Pumpkin Beers: Eggnog, Move Over

Beer, Beer & Cocktails, Drink

This post comes courtesy of Williams-Sonoma associate and beer enthusiast Dennis Ayles.


Finally, it’s time to round up my reviews of all the pumpkin beers I tasted this season. I went into the tastings with my eyes wide open, discovering that most selections fell into three categories: sweet as pumpkin pie; roasted and a bit savory; and lastly, eggnog, move over.


Click on the links above to see my reflections on the other categories, or continue reading for my eggnog-like samplings.


Southern Tier Pumking AleThis light amber beer was a bit of a surprise. With my first few sips I tasted a familiar flavor that I couldn’t put my finger on. Luckily it was a 22-ounce bottle, so I had some time to figure out it was nutmeg, the spice I always taste in eggnog. I thought the nutmeg was very overpowering, but if you’re an eggnog fan, you’re going to love this one.


Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleThe initial aroma on this brew told me it was going to be sweet and full of pumpkin pie ingredients. Unfortunately, that was not the case — nutmeg was the predominant flavor. Since the beer is on the light side, the flavor was unbalanced, and I couldn’t get past the overpowering nutmeg.



BONUS: Woodchuck Pumpkin Hard CiderWhat a clever idea. I’m not sure about you, but I always have some mulling spice and cider brewing on the stove during Thanksgiving. I was surprised I only saw one pumpkin cider out there. From the start I could only taste the apple, but as I sipped more, I picked up a nice roasted pumpkin taste. I really enjoyed this selection and found myself wishing for a roasted turkey in the oven.

Well, I’m off to the store to grab a few more of my favorites so I can enjoy them later on this fall. Cheers!


About the author: Dennis Ayles, from Inventory Management, is our resident beer expert here at Williams-Sonoma. He keeps everyone up to speed on the latest trends, his favorite brews and what we should be drinking.

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