The moment I swipe my calendar app to the month of October, I see nothing but pumpkins. Gourds around the house, gracing the porch, and most importantly, in my mouth. And while the usual seasonal beers have been perched on the shelves for a few weeks now, there’s one pumpkin beer worth seeking out. The reason I give this brew out of Fort Collins, Colorado such high marks almost seems counterintuitive: It’s not a completely obnoxious pumpkin experience.
Pumpkick, New Belgium Brewing’s version of a gourd-inspired ale, offers a subtle pumpkin flavor and a tangy touch that comes from cranberry juice. Along with the usual suspects – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and of course pumpkin juice – the cranberry is brilliant brewing know-how for balancing out the potential richness of the season’s most popular ingredient. Unlike other overwhelmingly-spiced ales, drinking more than one is not out of the question. Neither is baking part of a bottle into a nice spicy loaf of pumpkin bread. But you didn’t hear either from me.