I tried 12 different pumpkin beers and this is what I thought! The beers ranged from super subtle in terms of pumpkin and fall spice flavor, to super deep and rich, to notes of bourbon and rum, to super light and drinkable. There’s a little bit of something for everyone – such a great resource for pumpkin beer drinking this fall!
It’s here! I’ve been SO excited to share this post with you guys. When I first asked if you’d be interested on Instagram, you guys gave me an overwhelming yes! So many of you loved the same pumpkin beers that I do, but wanted to know about more of them! Without having to buy the whole seasonal beer section of the liquor store! I hear you. I did the (very difficult) work of taste testing all of them and had so. much. fun.
So just a little disclaimer – these are in no particular order. Just the order I tasted them in!
I kept things in mind like color, my immediate initial thoughts after the first sip, drinkability, how they compared to the others, and amount of pumpkin/spice flavor!
I will tell you my favorites though! So first up…
1. DOGFISH HEAD PUNKIN ALE
This one struck me as a really pretty medium amber color. It looked like what I expect a pumpkin beer to look like! It was super drinkable, unlike a lot of pumpkin beers when you feel like you can only have one because they’re so rich! I liked it a lot, but it almost had a undetectable pumpkin taste, and no spice taste at all. Really good, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for that pumpkin-y spice flavor!
2. KENTUCKY PUMPKIN BARREL ALE
This one was similar in color to the Dogfish Head, but more of a medium orangey amber (as you can see!). It’s aged in bourbon barrels, so you definitely taste the bourbon here. If you like bourbon, you’ll like this. I like bourbon a lot, but not really in my beer I’ve realized. I didn’t love it, and there wasn’t any pumpkin taste. The bourbon really overpowered it. My mom mentioned that it was “thin” tasting and I definitely agree. It didn’t have any richness or depth which I look for in a pumpkin beer!
3. BLUE MOON HARVEST PUMPKIN WHEAT
The Blue Moon is a medium to dark amber, definitely deeper than the first two. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and it’s super drinkable. I definitely tasted the pumpkin and spice, but it was a light to medium amount of those flavors. I really enjoyed this one and I’d get it again!
4. POST ROAD PUMPKIN ALE
This one had a fruity nose – almost cidery! I really enjoyed this one a lot, and it was light, but a little deeper than a lager. There wasn’t a lot of pumpkin – the flavor there was extremely subtle. I’d say it’s a super drinkable fall beer, and it was actually my mom’s favorite of the bunch! I was surprised how much we both liked this one, especially because I had never heard of it!
5. SCHLAFLY PUMPKIN ALE
So this is definitely a popular one! A lot of you mentioned to me on Instagram that this was your favorite! I’d have to agree. It’s definitely in my top 2 or 3 that I’ve ever tried. It’s definitely a super rich, deep amber/brown color (as you can see!), and it has a super strong pumpkin and spice flavor, which is what I love about it. It’s for sure the most “pumpkin beer” beer I’ve ever tried. Such great flavor. If you’re looking for the quintessential pumpkin beer for fall, this is it!
6. SHIPYARD PUMPKINHEAD
This one was a super light lager – almost along the lines of a Miller Lite or something similar. It had a really subtle pumpkin undertone, and no spice taste. I’m not sure if I’d buy it again, just because I like my pumpkin beers to be more pumpkin-y! And I’d rather buy a different kind of light beer that’s better, if that’s what I’m looking for. You know?
7. SARANAC PUMPKIN ALE
This one is more of a medium amber, not light like the Shipyard. Despite how it looks, it really didn’t have much of a taste at all. I didn’t get any pumpkin or spice flavor, it just tasted flat to me. I don’t think I’d get it again! It didn’t taste bad by any means, it’s just not what I look for in a pumpkin beer!
8. SOUTHERN TIER PUMKING
This is another pumpkin beer that you guys mentioned as one of your favorites, and it’s one of mine too, if not my favorite! Depending on the day. It’s a lighter lager color, definitely pumpkin-y, with subtle spice flavor. It’s super drinkable, like I could have more than one of them for sure. A lot of places serve it with a cinnamon rim which is even better. Definitely a go-to of mine because it’s not overly pumpkin-y, but you sill get that autumn flavor. If I’m buying pumpkin beer for a crowd, I usually go with this one because it’s always well-liked all around!
9. HEAVY SEAS THE GREATER PUMPKIN
This one was aged in bourbon barrels, and I didn’t like it at all. I like bourbon cocktails, but this had a SUPER strong bourbon taste – and a strong alcohol taste. It tasted almost like 1/3 of the bottle was filled with straight bourbon. It had a strong spice taste too, and a subtle pumpkin taste. I wouldn’t buy it again just because I don’t like bourbon tasting beer, but if you really love bourbon, you’d probably love this!
10. ELYSIAN GREAT PUMPKIN
I really liked this one! Super pumpkin spice forward – it immediately hit me on the nose. It was also nutty from the roasted pumpkin seeds it’s brewed with! I thought that was really unique and different. I like nutty tasting things, so I loved this. It was also clove and nutmeg forward, which I really liked! This is another one I’d describe as being what a pumpkin beer should be!
11.ELYSIAN PUNKUCCINO COFFEE PUMPKIN ALE
I was actually super surprised at how much I liked this one. As you can see it’s super rich! I wouldn’t be able to have a full glass. It actually tasted exactly like a pumpkin spice latte. It had rich espresso flavor, a subtle sweetness, and it was super smooth. I really got the pumpkin and spice notes immediately after trying it – and it literally tasted like dessert. I could tell they used really good quality coffee in it too. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise though, since I love fall spices and coffee!
12. BARREL HOUSE SERIES RUM BARREL AGED PUMKING
This one had a suuuuper strong alcohol/rum taste. I don’t usually like rum, unless it’s in a piña colada and I’m on a beach somewhere. It definitely had a subtle spice flavor, but not a lot. It was overall too strong for me, kind of similar to the Heavy Seas beer in that it tasted like it had shots of rum in it! If you like rum though, you’d probably like it!
So overall – my favorites are Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Southern Tier Pumking, Elysian Great Pumpkin, and Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat! Just depending on the day and what I’m in the mood for, those are definitely my go-to’s.
This was seriously SO MUCH FUN and I hope it’s helpful to all of you!
Comment and let me know what your favorite pumpkin beers are – I know I just scratched the surface because there are literally so many out there! I’d love to know your faves!
(Just a little disclaimer: this post is not sponsored at all – all of the beers were purchased by me! I hope this information is a helpful resource as you look for your favorite pumpkin beers to enjoy this season!)