Know The Pumpkin Beer Types And What To Pair With Them

You may eat pumpkin-flavored foods all year round, from pies and soups to the popular pumpkin spice latte. We can all anticipate one seasonal item, though: pumpkin beers. There are a huge number of pumpkin beers available today. While some are made with real pumpkins, others use the spices found in pumpkin pie to provide the same flavour. 

In the United States, pumpkin beer has been brewed since 1771. The first pumpkin ale to be produced for sale in cans was from Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward, California, in the 1980s. The formula was adapted from George Washington's brewing experiments. A slew of consumer food products with pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavours, such the Pumpkin Spice Latte, have been blamed for the "pumpkin spice craze" that has led to the beer's current level of popularity. 

Let’s explore pumpkin beer types 

Pumpkin Ale: Most pumpkin-flavored beer simply goes by the name "pumpkin ale." Any type of ale might fall under this broad category, which includes anything from pale ales to dark ales and wheat brews. All pumpkin ales share the unique trait of being made with top-fermenting ale yeast. The spice blend that is so popular in pumpkin beers pairs perfectly with the malty sweetness and aromatic attributes. 

Pumpkin Stout or Porter: Among pumpkin beers, dark stouts and porters are also common. These ales frequently employ additional adjuncts for dessert-like flavours, such chocolate, coffee, or vanilla, and have a tendency to be thick and creamy. Although the brewing process for pumpkin porters and stouts varies as much as that of other ales, they often use a blend of black and pale malts. 

Pumpkin IPA: Though less typical than other pumpkin ales, certain brewers who concentrate on India pale ales (IPAs) will offer this seasonal. While incorporating pumpkin spice flavours, pumpkin IPAs retain the distinctively bitter, hoppy flavour of the ale's style. The hop content of these pumpkin beers tends to be the highest, yet they often top out at 70 IBUS (some standard IPAs can reach 100 IBUs). Some pumpkin IPAs may have odd flavours, including fiery chile peppers, in their constant effort to stand apart. 

Imperial Pumpkin Ale: The word "imperial" appears in some pumpkin ales. It appears on IPAs, stouts, and ales. Imperial beer is strong and often contains up to 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), or more than 7 percent ABV. Even though imperials are frequently just as well-crafted for a balanced flavour as any lower-point beer, the increased alcohol content enhances the flavour. 

Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Beer: Beer that has been aged in barrels is becoming more and more popular, and pumpkin beer adapts nicely to this extra step. A mellow oakiness and hints of the flavour of the distilled spirit are added when the beer (often an ale) is finished in oak barrels. Most frequently, old rum, bourbon, and scotch barrels are used, and the flavours pair well with pumpkin spice. 

Pumpkin Lager: Even though pumpkin lagers are uncommon and lagers in general are the most popular style of beer, they really take this seasonal flavour remarkably well. Few brewers attempt this style, which combines the calming effects of pumpkin spice with the crispness of lagers. They employ bottom-fermenting yeast, much like all lagers, and frequently fall into the amber lager or bock classifications as opposed to the pale pilsners. Pumpkin lagers would be the most akin to Oktoberfest if it weren't for the addition of pumpkin and spice. 

Pumpkin Shandy or Radler: The closest thing to a fruit beer with pumpkin taste is a pumpkin shandy or radler. While the majority of pumpkin beers barely have any fruit flavour, these amp it up to provide a beverage that is as energising as a citrus shandy or radler. Even though shandies frequently contain a mixture of beer and lemonade; when it is sparkling, it is known as a radler. The brewing technique is rarely disclosed. Pumpkin purée, spices, and occasionally soda for added carbonation are frequently added to a base of wheat beer in pumpkin shandies. They taste like a pumpkin-flavored hard cider and have a low alcohol content. 

What To Pair With It 

The first basic guideline for combining foods and beverages is to steer clear of exact flavour matches. While some pumpkin beers might pair well with pumpkin pie, the flavours are frequently too similar. Try substituting complimentary meals for pumpkin dishes (such as soups, bread, and other savoury recipes). It would go well with a heavy meat stew, roasted turkey, or slow-cooked pot roast. With its dessert-like flavour, pumpkin beer goes nicely with ice cream, apple or pecan pies, and plain cheesecake. Desserts made with caramel, chocolate, or coffee go well with it as well. Try aged gouda, gruyère, blue cheese, or seasonal cheese with cranberries for a cheese platter.