|Also From This Brewery
As everybody knows, fall is the time that pumpkins come
into season. The pumpkin, of course, is a very versatile food. You can make
soup out of it if you like, and some do. You can also use it in cookies,
cake, or the perrenia holiday favorite, pumpkin pie. I happen to enjoy
mashed pumpkin as well (try it as you would squash). And when you're done
with all that, you can always toast and eat the seeds. But the very best
thing you can do with pumpkin is to make beer with it. I may have said all
of this in another review, but youíll just have to indulge me. Hey, I just
love pumpkin .
There are more than a few pumpkin ales available across America, but most of
them are distributed only locally. For years, though, you could always count
on finding Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale pretty much anywhere you went.
Thatís mainly because Blue Moon beers are made by Coors, which affords them
the benefit of a wide distribution network.
Since I moved to Georgia a few years ago, I havenít seen Blue Moonís Pumpkin
Ale for sale. Happily, that changed this year and a large number of local
stores are carrying it. Donít be put off by the fact that Coors brews this,
either: itís a great beer with a lot of pumpkin flavor perfect for fall
Of the assorted pumpkin ales available to beer lovers, some accent the
flavor of pumpkin, some the spices traditionally found in pumpkin pie, and
some both. The Frog and Hound brewery of Willimantic, Connecticut,
now sadly defunct, made a wonderful pumpkin ale full of stringy, vegetal
pumpkin flavor. The Union Station Brewery, a brewpub in Providence,
Rhode Island, makes a delicious Pumpkin Spice ale that has lots of spice
but, surprisingly, no pumpkin.
So where does Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale fit in? I think itís in the middle
category. To be sure, there are plenty of spices here, but thereís a good
amount of pumpkin flavor too. The resulting beer is not overpowering but
very flavorful and a perfect match to a slice of pumpkin pie or other fall
fare. I like it with turkey on Thanksgiving.
Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale pours to a deep orange amber color with a light
creamy head and a slightly sweet malty nose that hints at pumpkin. The
palate starts out slightly sweet and full of rich crystal malt, then
develops notes of sweet cooked pumpkin flavor, nutmeg, and candied fruits.
The finish is nicely balanced, dry, with a lingering hint of spice.
I really like this beer, and though the notion of pumpkin in beer may seem
strange to some, it shouldnít. After all, our colonial forbears used pumpkin
as a seasoning and even a base for beer when barley and hops were in short
supply. Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale may not be the best example of the style on
the market, but it is a reliable, tasty, and readily available version. Ask
for it at a retailer near you, and tell them the Bruguru sent you.
It's September of 2007, and as I type I'm sipping a delicious cool glass of
fresh Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale. The name has changed slightly, of course, and
the label now advertises the beer as Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, with
the "Harvest Moon" in large boldface and the "Pumpkin Ale" in smaller
letters beneath. The neck label proudly proclaims this as Blue Moon beer.
The beer sis till a treat, spicy and delicious with the flavors of fall.
There has always been some debate as to whether pumpkin is actually used in
the making of this beer. Years ago, I called Coors and asked them that same
question. They stated that the beer is indeed made with "essence of
pumpkin", and the six-pack carrier lists flavors of "vine-ripened pumpkin,
cloves, nutmeg, and allspice."
Don't let the naysayers get you down. This is still a great beer, and at
just $6.49 a six-pack, a great deal too.