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EPICURE: In the Drink


Suds of Autumn

To hops and barley enthusiasts, October is akin to Christmas—31 days to savor and celebrate all things beer. And with so many microbreweries concocting intriguing (and intoxicating) batches all year long, the tasting has never been better. l Gaining in popularity are pumpkin ales, less bitter and robust than the Oktoberfest-style lagers typically consumed this time of year. Made with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice and fresh pumpkin pulp, they have a relatively short bottling season. Some varieties give a starchy mouth feel, but for the most part, lingering flavors taste like pumpkin pie.

At the Beer Yard in Wayne, the house favorites are Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale and Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, relatively local brews. (Weyerbacher claims to be heartier, spicier and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny.”) For a taste test of your own, try Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale and North Holland Ichabod Ale by the bottle, or head to Rock Bottom brewery in King of Prussia for a growler of their pumpkin spiced ale available on tap now through November.