Pumpkins are Rising at the Great American Beer Festival

Pumpkin beers have been around for centuries. The style seems to go in and out of popularity when you look back in history. We seem to be riding up another wave as more pumpkin style beers are being crafted by commercial, micro and home brewers. Brewers like Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewing and his Punkin Ale have assisted in the resurrection of the style giving more focus on the pumpkin pie spices rather than the pumpkin itself. Cinnamon, allspice, clove and ginger are among a few of the recognizable pie spices making the bill. Just look on the shelf at any major grocery store this season and you will see three to five different styles of pumpkin ale, porter, wheat, imperials and lagers. The pumpkin beer is back and seeing an explosion in popularity.

Pumpkin Beer
Pumpkin beer is getting more popular as its flavor profile leans more towards traditional pumpkin pie spices.

The 2011 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) held in Denver , CO. had an awesome display of pumpkin power. Around thirty different pumpkin and field beers to try gave gourd loving beer connoisseurs an entire days worth of drinking nothing but 1oz. pumpkin pours. Compared to 2010, GABF brewers nearly doubled the supply of available pumpkin beer for the crowds. {See our info-graph below} Among the choices were Imperial Pumpkin Beers, Spiced Pumpkin Ales and Pumpkin Wheat Beers.

Along with the pumpkin trend, brewers are experimenting more with other types of gourds, squash and field vegetables like turnips, radish and beets. These should make for some interesting fall beers and no doubt you will see some major brewers releasing some special seasonal beers soon.

So now is the time to get brewing some pumpkin beer if you haven't already. Try our Smoked Pumpkin Saison recipe for your next 5 gallon batch.