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Hoppy Hour: The Beer Essentials

8 Pumpkin Beers to Get You in the Halloween Spirit!

By: Maren Swanson • September 20th, 2014

8 Pumpkin Beers to Get You in the Halloween Spirit! #fall #pumpkin #beer #Halloween

Beer fan? I guess the more important question begs are you a pumpkin beer fan? The pumpkin craze that swept our nation years ago is still going strong and now you can even enjoy a cold, crisp pumpkin beer. It's time to ditch those light, citrusy summer ales and go for a spicier, heartier brew. Whether you are gearing up for a Halloween party or just a risk-taker that wants to get in the spirit of the fall season, then we have the list for you! Here's 8 pumpkin-flavored beers that won't be on the market all year long (most of them), so get crackin' on these seasonal spooktacular finds before they're gone. What's next, orange wine? Oh wait, they just started making that, too...

1. New Belgian Brewing Pumpkick

New Belgium Brewing Pumpkick Beer #pumpkin #beer

Looking for a spiced seasonal ale with a killer label and great taste? Pumpkick beer, already available on grocery store shelves, is brewed with actual pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, but the brewers at New Belgium say it's the touch of cranberries and lemon grass that will make you grin like a crazy Jack-O-Lantern.

ABV: 6%

2. Terrapin Pumpkin Pie Porter

Terrapin Pumpkin Pie Porter #pumpkin #beer #pumpkinpie

Terrapin Pumpkin Pie Porter sounds like dessert deliciousness in a bottle. According to taste testers, the dark Porter is packed with pumpkin pie essence both on the nose and in its flavor. The bottle design is rad; a 22 oz bottle sealed with an orange wax seal. Tracking this beer down may be a slog, but we found some distributor locations that may be able to help.

ABV: 9.2%

3. Harpoon Pumpkin UFO Ale

Harpoon Pumpkin UFO #pumpkin #beer

Harpoon Brewery made this beer because, well, they really like pumpkin pie. Who doesn't? Thankfully, they've brewed a pumpkin-crowd-pleasing unfiltered seasonal ale with hints of pumpkin, spice and everything nice, giving it a smooth finish and slightly sweet flavor. It's available from August to November on draft.

ABV: 5.9%

4. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

This label is a little freaky - not gonna lie. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale debuted in 1994 and and they take their pumpkin ale seriously. Their Punkin Ale won first prize at the Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest in Delaware that year - and that was before they even opened their doors for business. The brewery makes their seasonal ale with pumpkin "meat," brown sugar and spices, making this full-bodied brown ale earn an 89 score on Beer Advocate.

ABV: 7%

5. Punkless Dunkel Pumpkin Ale

Punkless Dunkel Pumpkin Ale#pumpkin #beer #Halloween

Ok, this label is even freakier. Originally named Punkel Dunkel (trademark issues), the new Punkless Dunkle Pumpkin Ale (same beer) became available on September 3rd from Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co. This German style wheat pumpkin is distributed on draft and 22 oz bottles with flavors of dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Do we care that the name changed? Heck, no. Beer enthusiasts have given the Punkless Dunkle Pumpkin Ale a 91 score on, making this bottle a keeper.

ABV: 8.8%

6. Samuel Adam's Fat Jack

Samuel Adam's Fat Jack #pumpkin #beer #Halloween @lovehappyhour

We all know Samuel Adams takes beer seriously, but what is it about their double pumpkin beer that makes it so special? The real secret in their sauce is 28 pounds of pumpkin per barrel. Holy pumpkin. Smooth, rich flavors laced with traditional pumpkin spices and hop varieties of East Kent Goldings and Fuggles make this seasonal Sam with sampling.

ABV: 8.5%

7. Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl

Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl Beer #pumpkin #beer #bourbon

Turkey and pumpkin are a classic match at Thanksgiving, but have you tried them together in a beer? Anderson Valley brewing company in Boonville, California has created a bourbon barrel-aged pumpkin ale as part of the Wild Turkey Barl Series. Aged 6 months in Wild Turkey 101 barrels with flavors of bourbon, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, we believe this brew screams beer float (hint: pair with pumpkin ice cream).

ABV: 8.5%

8. Witch's Hair Pumpkin Ale

Witch's Hair Pumpkin Ale #pumpkin #beer #fall #witch

We thought Samuel Adams used a lot of pumpkin for their Fat Jack, but Twisted Manzanita Ales has them beat with their Witch's Hair Pumpkin Ale. The brewery boasts 30 pounds of fresh, organic pumpkin in each barrel of their pumpkin beer - now that's commitment. Flavors of vanilla, spice and molasses will keep you sneaking several swigs this October.

ABV: 8.8%