Pumpkin beers have grown crazy big in popularity over the past few years, which is great for me because as you may already know, I have a bit of a pumpkin fetish. Most grocery stores stock up on the seasonal usual suspects, but many of these brews can be the commercial kind. So, where can you get a great selection of unique and harder to find craft pumpkin beers? I stumbled upon some fantastic pumpkin ales the other day at Blue Palms Brewhouse.
I stopped into Blue Palms because I wanted something other than the typical Coors or Corona they were selling at the nearby Henry Fonda Theatre Bar. Fall was sort of in the air and it was the night of the Afghan Whigs concert so I wanted to do things right. After getting my hand stamped by a security guard, I crossed over to Blue Palms Brewhouse and was surprised how full it was. At first I thought it was spillover from the concert crowd, but then I realized that the Ohio State vs. Penn State game was on the big screens inside. Owner Brian Lenzo is a big Buckeyes fan, and apparently most of the other Buckeye fans in the city were there, too.
But back to beer. Brian keeps two of his big screen TVs showing the available beer selections that are categorized by name, style, glass type, ABV % and price, and to make your pumpkin beer picking easier, he has labeled the pumpkin ales in orange. Some of the available draft pumpkin beers include Bootlegger's Pumpkin Ale, Coronado Punk' In Drublic, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, Avery Gored, Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin, Anderson Valley Pinchy Jack, Kasteel Ingelmunster Pumpkin Ale, Samuel Adams Fat Jack, Epic Pumpkin Porter and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale.
I first tried the Kasteel Ingelmunster Pumpkin Ale (7.5% ABV) that was $7.50 and served in a tulip glass. The flavors weren't too bold, but displayed some pumpkin pie notes and a dense orange color. My second beer, the Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin (9% ABV), $7.50 again and served in a goblet, was even better. More amber in hue and richer in flavor, this beer had nice spice notes of cinnamon and clove, yet not too overwhelming with pumpkin flavor.
So they're you have it. The pumpkin beer-a-polooza is at Blue Palms and so are the big Buckeye fans. Oh, and there's a new chilled cellar I noticed this time that's worth a glance if you want some rare bottle finds. Cheers and have a Happy Halloween!
Los Angeles, CA 90028