Beer of the Month: Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale

Another pumpkin beer. This one was by Nickel Brook Brewing Company (Burlington, Ont.) which I’ve tried a couple of beers from previously.  I haven’t been thrilled with their beer in the past – kind of a good but not great selection of beer.  Similarly, I have yet to find a pumpkin flavoured beer that is great.  I love pumpkin but that love doesn’t seem to transfer into pumpkin beer.

The “Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale” fell about middle of the road in terms of pumpkin beer.  It poured a hazy copper colour with minimal head and smelt fairly strongly of spice.  The taste was predominately spice (cinnamon, all spice, cardamon) with a little bit of malt.  The spice wasn’t crazy strong but the balance didn’t quite do it for me.  It wasn’t really the flavour mix I associate with pumpkin and felt more like just a bottle of spices tossed together.  It was good but not really pumpkin at all.

Great Lakes Brewery: Pumpkin Ale

PumpkinAleIt’s fall! My favourite time of year.  I love the changing colours in the trees, the approach of Thanksgiving, cozy warm sweaters, boots, and pumpkin pie.  My love of pumpkin is pretty deeply rooted – it has been my go to request instead of cake at my birthday for as long as I can remember.  Conveniently, my birthday is right around Canadian Thanksgiving so pumpkin pie is usually easy to come by.

In recent years there has been a bit of an explosion of pumpkin spice or pumpkin flavoured things.  Hot and cold pumpkin beverages abound – though I’ve found they often miss the mark in taste and pumpkin qualities.  Despite former letdowns I recently picked up a Pumpkin Ale by Great Lakes Brewery.

The beer poured a slightly orange-red colour with minimal head. It smells like a great mixture of pumpkin and spices – namely nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. The taste wasn’t bad, it didn’t fall into the common pumpkin beer problem of being a mouthful of way too many spices.  The pumpkin wasn’t all the prominent but it was a good tasting beer with a slightly pumpkin note.  This was surprisingly light and subtle a good beer if you’re looking for something fall inspired but not hit you in the face pumpkin.

Brasserie des Quatre Lunes Pumpkin Saison

New beer of the month shipment! This month’s selections seem promising and are already better than last month’s less than tasty beer.

The first beer I tried this month was the Brasserie des Quatre Lunes’ Pumpkin Saison.  The brewery is an offshoot of Trafalger Ales and Meads. I love mead so I’ve actually tried some of their mead products previously.

I like pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice tea.  Pumpkin falvoured beer seems like it would be a good thing.  Yet it rarely lives up to the hype.  This particular beer didn’t really taste like pumpkin but was alright.

The most noticeable part of this beer was it’s aroma – it was very spicy smelling, lots of cloves nutmeg, and cardamom.  You could see some of the spices in the bottom of the glass when it was poured.  The spice mixture was decent and made me think of fall – but not quite pumpkin pie spice.  It was a unique tasting beer, I didn’t mind it but I’m not sure I could sit down and drink more than one.