Last week I posted about some of the pumpkin ales recently released by our esteemed BC brewers. I’m pleased to say that I’ve now had the chance to try most of them. Erik and I enjoyed a pumpkin feast and pumpkin ale tasting this past weekend. Below are my rankings and impressions of the four beers we tasted side by side. It should be noted that we were drinking full glasses of each beer, which may have affected the quality of our tasting notes.
- Swans Pumpkin Ale – This was my favorite pumpkin ale. I found it pleasantly sweet and nicely balanced with spice. Tasting note: “Tastes like pumpkin pie in a good way.”
- Central City Red Racer Pumpkin Ale – This was the most drinkable of the bunch, meaning that you could easily drink a few of these. The pumpkin ale taste was not overwhelming and there was no detectable spice. Tasting note: “Reminds me of their pale ale with added pumpkin.”
- Phillips Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale – I found this one good, but not great. It had more pumpkin flavor that the Granville Island version and also reminded me of pumpkin pie, but not in as pleasant a way as the Swans version. Tasting note: “Tastes like turkey dinner in a glass.”
- Granville Island Pumpkin Ale – The most underwhelming of the bunch with very little pumpkin taste, but plenty of spice. We guessed they may have used a Belgian yeast because it had that funky aroma. Erik wondered whether the bottle we had might have oxidized a little bit. Tasting note: “Tastes Belgiany.”
It should be noted that all of the above beers were reddish brown in color, none deviating very far from the other. It should also be noted that the Howe Sound Pumpkineater I tried at the Alibi Room would likely rank high on this list, but I was unable to procure any for this tasting session.
For those of you who might be interested in knowing what we ate at our pumpkin feast, Rachel made pumpkin soup, roasted vegetables including pumpkin, pumpkin gnocchi, and a baked pumpkin pastry dessert. I wish I’d taken a picture of the spread because it looked as wonderful as it tasted. I don’t think I’d eaten roasted pumpkin before, but if I had then I forgot that it tastes very much like roasted sweet potatoes or yams. Why don’t we eat roasted pumpkin more often?