Cicerone Anne Becerra tasted the top-rated pumpkin beers on Untapped and found there's one for every palate. 

By Maria Yagoda
October 16, 2019
Food & Wine

Whether or not you appreciate a pumpkin spice latte, there's a lot to love about pumpkin beer, because the category is so diverse. We tapped Anne Becerra, a certified cicerone, to taste twelve of the highest-rated pumpkin beers on Untapped and tell us which ones are worth our time. Plot twist? They're all pretty great, whether you're looking for something spicy, sweet, bitter, dark, or all of the above. 

Here are the stats on the twelve pumpkin beers that Becerra tasted. (Spoiler: Her favorite was the Schlafly pumpkin ale.)

For the coffee lover:

Punkaccino Bourbon Pumpkin Ale (5%)
Elysian Brewing Company, Seattle, WA 

Brewed with Stumptown coffee, this beer has delicate notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. "If someone is a little wary of pumpkin beer, this is a good option, especially if you’re a coffee drinker," says Becerra.

For the canned beer drinker: 

Pumpkin Ale (5.7%)
Montauk Brewing Company, Long Island, NY 

"It's not crazy strong, but a liltte more hefty than your average pilsner," she says, noting that the can helps protect the beer's flavor and quality. It's "like a subtle gingerbread cookie."

For the Thanksgiving host:

Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin (6.4%)
New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

With notes of cinnamon, ginger, and habanero chile peppers, this makes “a good food-friendly beer for the Thanksgiving table."

For the actual pumpkin lover:

Pumpkin Ale (7%)
Whole Hog Brewery, Stevens Point, WI

While many pumpkin beers aren't actually brewed with pumpkin, this one is. “It really is like an artisanal pumpkin pie," says Becerra. “Not overly sweet, but all the elements are still there.”

For the beer expert:

Pumpkin Ale (8%)
Schlafly, Maplewood, MO 

This one was Becerra's favorite, and is one of the more well-known pumpkin beers. "It is 8 percent, but it doesn’t taste like it," she says. "It’s really dangerous. You’re asleep on the Thanksgiving table and your family is making fun of you.”

For the pie crust aficionado: 

Pumpking 2019 (8.6%)
Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY

In addition to the pumpkin pie spices, this beer packs "buttery sweet, crusty vanilla notes to it as well.”

For the espresso drinker: 

Warlock (8.6%)
Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY

Brewed with both pumpkin and pumpkin spice, this dark beer "has a really nice roasted bitterness the way a rich shot of espresso would have."

For the bourbon snob: 

Bourbon Imperial Screamin’ Pumpkin (9%)
Griffin Claw Brewing Company, Birmingham, MI

Aged in bourbon barrels for up to 10 months, the Imperial Screamin' Pumpkin has "incredible bourbon flavor like vanilla, coconut, and caramel," says Becerra. "It's very balanced. It’s taken up a notch, but it's not scary.”

For the risk taker:

Pumpking Nitro (8.6%)
Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY

“It’s very smooth. It’s like butta," she says. "It goes down easy. But it might be a little more dangerous because it goes down so easy.”

For the punk rocker: 

Gourd Rocker Imperial Pumpkin Porter (9.4%)
Double Barley Brewing, Smithfield, NC

Roasty and dark, this porter is brewed with pounds and pounds of local pumpkin and has a nice dry finish.

For the dry beer drinker: 

Pumpkinator-Bourbon Barrel Aged (10.5%)
Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Houston, TX

Brewed with pumpkin, brown sugar, and molases, this imperial stout is dry-spiced and robust. 

For the rum drinker:

Rumpkin (17.5%)
Avery Brewing Co, Boulder, CO 

“Yeah that’s 17.5 percent," she says. "There's no getting around that. If you’re a rum drinker, you’re probably going to love this, just from the aroma.”

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