Wednesday, 12 October 2011
That Time of Year
Pumpkin beers are a bit of an oddity with me. It's never a beer/beer style I actively seek out, and when I do see one there's usually a bit of um-ing and ah-ing before I make a purchase - if I do at all. I seem to find that I always have a bit of a thought in my head "Pumpkin beer? That's probably not going to be very nice" I then seem to find that pretty much every single one I've ever had has been absolutely amazing - especially the one actually served from an actual giant pumpkin, from Roosters! (and let's not forget about PumKing)
I know why we get the beer as a style - Pumpkins are big in America, they love em - there's millions, and when it comes to harvest time, more than a couple go into beer production. It makes me wonder though: why don't we use any other sort of large vegetable to make beer with? (well to be pedantically technical a pumpkin is a fruit)
It sounds like it wouldn't taste very nice, but why can't we make a marrow beer? That's the point about pumpkin beer for me; it doesn't sound like it will taste very nice - but it does! And why couldn't other variations work? Spicy radish IPA anyone? Aubergine Porter? Carrot Pale Ale? I think the day we say no to trying things like this out is the day we become a little boring.
Saranac Pumpkin Ale comes in at 5%, and was picked up a couple of days ago from North Bar. The aroma is great - vegetal pumpkin, cinnamon, over ripened bananas, and a little of that classic apple and cinnamon, crumbly pie. Very nice texture, quite grainy. There's a lot of spice to the brew, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla which makes it quite dry, moorish and very easy drinking. More ripe banana sweetness in the body, and it's a tiny bit Belgian like from the spice. A very nice beer - a close call to decide which is better, this or Brooklyn Pumpkin.
Seriously, where's my radish IPA, I'll be round your brewery in just under 20 days if I don't see people being a bit more crazy.....