Pumpkin beers. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are becoming more prevalent every year -- and hitting liquor store shelves earlier and earlier. In fact, there were several varieties available in mid-July despite the fact that people were still lighting up leftover fireworks. Now that it's September and the cool air is flowing in, it's time to take a look at a few new or special pumpkin offerings from Colorado breweries.
The following should make for a nice six-pack.
Imperial Pumpkin Dry Dock Brewing Dry Dock took the traditional pumpkin beer it had been brewing for several years for the taproom only and ramped it up to 9 percent ABV for this bomber bottle release. And while the alcohol lends a smooth, sweet flavor, it is well hidden by the spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves.
Pumpkick New Belgium Brewing New Belgium refreshes its lineup every couple of years, and this season it's added Pumpkick, a traditional pumpkin beer with the "added kick" of cranberries to give it a slightly tart taste. Pumpkick is also brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The 6 percent ABV beer "pours a rosy orange glow with light haze and cream-colored foam," the brewery says. Pumpkick hit shelves in July.
Fermentation Without Representation Epic Brewing When Salt Lake City-based Epic Brewing opened its major new Denver brewery in July, that meant that the brewery's beers would all be distributed in Colorado. So although Fermentation Without Representation Imperial Pumpkin Porter isn't a new beer, it's new to us, and it will now be brewed in Denver. A collaboration with DC Brau, the 8 percent ABV is made with pumpkin, vanilla, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, and it carries a chocolate flavor from the malts that makes it rich, warming and unusual.
Rumpkin Avery Brewing When Rumpkin debuted two years ago in bottles, it blew the socks off beer snobs and pumpkin-beer lovers alike (not that those two groups are mutually exclusive), and how could it not? Aged for six months in fresh dark rum barrels and spiced with 600 pounds of locally grown gourds, along with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, the 18.53 percent ABV beer (yes, you read that right) is both powerful and delicate at the same time. However, only 617 cases were produced, and they'll go on sale at Avery's Boulder taproom at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 22 (although a line will form much earlier). Each twelve-ounce bottle costs $12, and fans are limited to one case. In previous years, Rumpkin has hit liquor stores as well in limited amounts.
Pumpkin Ale Upslope Brewing Upslope brings back its 2011 GABF gold medal award-winning Pumpkin Ale this year with a taproom party (this tapping has been cancelled due to weather) on September 12 (the beer hits store shelves October 1). Made with 3,000 pounds of baby bear pumpkins grown at Boulder's Munson Farms, the beer is a labor of love and warms the autumn hearts of pumpkin lovers.
Pumpkin Ale Wynkoop Brewing The Wynkoop has been making pumpkin beers for years -- and it is currently serving its Drunkin Pumpkin on tap, but the brewery will can the beer for the first time this fall, releasing Pumpkin Ale in four-packs on October 1. The beer is an English brown that has been spiced and is part of the brewery's Even Smaller Batch Series, which also includes Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout and Patty's Chile Beer.
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