely, positively have to get drunk faster than every mama-jamma in the room- accept no substitute.

Nothing is better than a delicious pumpkin beer on a crisp October night. Try not to get eviscerated out there.


  1. Alright, a fellow brewer! I've only made 2 batches thus far, but I've been making wine for years. I'll have to check out my local specialty brew shop to see if they've got The Pumking or the Imperial Pumpkin. I've had a few pumpkin beers that just didn't do it for me, so I'd really love to try a good one.

  2. Sometimes I feel like brewers try to be low key about their pumpkin spicing, but really all I want is to be walloped with pumpkin pie flavor.If you seek either of these out, you will not be disappointed.

  3. I concur. I want to be bitch slapped by the pumpkin.