Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Night Suds - Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

Tonight's Sunday Night Suds review takes a seasonal tone (as well as a cue from last week's Simpsons) and looks at Blue Moon's fall offering - Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale.

Before you ask me - what ever possessed anyone to experiment with pumpkin added to the brew process, I simply don't know. I can hypothesize that some creative brewmaster may have thought -- people like pumpkin pie and people like beer, let's try to spice a beer to taste like pumpkin pie.

Beer Advocate explains the genre of pumpkin beer as follows:

Often released as a fall seasonal, Pumpkin Ales are quite varied. Some brewers opt to add hand-cut pumpkins and drop them in the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. These beers also tend to be spiced with pumpkin pie spices, like: ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and all spice. Pumpkin Ales are typically mild, with little to no bitterness, a malty backbone, with some spice often taking the lead. Many will contain a starchy, slightly thick-ish, mouthfeel too. In our opinion, best versions use real pumpkin, while roasting the pumpkin can also add tremendous depth of character for even better results, though both methods are time-consuming and tend to drive brewmasters insane.

The Harvest Moon pumkin ale which I tried this evening poured a rich orange color with quite a bit of lacing and a smell of cloves and nutmeg which hit me before the glass had reached my lips. If you are looking for a beer that is "parve" (basic lager) this is definitly not for you. However, if you want to try a beer which carries the seasoning of the fall, this would be worth a shot. The beer goes well with strong meat dishes (steaks, chops) or as a companion to a warm piece of pumpkin pie after dinner.

Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale is under the kashruth supervision of the Orthodox Union, as are all other beer produced by parent Coors Brewing Co. of Golden, Colorado. For the experts take on Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, please click here .

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

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