Goodwilltasting’s Pumpkin Beer Roundup!

Well folks, I’m still slacking on the posts and I apologize, but I thought I would put up a little something for my favorite holiday of the year: THANKSGIVING.

We are less than 2 days away from all the indulgence and deliciousness that is Thanksgiving Dinner. There are few things I enjoy more than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, surrounded by good friends. The great Ron Swanson once said “Crying: acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.” I’d like to add the sight of a Thanksgiving spread to that list.

So what beer goes best with Thanksgiving Dinner? Some might say something boring and light to balance with all the heavy, rich food, like a dry pilsner or light-bodied stout. I’m gonna say, “hey jackass, it’s the holidays!” and go with something a little more festive: PUMPKIN BEERS.

I love pumpkin beers.  I love pumpkin beer season.  I love Thanksgiving… have I mentioned that yet? One important note for pumpkin beer n00bs: PUMPKIN PIE SPICE ALONE DOES NOT A PUMPKIN BEER MAKE! For me, pumpkin beer isn’t legit unless there is actual pumpkin added during the brewing process.  So many beers out there masquerading as pumpkin beers when all the brewer did was add a little nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon to the beer before they bottled it. You should be outraged.

So without further ado, here are 5 of the most recent pumpkin beers I’ve tried, ranked from most hated to most favorite. Take a look!


NAME: Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead, Portland ME.
ABV: 4.5%
REVIEW: Disclaimer: I drank this on tap at a bar a few weeks ago and wrote down my tasting notes there. They read: “Shipyard pumpkin head. Coors light with essence of pumpkin. D.” Light smell of pumpkin pie spice on the nose, unpleasantly light bodied, short, fizzy finish.  I recommend Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin instead. It is LEAGUES better.

Pumple Drumkin

NAME: Cisco Brewers Pumple Drumkin, Nantucket, MA
ABV: 6.0%
REVIEW: Drank from the bottle so not sure about appearance. Sweet citrusy smell with a hint of nutmeg. Subtly spicy, high carbonation, sweet finish. For a pumpkin ale it’s not very pumpkin-y. Kind of a pilsner with hint of pumpkin pie.

Uinta Pumpkin

NAME: Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin, Salt Lake City, UT
ABV: 10.31%
REVIEW: Dark copper color, deep caramel, clove, and cinnamon smell and taste. The spices kind of overpower the whole beer but overall a solid pumpkin beer to go with your thanksgiving leftovers. Kind of boozy probably from the oak barrel aging but whatever, it’s the holidays!

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

NAME: Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin (Pugsley’s Signature Series), Portland, ME
ABV: 9.0%
REVIEW: Light brownish copper color, foamy head. Nice notes of pumpkin and nutmeg on the nose, smooth velvety mouthfeel, rich pumpkin and spice flavors come through, sweet finish. Delicious. I don’t understand how the same brewery can also make the pumpkin-flavored garbage water they call Pumpkinhead.  Makes zero sense.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

NAME: Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Easton, PA
ABV: 8.0%
REVIEW: Beautiful dark amber color, smells like fresh pumpkin pie, tastes like it too. A little spicy and more well-balanced than the Smashed Pumpkin. Creamy mouthfeel, sweet lingering finish. This is pumpkin pie in a bottle. Enjoy!

SO I hope this helps guide those of you who are stressing over what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever it is, throw in a six pack of pumpkin beer and you will be a Thanksgiving Champion!

Happy Turkey Day you filthy animals.

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One thought on “Goodwilltasting’s Pumpkin Beer Roundup!

  1. Anthony says:

    Thanks for the reviews. It is unlikely that I will try any of these. I like festive, but I don’t think pumpkin is going to be it–not to mention that I had Thanksgiving many weeks ago.

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