|Also From This Brewery
Yowza! Wow! Yikes! Yipee! Iím in love
people. Because when it comes to pumpkin beers, Buffalo Billís Pumpkin
Ale may well be the biggest one in the patch. Itís certainly one of the
oldest pumpkin ales still being brewed today, having been around for roughly
two decades now. ďBuffalo BillĒ Owen opened his brewpub in Hayward,
California way back in 1983; Pumpkin Ale was one of his pioneering brews.
You just couldnít find pumpkin ales on every store shelf in those days.
Today, lots of breweries make them. From large brewers like Coors to micros
like Dogfish Head, beers made with pumpkin are becoming more and more
common. Many brewpubs offer them too. And why not? Pumpkin ales have been
around since colonial times, in fact, it is rumored that Buffalo Billís
version is based on a recipe by none other than George Washington.
Pumpkin ales are, I think, the perfect fall beers, perhaps even more so than
are Oktoberfest brews. After all, the pumpkin is the official
vegetable of fall and winter. Itís so very versatile, too. We carve faces
into it for Halloween, and make pies out of it for Thanksgiving and
Christmas. What a truly festive gourd it is.
Pumpkin ales go equally well with the holidays. Of course, I donít suggest
passing them out to the Trick-or-Treaters on All Hallows Eve, but donít you
deserve a treat yourself after handing out all that candy? Pumpkin ales pair
perfectly with pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and Christmas, too.
Buffalo Billís Pumpkin Ale is now brewed and bottled by the Portland Brewing
Company of Portland, Oregon. Not too long ago, it was brewed in Willimantic,
Connecticut by the Old Wyndham Brewery, now sadly defunct. This is a beer
that gets around, it seems.
Buffalo Billís Pumpkin Ale pours to a golden orange color with a very
light head formation and a wonderfully spicy nose thatís reminiscent of the
first whiff of a freshly baked pumpkin pie. The palate is based on a firm
crystal malt background but it is the pumpkin and spices that predominate.
First the spices: cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, all in perfect proportion.
They meld nicely with the meaty, squashy-like, stringy pumpkin flavors right
on into the spice-balanced finish.
Lots of pumpkin ales are described as a ďslice of pumpkin pie in a glassĒ.
This one, though, is probably the closest to that description that I can
think of. Itís even better than Old Wyndhamís version, which leaned more to
the ďstringyĒpumpkin side I think. This one is perfectly balanced between
pumpkin and spice. It should not be missed.