6 Weird Facts About Pumpkin Ales You Wish You’d Known
It won’t be long before you spot fall-themed beers in the cooler at your local supermarket or bodega. Obviously, you’ll see the classic Oktoberfest-style beers that are popular when the leaves start falling. But you’ll also already find pumpkin beers sitting on shelves, eagerly awaiting a brisk autumn day. Obviously, you’ve seen pumpkin-based beers year after year. But what do you really know about the style? Here are six weird facts about pumpkin ales you probably didn’t know.
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Pumpkin beers are nothing new.
You might assume that the rise of craft brewing created the fall-spiced, sweet monster we know as pumpkin beer. But it’s actually been brewed since the late 1700s and early 1800s.
The first modern pumpkin beer was created in the 1980s.
While pumpkin beers have existed for hundreds of years, the style we know now has only been brewed since the 1980s when Buffalo Bill’s brewery made America’s Original Pumpkin Beer.
Pumpkin beers can be quite potent.
While there are varieties that are around 5 percent ABV, some of the best on the market are barrel-aged and sit closer to 10 percent ABV. One of the best is Avery Pump(Ky)n.
Pumpkin beer is fruit beer.
Pumpkin beer is technically a fruit beer. Just like Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, technically all pumpkin beers are fruit beers because (you guessed it) pumpkins are actually fruits.
Pumpkin is only a small part of pumpkin spice.
Your pumpkin beer would taste pretty strange if it was only made with barley, hops, and mushed up pumpkin flesh. That’s why brewers also add cinnamon, cloves, and other autumnal spices.
While they are best on cool fall days, they hit shelves in early August.
Like seeing Easter candy right after Christmas, for some reason brewers release pumpkin beers during the early days of August when the weather is the hottest (aka the one time of year you definitely won’t have any interest in rich, sweet, pumpkin-based brews).