Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Drinker: Pumpkin Beer Tasting

Halloween is here and what better way to enjoy the weekend then with a pumpkin ale. This week, I invited some friends over for a pumpkin beer tasting where we sipped, compared, and critiqued a few local pumpkin ales. Pumpkin ales have been hugely popular this year with most liquor stores selling out faster then they can stock it. So you better hurry if you'd like to try some for yourself or have on hand as an adult treat this weekend.

Phillips Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale ($5.90, 650 ml bottle, 5% alc)
The Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale was the favorite of the evening. Once again, Matt Phillips has created a great tasting beer and proves himself as one of the
best brewers in B.C. The ale has a nice pumpkin flavour that is perfectly balanced with allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The beer also has a warm, orange colour that looks a little more special then you're regular pale ale. And that's because it is. website.

Howe Sound Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale ($9.90, 1 litre bottle, 8% alc)
Howe Sound Brewery in Squamish was the clear runner up of the evening. The ale has a deliciously sweet and boozy taste thanks to its higher alcohol content. For this beer, Howe Sound combines pumpkin with distinctive brown sugar and molasses flavours for a nice, rich ale. Along with a copper, amber colour, this beer is a tasty choice. And, a fun plus is that it comes in a big, one litre bottle with a cap for re-sealing. website.

Interesting side note about Imperial beers is that traditionally, Imperial referred to beer that was produced for the Russian Court and had a much strong taste (because it aged while transported overseas). Brewers now use the term to market their artistic creation of stronger, hoppier versions of traditional old world beers and new world beers. Aledale Brewing Blog.

Red Racer Pumpkin Ale ($12.50, 6-pack of cans, 5% alc)
I've been told that I was lucky to find this one because most liquor stores have sold out of it. Red Racer's Pumpkin Ale is a drinking man's beer. With only a subtle hint of pumpkin, you could easily drink this beer all night without feeling like you've eaten a whole pumpkin. But, it's also for this reason that it was our third place finisher of the evening. Coming out of Central City Brewing Co. in Surrey, this one just didn't compare with the beautiful flavours and spices of Phillips' Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale. website.

Peter, Peter pumpkin drinker,
had a beer and loved his liquor.
One after one he drank them all,
and all his friends had such a ball.


Anya C said...

Great reviews, and welcome sidenotes. Glad to see you did all your homework, thoroughly too. Boo/Cheers!

YRS said...

This is truly bizarre...

I glanced at your pumpkin muffin recipe the other day. Today I picked up a bottle of the Phillips and Howe Sound pumpkin brews, and I thought I'd come and add to your celebration of pumpkin, only to discover you were way ahead of me.

Great foodies think alike.

Toccata said...

Did you try Swan's Pumpkin Ale? It was a hit around here. I saw the Phillips on the shelf next time I'll have to try and snag one and give it a try.

Eva said...

I love the crooked tooth festive! can't wait to try it...this could be a bad weekend...pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie and halloween candy...YES!

Melody Wey said...

Thanks for all the comments and good point about Swan's Pumpkin Ale. They were sold out of it this week, but it's back in stock today. So, guess what I'm heading out to pick up? I'll add it to the list once I've tried it.


Heatherness said...

I love pumpkin beer and can add this as one of my many reasons why I curse my gluten sensitivity!

Melody Wey said...

Heather, have you come across Dollop of Cream yet? It's another Vancouver Island food blog that has mostly gluten free recipes- the recipes (and pictures) all look amazing.