The Great Pumpkin Beer Wrap-Up

Well I did it (self congratulatory pat on the back) I tried nineteen different pumpkin beers  leading up to Hallowe’en and I am happy to not have to see or drink another pumpkin beer until next year. In honour of this feat I thought I would put together a little wrap-up by ranking the pumpkin brews 1 through 19 to give my readers a better sense of my favourite and not so favourite beers.



Starting at the top of the gourd pile we have…

1. Southern Tier Pumking

2. Elysian Night Owl

3. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

4. Parallel 49 Schadenfreude

5. Granville Island Pumpkin Ale

6. St. Ambroise Citrouille (Pumpkin)

7. Parallel 49 Lost Souls

8. Tree Jumpin Jack

9. Elysian Dark O’ the Moon

10. Elysian Hansel and Gretel

11. Steamworks Pumpkin Ale

12. Epic Brewing Imperial Pumpkin Porter

13. Fernie Pumpkin Head

14. Red Racer Pumpkin Ale

15. Howe Sound Pumpkineater

16. Two Beers Pumpkin Spice Ale

17. Pike Harlot’s Harvest

18. Lighthouse Pumpkin Ale

19. Phillips Crooked Tooth


Now onto the Great Christmas Beer Countdown, 55 beers in 55 days …just kidding!



5 responses to “The Great Pumpkin Beer Wrap-Up

  • Rob

    Better you than me with that pumpkin countdown. I didn’t have any this year at all. But I’m on board for that Christmas Beer Countdown if you’re up to it!

    • Sara

      I will absolutely do a Christmas series but maybe not 55 since Christmas seasonals tend to be pretty heavy or high in ABV or both. Maybe a 12 Beers of Christmas…

  • Dom

    Thanks for the Pumpkin reviews! Pumking MT favorite as well by far.

    • Sara

      It was fun to try all those different pumpkin beers and there are so many on the market now I really wanted to find out which ones were worth a repeat purchase. Southern Tier always delivers a big flavoured beer. Glad you enjoyed the series!

  • Oliver

    Nice roundup, I very much enjoyed reading this series! Having been a pumpkin beer junkie for a few years, I decided to keep some quick notes and ratings this year as well (though I didn’t manage to procure the more exotic offerings such as Southern Tier and Dogfish Head). My ratings scale is a little higher overall (7 was the lowest rating):

    Phillips Crooked Tooth – 7/10
    Lots of spice, with ginger very prominent, but fairly light in body, not much of a malt backbone to provide balance.

    Howe Sound Pumpkin Eater: 8/10
    Very heavy, high alcohol, winter warmer. The spicing is hard to distinguish since it punches you in the face all at once together with a blast of malt and alcohol. A tasty beer, but I tend to get sick of it after a while.

    St. Ambrose Citrouille: 8.5/10
    Not as much spice as the Phillips, but still quite noticeable. Has a nicely rounded malt character, with just a hint of chocolate, and a little of the pumpkin flavour peeks through. A very good beer, but could perhaps use even more spicing.

    Parallel 49 Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – 8/10
    A nice tasty roasty porter, but very little spice or pumpkin detectable

    Elysian Pumpkin (on tap) – 9/10
    Spicing is very prominent, particularly cinnamon and cloves, and a rich roasted pumpkin flavour rounds out the finish. There’s a nice malt body for balance. A most delicious beer.

    Granville Pumpkin 7.5/10
    Both spices and pumpkin are noticeable, but somewhat muted. A well balanced drinkable beer, but somewhat light on flavour.

    Steamworks Pumpkin 7.5/10 (on tap)
    The beer is somewhat light in body, spicing and pumpkin is fairly subdued. The chocolate malts add a nice roasty flavour, but the finish is a little thin.

    Tree Brewing Pumpkin Jack 8/10
    At 7%, abv, this is a nice malty, warming brew. It tastes like a slightly lighter version of the Howe Sound Pumpkineater. Spicing is not too strong though.

    Lighthouse Pumpkin Ale 7.5/10
    The smell and the taste is a bit more ‘pumkiny’ than some of the other beers. Spicing is very mild, and the beer leans too far to the sweet side. A drinkable beer, not too heavy, but not very exciting.

    Elysian Dark Side o the Moon Pumpkin Stout (on tap) 9/10
    Similar to the P49 Pumpkin Porter, but it’s less sweet and has a fuller, more complex finish. The pumpkin and spice is largely overshadowed by the roasted malts at first, but add a rich deep flavour to the finish that just keeps begging for another sip. This is a wonderfully delicious beer, and demonstrates that adding pumpkin and spices to an already great stout can make it even better.

    P49 Schadenfreude Pumpkin Lager (on tap) 9/10
    Even though it’s a lager, the malt profile isn’t too thin to stand up to the pumpkin and spices. It has a full, rounded body, is slightly creamy and very well balanced. It finishes with a nice lingering pumkin pie flavour that’s neither too pumpkiny nor too spicy. A very well executed brew.

    Swans Pumpkin Ale 8.5/10
    A rather strongly spiced beer with good balance in the malt profile; it’s neither overly sweet nor dry. The pumpkin flavour is somewhat overshadowed by the spices and it doesn’t have quite the body or complexity of my favourite beers, but it’s a nice aromatic brew that makes for a great companion if you happen to be sitting on a chesterfield by the fireplace.

    Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale 9/10
    This is an old favourite that has spent many an Autumn sitting on BC liquor store shelves, even in the lean years before the pumpkin beer explosion. There’s a lot more competition now, but this one still stands out – a near perfect balance of caramel malts, pumpkin and spices (nutmeg comes slightly to the fore) and an earthy lingering finish.

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