There’s nothing more appropriate than a delicious pumpkin beer when sweater weather rolls around—something about that warm, earthy mix of spices that makes us feel comforted and cared for.
As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason why we crave that hit of pumpkin pie spices, which is why breweries regularly crank out gourmet pints of the good stuff every year. So, although you’ll undoubtedly have plenty of pumpkin options to choose from, these are the ten best pumpkin beers to savor on the market today.
Two Road’s “Roadsmary’s Baby”
Two Road’s “Roadsmary’s Baby” is a cute play on the Roman Polanski film Rosemary’s Baby, where a doe-eyed Mia Farrow accidentally gives birth to the devil. It’s a fitting title for a seasonal offering that packs a massive punch at 6.8 percent alcohol.
Wickedly good Roadsmary’s Baby is barrel-aged in rum barrels, so it has an unparalleled depth of flavor and a unique taste. So, get it all over the eastern coast of the United States and sip on this wickedly good mix of deep pumpkin flavor and spice.
The beer is dark amber and spiked with a fantastic dose of pumpkin notes and deep oak and heady vanilla flavors. However, unlike other beers that feature vanilla, Roadsmary’s Baby doesn’t taste overly sweet or cloying.
If you love your pumpkin full-on and unfiltered, this beer was absolutely made for you, and you should certainly pick some up when fall rolls around. It’s truly a unique taste experience from beginning to end and won’t make you feel like you just binged on too much Halloween candy.
UFO has a history of making out-of-this-world beers (pardon the pun!), and “Pumpkin” is no exception. This beer takes a sharp detour from the direction that many other pumpkin beers go by staying away from dark beers and stouts and going for a hefeweizen base instead.
The hefeweizen base gives Pumpkin a lighter, more delicate flavor without actually sacrificing any other pumpkiny goodness. It’s an unexpected, refreshing take on an old favorite.
Pumpkin also has a tremendous aromatic element to it, reminiscent of the best artisanal pumpkin pie you’ve ever eaten. This easily drinkable beer won’t make you feel full, or like you just ate a ton of sugar.
Instead, you’ll be completely satisfied. Pumpkin is a light enough beer to pair well with heavy foods like dumplings, stews, or rich pasta because it doesn’t compete with different flavors.
New Belgium’s “Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin”
New Belgium’s “Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin” is easily one of the most exciting pumpkin beers on the market. For starters, it clocks in at a reasonably heavy 6.4 percent alcohol, meaning that these tasty beers can easily sneak up on you.
Secondly, it riffs off the popular Voodoo Ranger IPA instead of going for a more traditional base. Instead of an overly sweet brew, a trap that many pumpkin beers fall into, Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin goes for full-on spiciness.
Think outside of the pumpkin beer box for a minute, and you’ll imagine what New Belgium throws into this addictive brew. Aji and Habanero peppers and potent Saigon cinnamon make up the base.
Ultimately, it’s an inspired blend full of surprises from start to finish. So if you like your beer with a spicy kick but want to get that excellent pumpkin flavor in as well, this brew was made for you.
Dogfish Head’s “Punkin Ale”
Dogfish Head is one of the nation’s premier breweries, so it’s no surprise that their sweet and smooth “Punkin Ale” is a highly balanced, beautiful tribute to pumpkin beer. However, this beer isn’t too over the top; instead, hitting that sweet spot between an expertly crafted pumpkin ale and Dogfish Head’s unique spin on their beers.
Punkin Ale is full of lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, and pumpkin flavoring, but there aren’t too many other spices there to distract you from the heart of the beer. Punkin Ale is an excellent beer for those friends who swear that they hate everything pumpkin-related because it’s just subtle enough to invoke those festive autumnal flavors.
It’s one of Dogfish Head’s staple offerings, and they usually sell out almost immediately, so get yours fast.
Griffin Claw’s “Screamin’ Pumpkin”
It might seem a little odd to refer to a beer with “screamin’” in the name as subtle, but hear us out. Griffin Claw Brewing Company’s “Screamin’ Pumpkin” is nothing if not a nuanced beer. While many other pumpkin beers are jammed full of every spice under the sun, Screamin’ Pumpkin goes for subtlety.
