Spice is Nice - Fall Pumpkin Beer Feature

Put down that Pumpkin Spiced Latte and head to the nearest beer aisle, because it is prime season for pumpkin beer! The Forest City Beer Fest team and tested a tried a variety of offerings to give you our list of 5 of “anything but basic” pumpkin beers.

Grand River’s Highballer Pumpkin Ale 
Those in search of a smooth pale ale with a hint of pumpkin look no further! The subtle hints of nutmeg and cinnamon will make you feel like Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin is dancing across your taste buds. Even though the flavouring is a bit spooky, this light refreshing ale is sure to please everyone, even craft beer newbies.

Great Lake Pumpkin Ale 
You know those pumpkins that have a sweet smile with one jagged tooth? This would be their beer comparative. The Etobicoke brewery’s beer could be described as “nice” before you take in the full taste of the hops and dash of spice. Pumpkin is added during the brewing process to make sure all your pumpkin cravings are satisfied.

St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale 
St. Ambroise is known for their flavoured beers like Raspberry, Maple, and their famous Apricot Wheat, and they didn’t disappoint creating an instant fall favourite. Malty and sweet, this ale will pair great with dessert.

Anderson Pumpkin Ale 
New kid on the block, Anderson Craft Ales, has been continuously blowing us away since their opening in summer 2016. Their pumpkin ale continues with the trend.The taste of pumpkin is there, but it separates itself from the others with aroma of light biscuit and honey notes. Plus, the colour is orange - making is extra fun for any themed Halloween parties (because we’re getting too old for orange jello shots… right?)

Niagara Oast House Brewer’s Country Bumpkin
Niagara has been world renowned for their wine, but the last few year’s craft breweries have been making a scene. Within a couple of sips of Country Bumpkin you will be reminiscing about grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie. Country Bumpkin is perfect for you who like St. Ambroise’s Pumpkin Ale but looking for a bit of a fuller taste. This medium-bodied ale goes down smooth… maybe a little too smooth.

FCBF is dying to sample: Indie Alehouse’s Hybrid Pumpkin Abbey Ale  
November 16th, Indie Alehouse from Toronto’s Junction is taking over the taps at our favourite watering hole, Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium. On one of 23 taps will be their Pumpkin Abbey Belgian Ale and we are looking forward to trying this release!

Indie Alehouse owner, Jason Fisher, told us that each year they strive to make the recipe a little different. Here’s what he had to say about this season’s offering: “This year’s version is slightly sweeter, 6% abv (versions have been as high as 8.5% in the past) and this year it is not blended with anything, just straight up. In the past we have blended a porter or stout into the beer for additional colour and depth, this year we altered the recipe to make a smaller batch that hit the targets on its own.”

Don't miss the Indie Alehouse takeover event at Milos'. Full details here: http://pubmilos.com/indie-inv/

Did your favourite pumpkin beer make the list? If not, tweet us your suggestions at @FCBeerFest.

aaron brown