Interesting article at the web site... the web presence... of The Atlantic about pumpkin ales. I have thought about these beers for years now and have a few ideas of my own. But I still appreciate these thoughts:
Some beer styles are loved, some are ardently despised, but none is more divisive than pumpkin ales. Those who love them wait all year for their seasonal release; others can't even broach the subject without foaming at the mouth. "I hate pumpkin beers," wrote my friend and Washington City Paper beer writer Orr Stuhl. "Even picking a 'favorite' -- say, Dogfish Head's -- is like picking a favorite airborne illness."
Well, to be fair to Dogfish Head, hardly their oddest flavour. But I defend pumpkin beers. For what the represent - an indigenous North American style that has reasonably valid historic precedent - they are a hit. And the fact is they can be tasty. In the last few days, I have had a recent bottling from Ontario's Nicklebrook as well as New York's Sixpoint Autumnation. Very different beers which present that gourd the people like the most. Nicklebrook's was so authentically pie it is hard to imagine what to pair it with. Other than pie. Except it better be a pie as good as this beer. Sixpoint goes in a different direction, using the pumpkin as a flavour rather than an end result. It's like the gentler twin cousin of their Righteous Ale, the one who only shows up every fall.
Seasonal beers are big news in the US - even if Canadian drinks writers had no idea 4 years ago. Rather than slag them, why not think about what would be the equivalent for every month of the year. How many more beers could taste like pie if we put our minds to it. Right now in the stash I have a pear beer from Quebec I am quite looking forward to drinking, one of my favorite flavours. Wouldn't it be nice if each September flooded us with complex, excellent and tasty pear beers?