In our second beer-specific post, we teamed up with fellow gorehound and booze enthusiast Tom from Shit Movie Fest, one of our favorite blogs. Together we attacked some of the best seasonal and spooky themed beers to bring you this delicious, drunken report. While the Tavern is down south, Tom is up north, so together we could cover more variety as each region has different selections!
Here are a few taste tests from the tavern:
NEFARIOUS TEN PIN
Ska Brewing Company (Colorado) | 8%
This beer is light-bodied but manages to have a dark taste usually reserved for heavier brews. It’s smooth with strong coffee notes and packs some hop power for bitter beer fans as well. This is an evenly balanced espresso of a beer, and its rad label makes it truly nefarious indeed.
PUNK’N HARVEST PUMPKIN ALE
Uinta Brewing Company (Utah) | 4%
This was the wife and my least favorite of the night. It is so mild and uninteresting. It tastes more like a Kombucha than an adult beverage. We kept asking: where’s the beer? It is medium-bodied with a strong fresh pumpkin flavor, but you could achieve the same effect by throwing a pumpkin chunks into a food processor. Not a bad flavor, just not much of a beer.
Sam Adams Brewing Company (Massachusetts) | 8.5%
This is so rich and syrupy you could pour it on a pancake and have yourself a little lumberjack breakfast! Its pumpkin taste complements the sweetness typically found in an 8.5% beer. It is light on the hops, but they’re fuggles hops (the wife’s favorite). There are a few hints of nutmeg and allspice rounding out its seasonal flair, but the aftertaste is a little acidic. In the end we found it to be adequate but nothing special. Sam Adam’s Octoberfest is a better autumn beer to light our lantern.
SIBERIAN NIGHT IMPERIAL STOUT
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company (Ohio) | 9.7%
Thick, creamy, and hissing dark chocolate. This big bad wolf is a sippin’ beer for sure. Its smoky creaminess will appeal to stout lovers while the mildly bitter aftertaste should make IPA lovers howl at the moon. Go easy with this one – it sneaks up on ya’.
Look at that reaper image as opposed to the generic pumpkin all the other beers seem to sport this time of year! You know you want this one! This is an excellent pumpkin ale. It’s pleasantly spiced with hints of nutmeg and caramel, but not overwhelmingly so. We like to eat pie, not drink it in a six pack. One of our favorites of the season, that’s light-bodied enough to have a few of but malty enough to linger on the tongue. Big Boss is one of North Carolina’s best breweries, and it appeals to a horror nerd’s sensibilities with such solid selections as Blanco Diablo and Hell’s Bells. But their champion seasonal ale is their delicious pumpkin ale which they claim goes great with both zombie rituals and vampire hunts!
And now for a special taste test from Shit Movie Fest….
These four beers were shared along with my friends Jeff, Katherine, and Claire while we pre-gamed before a 35mm Screening of Pumpkinhead (how appropriate!)
All of the beers were good for their own reasons, but none of them really overwhelmed us with a strong Pumpkin Taste.
HIPP-O-LANTERN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ALE
River Horse Brewing Company (New Jersey) | 8.1%
With an ABV of 8.1% this was the strongest of the four beers we tried that night. While we all agreed it was a fine beer, we thought the Pumpkin flavor was very limited and actually tasted a lot more like spiced coffee.
NIGHT OWL PUMPKIN ALE
Elysian Brewing Company (Washington) | 6.1%
This too was very heavy on the spices and we all felt that it smelled way better then it actually tasted. Hate to say it, but this was another letdown in the non-pumpkin tasting flavor this night brought us!
SOUTHAMPTON PUMPKIN ALE
Southampton Publick House (New York) | 5.5%
This one tasted very much like a Vanilla Soda, it’s hard to explain but for some reason this beer felt like it had a lot of Carbonation to it.
Harpoon Brewing Company (Massachusetts) | 4.8%
If you happened to catch the Beer Tasting Post I did for my SMF Blog you’d know this has been my favorite of the season so far! It’s the perfect mix of apples and pumpkins and I need to get more of it before it’s no longer available!
That’s all for this roundup of spooky beers, but as October rolls in the tavern will be bringing you more special reports as these brews return from the graves to stalk the bars once again!