Gourddang it! It’s yet Pumpkin Beer season again and with mediocre Pumpkin beer at that. Now when I say mediocre beer, they’re still falling back on safe styles such as Ale, Lager, and Saisons. Actually, scratch that last one, it’s a dang shame that Great Lakes Brewery didn’t release Saison DuPump this year. It’s clearly the better one of the two offerings that they usually offer every year.
But I’m writing this blog post as a rant, more or less. Yes, you hate Pumpkin beer and you boost about it on the Social Media feed. Great, everybody has the right to dislike any styles just like I do. I dislike lactose in IPAs because it doesn’t belong there, it belongs in Milk Stouts. See? Not so hard. But I’m writing about Pumpkin beer, a style that I truly love. But this one Fall way way back, like a decade ago? Maybe less, I don’t really remember the year but I do remember where I got it though.
It’s not even Ontario Craft Beer. It’s Southern Tier Brewing out of Lakewood, New York. You know where I’m going with this. See, for a while at the LCBO, Southern Tier actually released some of their seasonal releases there such as Warlock, a Imperial Stout that was brewed with Pumpkins AND with Pumpkin Spice. As well, their over the top Imperial PumKing again, brewed with Pumpkins. There was a few other releases that was kinda crazy but hey, it was fun to try those. You can actually get these in the States (Duh!) in August or so. But I’m here to talk about Warlock. It really, really left a mark on me, most importantly, my palate. I felt that magic moment of enjoying a Warlock, a Pumpkin Stout, it was absolutely unheard of at the time. Because everybody in Ontario was only brewing Pumpkin Ale or Lager, which….was the safe way of selling through.
Warlock was released at the LCBO a few years ago, I remember living in Port Credit (Mississauga, Ontario) at the time and I had to drive to the other side of town to grab a few bottles of Warlock. It was a October night, a Saturday evening, it was misty and foggy. Perfect setting for this amazing beer. I couldn’t believe my tastebuds. This…was… the perfect Pumpkin beer that I ever had. Which leads to my next question.
Why the hell isn’t anybody brewing dark styles for the Pumpkin category? I know that Five Paddles out of Whitby tends to do one or two different styles (Porter, Stout, Brown Ale) but it’s so out of reach and usually sells out! This year alone, I got to try a UVB-76 from Wellington Brewery that was brewed with Pumpkin Spice at Welly Cask Fest. It worked for me, I liked it and it wasn’t overwhelming. At Kitchener-Waterloo Craftoberfest this year, I got to try Shakespeare Brewing Co. Pumpkin Brown Ale! It was delicious! I went back for three more refills! Heck, there is one that’s in the LCBO and it’s a Porter, it’s the Tales from the Patch by Big Rig Brewery. I haven’t had a chance to try this year’s batch though. I heard it’s not as overwhelming as last year. Interesting.
I wish that there are more Ontario Craft Breweries that would just risk it, brew a Stout, Porter, Brown Ale, Dubbel, any dark styles and brew with Pumpkin Spice or Pumpkins, whatever you want to do. All I ask…Please, more of these styles with pumpkins. You’ll be surprised at the demand for this. I’ve been advocating for dark styles with pumpkins for years and years. That group is growing. To be honest, I haven’t really had Pumpkin beer this year, I got Grim Reaper from 5 Paddles, it’s a Pumpkin Oatmeal Stout!
Ontario, just brew more stouts, porters, brown ales, dubbels, and more dark styles with PUMPKIN.
Just do it.
GOURD DANG IT, I’m just tired of the pumpkin ales and lagers.