Fall is officially here and you know what that means; pumpkin spice everything! Over the years pumpkin has found its way into just about everything, including beer. Pumpkin beer is probably the most popular, and the most polarizing, of the fall beer selections. Whether you love it or hate, pumpkin beer isn’t going anywhere. The good news, however, is that there are still plenty of other fall beers to enjoy.
The first pumpkin beers to be brewed in America actually date back to colonial times, but they weren’t made to celebrate the season. There was a shortage of quality malt and brewers needed to find another source of fermentable sugars, so they turned to pumpkins which were abundant. Pumpkin beer was popular through the 1700’s, but in the 1800’s when malt was more readily available, the squash fell out of favor.
Fast forward to 1985 and the modern pumpkin beer as we know it was born. After reading that George Washington brewed pumpkin beer, brewer “Buffalo Bill” Owens decided to make his own version. He added pumpkin pie spice to the mix, after noticing that the brewing process mostly eliminated the natural flavor of the squash.
Try pairing pumpkin beer with a variety of holiday foods including roast turkey and chicken, root vegetables, sweet potatoes, cheese, and fall fruit like apples and pears.