Pumpkin beer gets a lot of flak. People who will happily sip on lemony summer ales, dark-roasted Christmas ales, and springtime saisons will start crying foul when Pumking and The Great Pumpkin Ale start hitting store shelves and bar taplines. They see it as the often overhyped pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin spice explosion infiltrating every aspect of life, including a night out on the town.
But I’m here to call BS on all that and say one thing: Pumpkin beers and spiced beers are the most seasonally appropriate beverage, and haters need to start reconsidering them.
Call me #basic all you want, but as the nights get longer and the days get colder, there’s nothing more enjoyable than a cozy bar and a beverage that matches. And I dare you to name a more comforting combination than cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of ginger or clove. These beers are hearty, yes, but they’re meant to be sipped slowly, allowing you to savor the flavors as you take in the crisp and cool autumn surroundings.
Pumpkin spice and the yam flavor also adapt nicely to a variety of beer styles, allowing beer fans with different palates to enjoy the seasonal flavors. While fans of porters and stouts will be neglected during the warm-weather months and IPA and lager fans are left out in the cold in winter, pumpkin brews can be found in all ale styles. You have Southern Tier’s notorious Warlock for fans of dark beer, Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale for those who favor lighter brews, and plenty of amber lagers and crisp ales for those who love beers somewhere in between. Heck, even gluten-free folks and cider fans can enjoy pumpkin spice with ciders from the likes of Ace and Woodchuck.
So, reconsider the pumpkin beer and think of it for what it really is: an adaptable fall flavor that everyone can enjoy. But some people simply cannot be converted to pumpkin beer love; read why our restaurants editor Alyssa hates pumpkin beers here.
Carolyn Menyes is the entertain editor at The Daily Meal. She loves all beer except for rauchbier, which she believes needs to stay in Germany. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.