Technically, it is still summer. But based on the beer shelves full of pumpkin beers, breweries would have us believe fall came weeks ago. Love it or hate it, pumpkin beer is here.
It seems from twitter and other social media that people have some pretty intense opinions about the pumpkin beer thing. This includes me.
First of all, I am most definitely of the opinion that pumpkin anything should be reserved for when it is actually fall, so I’m always irked to see pumpkin beers out in August. What is that about!?
I’m just not ready for summer to be over I guess.
In terms of the beer itself, there are those people that think of pumpkin beer as a well-spiced (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.) fall ale. I am personally of the opinion that pumpkin beers should taste like rich, sweet pumpkin, with just a hint of spice. So for me, Southern Tier Pumpking, a favorite of many, is gross. Again, just my opinion, this is a blog after all.
Of course you *could* spice this beer to high heaven if you want, but then we couldn’t be friends. Just kidding! Sort of.
We decided that rather than add pumpkin pie spice or the like, we’d use a Trappist Belgian yeast for some extra fruity and spicy goodness. (If you ARE going to spice this beer up,
don’t tell me about it I’d probably use a non-Belgian yeast that can tolerate high ABV (like WLP001). Up to you. Technically, per Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines, using the Trappist yeast makes this beer more a Belgian specialty ale, since we’re using a Belgian yeast for this “barleywine,” and adding pumpkin too, but whatevs.
So let’s talk about basic barleywine. Continue reading How to make Pumpkin “Barleywine”