Thirsty Thursday: Pumpkin ale

Thursday October 11, 2012 Written by smith

It's a novel choice: but with Halloween around the corner it seems like the right time to talk about pumpkin ale.

Pumpkin ales are popping up all over the place but there's nothing new about them. Physician and astronomer Samuel Stearns listed pumpkin beer among the more common ales of 1801 in his book The American Herbal. Back then pumpkins were plentiful and their fermentable sugar could sub-in for malt during the brewing process. While there's little question old-timey drinkers preferred good malt, pumpkins provided a decent alternative during desperate times.

Today, pumpkin ales are largely brewed around Halloween, but there's a growing call for them year round, especially in colder climates. Allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg are frequently used to flavour and balance out the sweetness, which varies from beer to beer.

In Australia, Murray's and Gage Roads have created their own with pretty tasty results. A light liquid pumpkin pie is the best way to describe it. Not too sugary, but with nice hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. Give it a go.

Image: Sarah Postma