Hello and welcome back to another spectacular review session of….yeah….pumpkin beer.
Yes, I know I did one of these reviews before, and yes I am well aware that many beer snobs do not appreciate the melding of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. But I don’t care!! I like me some pumpkin beer. To quoteth Jar Jar ‘ Mesa likes it, ergo mesa reviews it. Okeeda?’.
Anyway, if you don’t like the brew of pumpkin ilk, no need too worry. I will not do another for a long time; this stuff is very seasonal and we will see these beers for another year. And yes, that is another reason I want to do one more of these reviews before the bars shut down their sales of these orange pints.
So let’s do five of these and call it a day!:
1. Reubens - Imperial Pumpkin
8.7% ABV 22 IBU
Winner!! Starting off with a bang. Whenever you see the word ‘Imperial’, you are heading down a path of high octane fuel with delicious results. Reuben’s, a local group stationed in Ballard, is a reasonable brewery. They are not the best, but they are strong. However with offerings like this bold, rich, and very well balanced beer, I will start turning to their stuff more. Yes, there is a strong cinnamon flavor, but sometimes pumpkin beers rely too much on this sweet spice. This one does not. There is pumpkin in it!! And malt. And nutmeg. And enjoyment. If you do not like pumpkin beers but like dark beers, this one may turn you. If not, no one loves you and you probably smell bad also.
2. Elysian - Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
5.9% ABV No IBU
Another brew from Elysian, one of my faves as you well know. This guy is not as good as his brother, the Dark Side O the Moon. This is mainly because the Dark Side is…well….darker…. therefore a bit bolder. But this due has some game as well. Yes, it is lighter, so in a way it is a bit more drinkable. But it is very sweet. Not a bad thing, but you may want to brush your teeth after. There is of course cinnamon, but there also is a lot of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and maybe some Gummy Bears. Anyway, it is good and easy to find in Seattle. But it is not very sophisticated. It is sort of like choosing to watch Talladega Nights over Lawrence of Arabia; it is ok to do that at times, but just don’t brag about it.
3. Cloudburst - Pumpkin
5.1% ABV No IBU
Whenever I do an Elysian review, I always have to balance that with Cloudburst; their arch rival. These two guys have the same hate as Eazy-E and Ice Cube; once friends now enemies after one of them ‘sold out’. So here is Cloudburst’s answer to the question ‘what kind of seasonal are we making for the fall’……it is this thing…………Pumpkin. Thanks for the name Cloudburst. Anyway, it is good, but not Elysian good. Yes Cloudburst, you win some, but you lose some as well. Much like NWA’s second album vs Ice Cube’s first solo effort, Ice Cube won. Elysian Pumpkin anything > Pumpkin. Also what a pathetic name, Pumpkin. Might as well bottle it with a white label ‘Pumpkin Beer’ in Ariel font. Lame effort Cloudburst, very lame.
4. Blue Moon - Harvest Pumpkin Ale
5.7% ABV 16 IBU
Blue Moon is not my favorite brewery. They make bland, boring brews and try to market it like they are so avant-garde. Maybe in some areas they would seen interesting. But if that is the case, your local beer scene sucks ass. So here comes another banal fare, Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Well, it is true the name says it all. It is a Pumpkin Ale, it has some harvest wheat on the logo, so there you go I guess. Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Not much to say about it. Drinking it is like driving to work, you know you did it but you really don’t recall doing it. It is an ok brew, but you really can do better. Sort of like what I have been saying to Catherine Zeta-Jones every day after she married Michael Douglas.
5. Four Peaks - Pumpkin Porter
5.1% ABV No IBU
I have yet to review a beer from Four Peaks, which is odd because they are the largest craft brewery in all of Arizona. I don’t see them much around my parts, mainly because Phoenix sucks ass, but I have had some of their stuff. They are not bad, well for a Phoenix product. Their Kiltlifter is their flagship and I will say that one is quite good. Anyway, this Pumpkin Porter is good, not great. Yes, beer from the PNW is mostly better than beer from the desert, but I know not everyone can get a hold of Elysian beer, and definitely not Reubens. So I will say this porter is a good representation of pumpkin beer. Actually it is better than most pumpkins ales, but about average on the pumpkin porter scale. Yes, I am a snob. Yes, I am a hate of all things Phoenix. But yes, I like this brew, and the few beers I have had from this brewery. Maybe there is a ray of hope for me to be more accepting of the PHX. Go figure.