This is a personal reference more than anything – but if you find yourself agreeing with my opinions here, you may enjoy trying any of my favorites that are new to you.



pumpkin beer

Elysian just never loses this category.

  • Postdoc Brewing’s Kilty MacPumpkin did strike me as an improvement on Elysian’s Night Owl
  • My (spice-tolerant) Great Pumpkin Beer Festival group also thought highly of Postdoc Brewing’s Ghost Reaper.
  • If you are dealing with someone opposed to the very concept of pumpkin beer, someone who waxes rhapsodic about the superiority of central European beer–pfriem has the right pumpkin beer for such a one
  • Dogfish’s Punkin Ale tastes like a brown ale with Some Pumpkininess, not a desserty type
  • Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is like a pumpkin… hefe? Its principal virtue may be 4.5% ABV: one tires of how heavy the genre becomes, as though it were approximating a liqueur. A lighter, fresher pumpkin beer.
  • Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin is a more typical strength of pumpkin beer, and … eh. Doesn’t have a particular quality to recommend it in my mind.
  • Howling Gourds from Trader Joe’s – I like it! It’s a spiced beer as much as a pumpkin beer, and well-balanced as such. You could give this to someone skeptical of dessert beer.

desserty beer

  • Highwater Brewing’s Imperial Campfire Stout: too imperial for me! Gonna check out their normal one at some time. Good marshmallow flavor component.
  • Belching Beaver Brewery Peanut Butter Flavored Milk Stout is a standby of the genre. I don’t find it to be anything special, but it is nice that it is so widely available.
  • Backwoods S’mores Golden Stout: We got a growler of it and it… it does not look or taste like stout. Which is disorienting to me. As a flavored beer of some other kind, not bad, but also, surely not stout??
  • Great Divide Brewing Company’s Mexican Chocolate Yeti is a bit more bitter than I typically go for in a dessert stout or porter, but the fullness of the flavor is excellent, and this just rides like the line of spice I find pleasant.