It’s officially fall, my friends. You know what that means, don’t you? Let me tell you in two simple words: Pumpkin spice.
It’s everywhere. It’s in everything. You stop at Starbucks on your way to the grocery store and the endless fall-themed menu makes your head spin. At home your wife is burning a new candle she bought at Anthropology. “It’s pumpkin spice,” she says smiling, hugging her cozy shawl tighter. You step into the shower and are greeted with a gourd-shaped bottle of creamy pumpkin chai shampoo. Wait, what’s that under your pillow? Some inexplicable loose pumpkin spice. You can’t escape it.
Seriously, it seems like the crisp north wind blows a tornado of nutmeg and cinnamon into the northern hemisphere each autumn and the basic people rejoice so hard that they literally can’t even.
Anything and everything smells like this aromatic autumnal tradition, including beer. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Trust me.
So don’t fight it. Don’t resist. Simply surrender to the irresistible nutmeggy goodness of these 10 delicious pumpkin spice beers that’ll make you want to put on some Uggs and tweet about how much you love sweater weather.
Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Ale
Hate unapologetically saccharine pumpkin-scented food items? Me too. Considering this is my personal favorite pumpkin beer, I have a feeling you’ll really like this one.
With a very subtle malty sweetness that isn’t overpowering, Pumking has the perfect amount of pumpkinyness with notes of pumpkin, vanilla, spices, roasted pecans, and a gentle kiss of pie crust. It sounds like a lot, but it’s not. In fact, some pumpkin spice hating people (a.k.a. my mom and brother) have even declared this libation the only tolerable pumpkin beer.
Avery Rumpkin Rum Barrel-Aged Ale
First of all, this bad boy is strong as hell at 16.3% ABV. I actually found it to be more of a spicy ale cocktail than a craft beer…but damn was this an experience that I can’t wait to have again.
Lots of deep spice notes, malt, candied molasses, and of course pumpkin are amplified thanks to the rum barrels this mighty brew is aged in, making for a rich and creamy ale that’s definitely not your average pumpkin beer.
Cigar City Good Gourd Imperial Ale
“A liquid monument to the glory of the pumpkin, the most noble of all the gourds,” the official description of this fall-flavored nectar accurately reads. Brewed with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla, it perfectly captures all of the pleasant flavors of a tasty pumpkin pie in a smooth and aromatic ale.
Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby Rum Barrel-Aged Ale
Unfortunately, this beer is only available in 12 states (you can use their beer finder tool right here), but for those who manage to get their hands one some, you’re in for a real treat. This silky copper-hued ale is aged to perfection in rum barrels to infuse the pumpkin spice flavors with oak, a hint of fragrant rum, and warm vanilla.
If you love pumpkin but aren’t the biggest fan of the pumpkin spice movement, here’s a beer you can get on board with. Ghoulschip is brewed with local pumpkins, molasses, and raw pumpkin seeds for a dry and tart elixir that really brings the flavor of pumpkin to the forefront without masking it with a ton of spices.
New Belgium Voodoo Atomic Pumpkin Ale
Calling all spice lovers! This devilish brew takes your average pumpkin beer and combines it with Saigon cinnamon, habanero, Peruvian hot peppers, and del arbol peppers for a spicy kick that definitely lingers and burns your throat for a while.
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale
A very classic combination of nutmeg and pumpkin that’s as uncomplicated as the can it comes in. During my research of the best pumpkin spice beers, many of the reviews I read for Smashed Pumpkin mention how authentic and natural the pumpkin taste and smell is, so if you’re into that, you should pick up a pack sooner rather than later.
Saint Arnold Pumpkinator Imperial Ale
This one smells like a Yankee Candle, but don’t let the aggressively spicy aroma put you off. This beer is extremely highly rated and is even ranked one of the best pumpkin spice beers ever made across multiple beer forums.
“Pumpkinator is a big, black, full of spice, full of flavor beer,” the Saint Arnold website describes, also mentioning how only a single batch of the stuff will be released around October 15. Please note, though, that you’ll probably only enjoy Pumpkinator if you’re someone who enjoys strong flavors that border on overpowering.
Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela Wild Pumpkin Ale
What do you get when you brew an ale that’s packed with pumpkins, the right amount of spice, and a dash of cacao? A chocolatey pumpkin beer that’s sour, bright, and refreshingly acidic that you’ll really enjoy.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Warm up with this full-bodied brown ale that’s brewed with lots of pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. It’s fragrant but not too powerful, and has a malty backbone that goes down smoooooth.