Glassware: Pumpkin ales are spiced ales and of course spices are only as good as their aromas so, to truly appreciate these beers, proper glassware is a must. The rich and warming spices notes are perfectly captured in glassware that is tapered in some manner creating an opening that does not allow the aromas to quickly leave the glass. A snifter is always a great choice for capturing aromas however a nonic pint or willi becher glass will also do wonders for the delicious fall beer.
Description: Susquehanna Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale pours orange amber color with a frothy off white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a very faint lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of pumpkin spice with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger backed by hints of sweet crystal malts. The taste follows the nose with pumpkin spice notes up front that give way to a smooth sweet malt taste leaving behind hints of caramel and candied sugar. This is a beer that can tout itself as pumpkin pie in a glass but it is more on the light side of the mouthfeel which keeps it from being too overly sweet as some pumpkin ales can become. The moderate carbonation and medium mouthfeel give this beer a smooth, easy drinking characteristic which makes for a pumpkin ale that can be enjoyed in large quantities. SBC has certainly brewed a beer that has earned its place in your fridge.
Food Pairing: Pumpkin ales are a fall seasonal beer, especially those which include fresh pumpkin in the recipe. The fall season is when things start to cool off. We get ready for winter and celebrate both Halloween and Thanksgiving in between. It is also a time when warm and hearty foods begin to make appearances on our plates and push aside the lighter summer fare. This makes pumpkin ales a great pairing for these foods. Try pairing this beer with a rich hearty beef stew, but not one that is overly spiced as the lighter qualities of this beer will get lost in the mix. This pumpkin ale is great to stock up on and save for Thanksgiving as a perfect match for turkey and cranberries. The sessionable qualities of this beer also make it ideal with popular fall desserts such as cider donuts, pumpkin pies, apple crisps, campfire s’mores, or even a decadent piece of carrot cake. This is a beer that will impart an extra layer of flavor to your dish and help make this fall even more special.
The Final Word: Susquehanna Brewing Company has gained a loyal following since opening its doors in 2012 and with delicious and sessionable beers, it is easy to see why. While some pumpkin beers can become veritable spice bombs, SBC’s Pumpkin Ale is delicately spiced with just the right balance to impart great aroma and taste without any residual cloying flavors. The 4.8 percent ABV is a welcome sight when many pumpkin ales tend to lean toward 9 percent ABV, thus making most of them a one and done type beer. Instead this pumpkin ale can be enjoyed long into the evening around a warm campfire to really help celebrate the impending fall season. This beer is brewed in NEPA and if you are a fan of pumpkin ales this is a must try.
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- Susquehanna Brewing Company
Beer- Pumpkin Ale
Style- Pumpkin Ale