This beer walks the line between a pumpkin beer and an Oktoberfest, putting it right up there with Dogfish Head’s Punkin as a drinkable beer for those who hate pumpkin beers. It’s drinkable and refreshing, with no overly sweet aftertaste.
Screamin’ Pumpkin is an excellent beer for watching the game or having a cold-weather BBQ outdoors with friends.
Southern Tier’s “Warlock Imperial Stout”
Southern Tier Brewing Company’s seriously spooky and incredibly tasty “Warlock Imperial Stout” is not as bitter as other stouts. That’s one of the things that sets it apart and makes it a seasonal favorite.
Warlock Imperial Stout is one of the only items on our list that doesn’t actually have “pumpkin” in the name, but don’t be fooled. This dark and decadent beer has plenty of pumpkin balanced with caramel and candy flavors and lots of deep malt.
Combining these different flavor profiles gives Warlock Imperial Stout a richly balanced palate and makes it sweet, creamy, and easy to drink. It’s hard to go wrong with this beer, and you won’t feel overly full after drinking one.
Shipyard’s “Smashed Pumpkin”
Shipyard’s “Smashed Pumpkin” clocks in at an impressive and slightly terrifying 9 percent alcohol. It’s available on much of the east coast of the United States.
Shipyard has not one but two seasonal pumpkin beers: “Pumpkinhead” and “Smashed Pumpkin.” Pumpkinhead is your well-done, standard pumpkin beer, but Smashed Pumpkin is something different.
Smashed Pumpkin has a balanced flavor portfolio that sets it apart as a gourmet beer. It’s delicately pumpkiny, spicy, and has just a hint of sweetness on the backend.
Avery Brewing Company’s “Rumpkin” is a big, beautiful, malty beer that gives you a fully rounded taste experience with every sip. This beer is one of the most potent offerings out there at a full 16.3 percent ABV, making it even more highly alcoholic than some Belgian beers on the market.
Rumpkin’s robust flavoring comes from various sources, including intensive barrel aging, which produces sugary, rum tones to the beer. Additionally, Rumpkin has the classic flavors of your favorite pumpkin beers; spice, pumpkin, and a touch of sweetness.
Where Rumpkin really hits the mark is its ability to balance flavors, marrying burnt sugar with sweet pumpkin in a way that never seems forced. That’s the true beauty of this beer.
Clever name aside, Elysian Brewing Company’s “Punkuccino” is a quirky and exciting take on a pumpkin coffee drink, except with beer. Punkuccino is mildly reminiscent of a Pumpkin Spice Latte but in the best way possible.
You’ll get all that PSL caffeinated kick in a delicious beery beverage that combines coffee, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a touch of toffee. The result is an artisan brew that doesn’t try too hard.
At 5 percent alcohol by volume, Punkaccino won’t put you under the table. This quality sets them apart from many other beers simply because they don’t pack as much of a punch.
Expect plenty of toffee and deep coffee notes with this beer, as well as a sweet cinnamon finish mixed with just the slightest touch of coffee bitterness. It’s a grown-up pumpkin beer that tastes both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
Cigar City’s “Good Gourd”
Cigar City’s “Good Gourd” tops off many a premier beer list, and there’s a good reason why: it’s pretty much the epitome of pumpkin beers. However, Good Gourd doesn’t go overboard on the pumpkin or rely on gimmicks to make it stand out; it’s just an excellent beer that hits the right notes.
Good Gourd is an Imperial Ale brewed out of Tampa, Florida. It’s no slouch at 8.8 percent alcohol. Fortunately, Cigar City is growing in popularity, and you can find “Good Gourd” in plenty of states on the East Coast of the U.S.
Good Gourd rests on a firm foundation of brown sugar, pumpkin, and cinnamon spice. It’s a pared-down, minimalist pumpkin beer that takes only the top elements of a balanced pumpkin pie and leaves the rest.
Unlike other pumpkin beers, Good Gourd doesn’t have a bitter finish. Despite its robust alcohol content, you won’t feel full after drinking one.
It’s the perfect beer to sip while sitting around a bonfire swapping ghost stories or relaxing in front of the TV watching holiday movies.