September 28, 2012
Beer is one of Philadelphia’s claims to fame, and late summer/early fall is as good a time as any to get a refresher on what’s brewing in the city.
Check out our top picks for local pumpkin beer, including suggestions for where to find each brew (be sure to call ahead to make sure they haven’t run out).
• Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale: This Delaware brewer makes their Punkin Ale with cooked and canned pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. Punkin Ale is named after the “seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza” Punkin Chunkin. In fact, Punkin Ale made its debut when it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. And Huffington Post named it one of the 18 best pumpkin beers.
Where to find it: The Fish Finder lets you search by beer and zip code to see where each Dogfish Head brew is stocked. A few notables: Tria, Il Pittore, Tinto, Twenty Manning Grill, a. kitchen, Parc, Doobie’s, Grace Tavern and Barbuzzo.
• Iron Hill Brewery’s Cinderella’s Carriage: Iron Hill, each fall, brews up several pumpkin ales, but new this year is Cinderella’s Carriage, a light amber Belgian-style pumpkin ale spiced with cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg. The release party is this Saturday, September 29 in Maple Shade including the ceremonial tapping of the pumpkin head.
Where to find it: TBD; not released until September 29.
• Philadelphia Brewing Co. Kenzo’lantern: PBC’s brand new Kenzo’lantern tastes and looks like pumpkin pie.
Where to find it: Philly Tap Finder spotted it at Belgian Cafe and Interstate Draft House.
• Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale: Available through November, this 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is known to be heartier, spicier, and more pumpkiny (thanks to the nutmeg, cardamom and cloves) than other pumpkin ales. Huffington Post named it one of the 18 best pumpkin beers.
Where to find it: Right now, according to Philly Tap Finder, you can find Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale on tap at Farmers Cabinet, Good Dog, The P.O.P.E., Eulogy and Copabanana’s West Philly location.
• Dock Street Great Pumpkin: This fall brew from West Philly’s Dock Street Brewing Company is a smooth copper ale brewed to celebrate the fall harvest season. Creamy with a spicy kick, this beer was brewed with 150 pounds of pumpkin puree and tasty pumpkin pie spices.
Where to find it: Head to Hawthorne’s to sip on Dock Street Great Pumpkin.
• River Horse Brewing Company’s Hipp-O-Lantern: A festive ale brewed with pumpkin and molasses, Lambertville’s River Horse Brewing Company’s Hipp-O-Lantern is brewed with a variety of hand-crushed, whole spices that set up an impressive aroma and well-balanced taste. It’s available through October each year.
Where to find it: The 2nd Street Brew House on 2nd and Morris Streets is the only bar right now to get Hipp-O-Lantern on tap, according to Philly Tap Finder, in addition to, of course, the River Horse tasting room in Lambertville.
More pumpkin beers, below.
• Evil Genius Pumplestiltskin, Pumpkinstein and Trick or Treat: With not one but three pumpkin offerings, Evil Genius Beer Company out of West Grove, founded by two Villanova grads, is the jackpot for jack-o-lantern lovers. The first of the three, Pumplestiltskin,, is a crisp light Belgian Blond brewed with pumpkin and spiced with clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. The second, Pumpkinstein, has a little bit of a chocolate kick. And the third, Trick or Treat, is a rich, dark beer with chocolate and pumpkin, made by infusing hom made chocolate syrup into the beer just after fermentation.
Where to find it: Evil Genius’ Beer Finder Map lets you search by zip code to see where their brews are stocked. As far as the pumpkin ones specifically, Philly Tap Finder has it that Fox and Hound and Chestnut 7 in Philadelphia, and Side Bar & Restaurant in West Chester, stock Trick or Treat right now.
• Manayunk Brewing Company’s Yunkin Punkin: This orange-copper ale, with 6.8% alcohol, was made with 300 pounds of fresh pumpkins from Linvilla Orchards and a light blend of Manayunk Brewing Company’s secret spices.
Where to find it: Want to try this liquid slice of pumpkin pie for yourself? In addition to Manayunk Brewing Company & Restaurant’s home location, you can get it at Local 44, Memphis Taproom, Barcade and Resurrection Ale House.
• Stoudts Pumpkinfest: For a short time each fall, Stoudts brews this pumpkiny version of Oktoberfest beer with a healthy dose of roasted pumplin, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg added in the finishing tank. It’s what they called a “brewmaster reserve,” so it’s very limited in supply. The wholesaler that picks it up only receives a handful of sixtels, making it a truly rare local beer gem.
Where to find it: Stoudts Pumpkinfest won’t be available in bars until early October at the earliest, but when it is, one account that will have it is City Tap House in University City.
• Fegley’s Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin: Fegley’s Brew Works in Allentown practices strong sustainability initiatives including solar panels and LED lighting. This commitment to eco-friendliness comes through in their amber-hued Devious Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with delicious real pumpkin; pale, munich and caramel malts; and a perfect blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Word to the wise: it’s 9% ABV. Oh, and it was the 2011 Gold Medal Winner in the World Beer Championships.
Where to find it: City Tap House, Fox and Hound, Irish Pol at 3rd and Market and Jon’s Bar & Grille at 3rd and South serve Devious on tap.
• Lavery Brewing Company’s Stingy Jack: Erie-based Lavery brews up a fall beer named after the legendary Irish Jack behind today’s conventional Halloween jack-o-lanterns. Stingy Jack is less sweet and spicy than other pumpkin ales, and gets its biscuity flavor from the American pale ale malt.
Where to find it: City Tap House is the only local go-to for Lavery’s Stingy Jack.
• Barry’s Homebrew’s Halloween Home-BOO: Want to make your own pumpkin beer? On Saturday, October 13 from noon-3 p.m. at Greensgrow Farms, Jimmy McMillan from Barry’s Homebrew will be brewing and sampling a seasonal Pumpkin Bock. He’ll demo the home brewing process from start to finish. Register here; tickets are $35. And check out details on how to make Halloween Home-BOO at home here.