Try to name a beer category that’s more disparaged than pumpkin beer. We’ll wait. The style is relentlessly mocked, and often for good reason. At its worst, pumpkin beer is cloyingly sweet and full of clove, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon — the flavors we’ve come to accept as “pumpkin,” yet rarely contain any actual pumpkin. In this golden age of brewing, however, true pumpkin beers exist if you know where to look.
So hold your thoughts on pumpkin-flavored everything for a minute and grab a beer. These eight pumpkin beers use real gourds (and the occasional fall spice mix) to create a beer that will please both the crowd that lines up for Starbucks PSLs and the haters who believe “real beer” can’t be made with ingredients from a pumpkin patch.