I’D TAP THAT: With this beer, you get many of the Thanksgiving flavors in one bottle
Glassware – While the aroma is very important for pumpkin ales the temperature is another central factor as well. Many non-imperial pumpkin ales as best served well below room temperature and glassware that allows the beers to warm slowly is best suited for Pumpkick. Serve in a goblet, snifter, or tulip glass to get the most out of this drinking experience.
Description – Pumpkick pours a deep amber orange hue with frothy white head that leaves behind small traces of lacing on the glass. The aroma ticks all the right boxes for delicious pumpkin ale with cinnamon and nutmeg being the most pronounced with backing hints of sweet malts and cranberry tartness. The taste brings forth the pumpkin spices with cinnamon and nutmeg again being the first to make an appearance. It’s followed by hints of sweet caramel malts and cranberries on the backend which provide a wonderful kick of tartness and an almost unrecognizable flavor of lemongrass washes over quickly with a touch of earthy flavors. The flavors in Pumpkick are a bit confusing at first, especially those who are used to other pumpkin ales, but they are quite refreshing and delicious. The medium-thin body and moderate carbonation provide a wonderful base for the spices and cranberries and allow the beer to leave behind a semi-dry finish. Pumpkick is definitely a unique twist on an increasingly popular beer style.
Food Pairing – The touches of malt sweetness with pumpkin spices and cranberries make Pumpkick a dream beer to have on hand for the fall season, especially with Thanksgiving approaching. This is a beer perfectly suited to enjoy with your feast and all the leftovers. The turkey will be swept up into the malts and have the natural sweetness and juices brought forth while the cranberry sauce highlights the cranberry sweetness within the beer. Other popular side dishes such as mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing are a perfect match with Pumpkick. This is a great beer to have with the leftovers, especially the popular post-Thanksgiving sandwich, you know, the one where you put every possible leftover between two pieces of bread — turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy — yeah, that one!
The Final Word – Pumpkin ales remain a divisive beer style with many either loving them or hating them and few linger in between. However, the style can become a one trick pony with the main focus being put on the pumpkin spice flavors within and the main point to differentiate being placed upon which spice to lead the flavors. New Belgium decided to take a decidedly different route with the addition of cranberries to the mix. This addition not only added a subtle tart flavor throughout, but also transitioned this to be a beer that is as great for Halloween as it is for Thanksgiving dinner! Pumpkick is a great pumpkin ale to try for those who feel they have tried them all and are looking for something different, it is also a great beer to try for those who love cranberries!
Where can I get it?: Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at: Goldstein’s Deli- Kingston; River Grille- Plains; Sabatini’s Pizza- Exeter; The Nyx- Clarks Summit; J & H Beer- Plains; Whats Brewin 6 Pack Shop- Old Forge; Exit 190 Beer Deli- Dickson City; and State Street Bar & Grill- Clarks Summit.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: New Belgium Brewing
Style: Pumpkin Ale