Oh my gourd, it’s pumpkin beer season again! Here are some of JK’s top picks

It’s that time again….the time of year where EVERYTHING from coffee, pancakes, lip-gloss to even our beloved beers, become beholden to the great pumpkin gods and are infused with everything pumpkin.  No need to worry, if you are not a pumpkin fan, this columnist understands your plight and, as always, I write for everyone, so I’ll also being reviewing some great Oktoberfest beers which are easily enjoyed in this beautiful fall weather.

This is TRULY my favorite time of year for beer, and I could fill an entire book with different seasonal selections, but since this publication is still the East Falls Local and not JK’s SUPERDUPER GARY COOPER AWESOME FALL BEER SPECTACULAR GAZETTE, we’ll have to settle on just a few selections.  However, the more invigorated reader can always check out more delicious craft brew selections such as my fabulous fall beer article from last year or others at the East Falls Local beer article archive**

*Author not responsible if East Falls Local is renamed to JK’s SUPERDUPER GARY COOPER AWESOME FALL BEER SPECTACULAR GAZETTE by time of publishing.

Elysian Great Pumpkin
Seattle, Washington

  • Aromas of sugar & spice with intense scents of pumpkin
  • Medium-bodied, deep copper colored, Imperial Pumpkin Ale with a bread like, malty backbone smoothly balancing out the spiced flavors
  • ABV 8.1% (alcohol by volume)
  • IBU 20 (International bittering units. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the more bitter the beer.)

Just like Linus, many desperately wait for the return of the Great Pumpkin every year since it is only released in the fall, and like its tag line says this ale is worth the wait!  This craft ale made with roasted pumpkin seeds and tons of real pumpkin can seduce any pumpkin aficionado, but watch out because with its smooth drinkability & high ABV, an imbiber can end up sleeping in a pumpkin patch just like dear old Linus!  This seasonal pairs great with a bowl of gameday Chili, or as a complement to a cider spice donut or a fresh slice of pumpkin pie.

Elysian knows their pumpkin beers and puts out some of the best, they even have their own pumpkin beer festival!

Cigar City Good Gourd
Tampa, Florida

  • Hints of Zanzibar cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and piquant Jamaican allspice
  • A deep orange, medium-bodied, Imperial Pumpkin Ale with a balanced floral hop bitterness and smooth caramel finish
  • ABV 8.8%
  • IBU 30

This craft brew has a warming, boozy finish perfect for helping to deal with everyone’s “opinions” at Thanksgiving.  So, when Rebekah, your neo-liberal, vegan niece, just back from Vermont, starts protesting the killing of a defenseless bird, even though it was a happy, grass-fed, locally-sourced turkey who lived better than many of our neighbors in the city brotherly love, begins staging a sit-in on the front lawn this beer is GREAT!  This beer pairs great with that left-over Halloween candy or a creamy dessert like a cheesecake or bowl of Vanilla ice cream.

Four Noses Pump Action
Broomfield, Colorado

  • Earthy squash aromas with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, & clove
  • Deep rust colored, medium-bodied, balanced Pumpkin Ale

This Pumpkin Ale won the GOLD at both the Great American Beer Festival & World Beer in 2016!  Four Noses packs this brew with pumpkin adding 10 lbs. of pumpkin to each barrel that is brewed, this helps make it one of the most balanced pumpkin ales out there effectively blending with all the seasonal spices used in the brewing process.  This awesome ale pairs nicely with roasted turkey, or with a Camembert cheese.  Want to get crazy, creative, and blow your mind?  Make a pumpkin spice coffee ice cream float just add a scoop of your favorite coffee ice cream to a pint!

Neshaminy Creek Creekfestbier Lager
Croydon, Pennsylvania

This awesome, local beer is brewed with German Munich and Pilsen malts, as well as German Hallertau and Tettnanger hops, and is conditioned at cold lagering temperatures for five months!  Try this one with some grilled bratwurst or sausages or a slice of your favorite pizza!  I highly recommend it with some of Murphy’s carnitas tacos or nachos, it’s a match made in heaven!  This beer also pairs great with some potato pancakes and applesauce!

Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Cleveland, Ohio

  • Aromas of roasted malts and bread with hints of heather honey and caramel
  • Medium-bodied, dark amber, rich Märzen/ Oktoberfest style Lager
  • ABV 6.5%
  • IBU 20

This is a great American Oktoberfest beer to drink while watching playoff baseball or cheering on your favorite football team.  This brew screams fall and is quite enjoyable after raking up & bagging all those fallen leaves that have covered the lawn.  Pair this awesome brew with some roasted pork chops or a pork loin.  This beer will also pair well with a healthy snack of fresh popped corn or sliced apple.

Augustiner Bräu Märzen Bier
Salzburg, Austria

  • Aromas of bread, with subtle notes of hops
  • Crisp, Clean, medium-light bodied, TRUE Austrian Märzen
  • ABV 4.6%
  • IBU 21

THIS BEER is ONE of the BEST in the WORLD….PERIOD!  This Austrian work of art has been brewed since 1621, and is still mostly made by hand in an amazing former monastery!  The site, the Bräustübl, is today Austria’s largest beer restaurant – with more than 5,000 sqm of usable space inside the building and a further 1,400 seats in the adjacent restaurant.

The beer comes from wooden barrels and is served in stone pits…..um yeah so that’s AWESOME!  Try this with any wurst you like, your favorite schnitzel, or a classic pretzel, soft or hard it doesn’t matter this beer makes practically anything better!!!  Don’t believe me check out the brewery’s website and tell me you’re not ready to book a flight!

Here’s to Cheers & Plenty of Beers,

JK