Pumpkin beers are an acquired taste. Some people love them, others hate them. Most drinkers can only tolerate a few. But there is an amazing array of pumpkin beers on the market, from the subtle to the spicy to the completely over-the-top.
On the bottled side, the three most-sought-after pumpkin beers around are probably Rumpkin, the 16 percent ABV rum-barrel-aged monster from Avery Brewing (currently on shelves, if you can find it); Smashed Pumpkin, the big, bold beer from Maine's Shipyard Brewing; and Delaware-based Dogfish Head's pie-like Punkin. Some local favorites include Chunkin' Punkin' from Crabtree Brewing in Greeley, Tommyknocker's Pumpkin Harvest Ale, and Bristol's Venetucci (only available around Colorado Springs).
But there are plenty of draft-only pumpkin beers available around town, including this year's gold medalist at the Great American Beer Festival, Upslope Pumpkin Ale.
Pumpkin Ale Upslope Brewing, Boulder Brewed with baby bear pumpkins from Munson Farms and spices from Savory Spice Shop. It's currently available on draft at the tasting room in Boulder and at a couple of beer bars around Denver.
Drunken Pumpkin Wynkoop Brewing, Denver Brewed with fresh-roasted, pureed and flaked pumpkin, and gently spiced with a custom blend of pumpkin-pie spices, the Wynkoop made twice as much this year to meet demand. Drunken Pumpkin is 5.8 percent ABV.
Pumpkin Porter Strange Brewing, Denver Strange used 200 pounds of pie pumpkins, which were roasted in the pizza ovens at Hops & Pie on October 17. The beer is currently fermenting and should be available this week.
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Hey, Pumpkin or Pumpkin Porter Denver Beer Co, Denver Denver Beer Co brewed three pumpkin beers this year. The first was Ichabod's Revenge, followed by Hey, Pumpkin and then a Pumpkin Porter. At least one or more of these should be on tap for the next week or so. As the brewery says, "You'll have to come on in and find out what's pouring."
Half Moon Pumpkin Ale Dry Dock Brewing, Aurora Dry Dock's Half Moon Pumpkin Ale is available at the tap room again, from a regular tap and on nitro. A 5.7 percent ABV beer, it goes heavy on the cinnamon and spice.