Professionals, do not try this at home. Amateurs? Go for it.
Welcome to Tapped in, one thing Brendan Kergin writes. It’s about local beer and the culture (as in social behavior, not yeast) for the people who like Vancouver’s beer and lager scene, but are not. just like with it.
Because birthdays can be too fun, this year I decided to integrate work into it, by asking / forcing friends to drink a random bunch of pumpkin beer available at a local liquor store, and then share their thoughts.
By all accounts, we literally emptied the store of all its pumpkin beer stock. So no, these are not the best or most interesting pumpkin beers on the market right now. These are the top five available at the time, and one of them my sister decided to grab at the last minute from Vancouver. And we’re going to do this in the order we drank them, as it’s a little skewed to move through seven beers, how the last few are described.
Pumpkin Oktoberfest Schadenfreude from Parallel 49
Everyone is excited about pumpkin beer at this time. For some of us, it’s the first of the season, and while some may think they’re gimmicky, it’s a welcome variation.
Also because it is the first, everyone has thoughts. Jordy is a simple “I like it”, while Matt gives it a much more pop culture-savvy rating: “7.5 David S. Pumpkins.”
This classification system will never be used again.
More useful is Andrew’s observation that this seems to be akin to P49’s ever popular Gypsy Tears, albeit with a pumpkin angle, and it’s also a lager, not an ale, but the two are not odd.
Most people ultimately rank this at the higher end of the scale, but agree that it is not the most pumpkin-like entry.
Chocolate Pumpkin Porter Lost Souls from Parallel 49
Short story, dark and sweet, a bit like Stranger Things.
This is not a “crushable beer,” as Ryan calls it, or as my mother (yes, she tried them, too) says, “It’s not wine.”
She’s not mistaken, but somehow it does not matter.
More useful is that this one also does not lean on its pumpkin flavors, and gets much more out of the chocolate and stout parts.
Away from the topic of taste, Matt says it’s the kind of beer you can impress your beer nerd friends with. None of us are real beer nerds, so none of us are really impressed.
Pumpkin Pie Ale from Storm Brewing
Ahh yes, the pie beer. If pumpkin pie is a favorite but you are out of solids, consider this beer; it is more pi-like than 3.14.
Thanks to the seven people who easily snorted at the last joke. I see you (not in a creepy way) and it’s appreciated.
I’m not going to bury this too deep, this was the most popular of the picks of the day, despite it being compared to a dreaded pumpkin-spice latte by my dad.
Although it was high on the pie scale, it also had a lot more of the pumpkin we had lacked in the previous couple, which may be why it was so popular.
Jordy gave it 7 out of 10 pumpkins for how pumpkin-like it was, but this was again a rating system we never used again.
Full Patch Pumpkin Season from Longwood Brewery
First, it’s an interesting move to call something “Full Patch” in a city as associated with Hells Angels as Nanaimo. Fed, even.
This … was not a popular choice (sorry LB). After following the well-rounded offer from Storm, this was much less … well, round. More two-dimensional. It was sweet, and even though it’s fine for a season, we did not get any of the spicy, herbal goodies one would expect.
There was a chance that this one had spent too much time on the shelf, to be honest.
However, it was pumpkin-like!
Pumpkin Ale from Steamworks
Ok, do not lie, this is where it starts to get hazy and the notes … are missing.
Everyone enjoyed a slightly different spice palate; for us, this was dominated by something more in the cardamom or ginger area.
Cozy and very much in line with the usual pumpkin beers.
Crookeder Tooth from Phillips Brewing
The memories of this are foggy and past me really screwed present me on note-taking. Here is the full, unabridged version I wrote down:
“Pumkiny [sic]. “
I do not know how I ended up with a “stunned mouth”, but I know that next year I will have to take another research expedition to find out.
Have an idea of what in the Vancouver beer world Brendan should aim for with his laser-focused brai – Oh, a piece of candy! – n on next? Send him an email via email. Here is his email address: email@example.com. He’s also on Twitter for the 12 people who still use it: @bkergin