This is a repost from Mark Harvey'sWorld and I thought I'd wrap up my seasonal (Halloween seasonal) reviews with this catch all review. I'm not sure if I'll find other pumpkin ales to review so for now I am calling it quits and I'll begin to review Christmas and Holiday beers as the holiday season wares on...
As many of my readers know I brew beer, enjoy beer and write about beer. This is not to say that I drink A LOT of beer, but it is something that I have grown to really appreciate.
Each year I await the inbound shipments of pumpkin beers - not that I am a HUGE fan of them, but there's something about getting 'em, drinking 'em and having 'em available throughout the holiday season. I headed over to the local BevMo and picked up the only four types they had. I thought I'd go ahead and review them as well. I've read about MANY others - would like to try MANY others, but unfortunately I can only get what's shipped to CA and rather than hunt down specialty pumpkin brews at small liquor stores I head to BevMo and buy what they get in. If ANYONE located in NorCal can point me toward places that carry other varieties I'd be grateful.
For some reason the reviews of this beer online have been grim. I'm not sure why.
Since Buffalo Bills is local I figured I'd post a little something I found about the brewing of their brew...
This taken from HomeBrewTalk.com (here)
Brewer: Geoff Harries of Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, California.Geoff homebrewed from 1981 to 1987. He became the head brewer at Buffalo Bill’s from '87 to '89, then the GM and head brewer at Brewpub on the Green from '90 to '93. He bought Buffalo Bill’s and is now the owner and head brewer.
We roast the pumpkins, since a raw pumpkin is really nothing but a squash and if you try to use them raw, nothing comes out of them. Roasting converts some of the starch inside the pumpkin, and lets us extract sugars and sweetness. We cook them to the point where they’re kind of done—maybe a little brown around the edges, just when they are starting to caramelize. But we don’t want them turned to mush. Since pumpkins come in all different sizes, cooking times will vary. Once they are ready we cut them open and pull out the seeds.
We always experiment with the base beer, but it’s generally a red ale/amber beer. We are looking for something with an orange to red hue. All the color in the beer comes from the malt. None comes from the pumpkin.
We go through the standard sparge. We have had trouble with this stage in the past, and what we have discovered is if you overcook the pumpkin it gets all mushy and causes the stuck mash. So, it’s important to not over roast.
Well, I enjoyed the process of drinking these four beers (minus the Wasatch) and bringing these beer reviews to you.
Grab 'em if you can find 'em and CELEBRATE! Halloween is NEARLY here!
Brewer and Beer Drinker
|Enjoying an Imperial Pumpkin Ale
at Buffalo Bill's Brewery