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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Baltic-style Porter (2014)

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Baltic-style Porter is 8.2% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz can into a porter glass.

Appearance: A slightly splashy pour gave up about a finger and a half of light brown and creamy foam, which had good retention and clung to the sides of the glass as it slowly dissipated. The color is a very dark brown/black, with very little light getting through. It looks to have moderate carbonation, with some bubbles rising along the sides of the glass.

Smell: This has a great roasty malt aroma, along with a mild spice bill and some mild vegetal pumpkin around the edges. The malt is dark with strong roast, some smokiness, as well as some coffee and cocoa. I get some spicing, with the likes of cinnamon and nutmeg, perhaps some clove too. The beer has a dark burnt sugar and molasses smell to it. Not much by way of a hop profile. Good aroma, strong roast.

Taste: This has strong roastiness to it, with dark, earthy, and bitter (but pleasant) malt. I get cocoa, some smoke, and dark molasses flavors. There is some very mild pumpkin that sets in a little later, but nothing remarkable.  This dark roast is set against some smooth sweetness of molasses, dark chocolate, and a blend of spices. The spices are hard to discern, given the strength of the roast, but I get something like nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. There is little by way of a hops profile in this, save for some balancing hops. This finishes to let the roastiness of the malt break past the smooth sweetness and hang out for a long while in the aftertaste. The roast is not going anywhere after the sip. Some dark roast and bark-like bitterness stay in the aftertaste for a good stretch.

Feel: This is medium bodied plus, though it is surprisingly thin in body, given the strength of flavor and intense roast. This has that real punchy and attention grabbing roast, which persists throughout, and gives a texture to this beer. There is a little creaminess, but it otherwise doesn’t have more complexity to its feel. A slight alcohol bite at the end. Pretty good here.

Drinkability: For a strong and roasty Baltic-style porter, this drinks pretty well. The relentless roast and the mild alcohol bite do detract some. This is not one to drink all night. Not quite a sipper, but something you won’t breeze through. It is not your smooth 4% fresh stout.

Overall: This is a really enjoyable Baltic-style porter. It has outrageous roast, which doesn’t go away. This is balanced fairly well by a strong and somewhat smooth malt backbone. But the roast is still a bit aggressive for me in this. Because of this, both the spices and (to some extent) the pumpkin get lost. After having about 8 sips, I don’t get much pumpkin at all. In fact, at this point I wouldn’t say it has any pumpkin. I still really enjoy the flavors, and the little pumpkin presence it does have. It is a really enjoyable drink. I am just not apt to point to this one as a top pumpkin porter.

Overall Rating: ***

photo 5 (1)About 21st Amendment, Elysian, and this beer: Last year I wrote about this beer, and this collaboration project, in my 2013 review. This is one of two beers that came out last year, both called “He Said”. They are sold as a 4-pack, and are a collaboration between 21st Amendment from San Francisco, California, and Elysian from Seattle, Washington. Last night I reviewed the other beer in this collaboration pack, a Belgian-style tripel.

This Baltic-style porter, just like last night’s Belgian-style tripel, is 8.2% ABV. It is brewed with pumpkin and some spicing of caraway seed and Vietnamese cinnamon. The ingredients in this beer, and the process for making it, get much more attention in my 2013 review.

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Belgian-style Tripel (2014)

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Belgian-style Tripel is 8.2% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz can into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: An easy pour produced just a finger of thinner but bright off-white foam, which slowly resolved itself into a thin layer of creamy foam atop the beer, along with some foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. This has a mostly very clear golden to light amber color. Really bright color, with lots of light coming through. There is just a little haze amidst the many carbonation bubbles rising, suggesting moderate to heavy carbonation.

Smell: Here I get some nice Belgiany yeast, some candi sugar, and some milder vegetal pumpkin. This certainly smells on the sweet side, and has a nice blend of spice to it. The spices are sort of earthy, but more herbal and somewhat medicinal (in a good way). There is also a kind of fresh subdued sage-like minty thing going on, which is nice. Not the standard pumpkin pie spices at all. The malt is smooth and sweet, with some bread to it. Nice and very interesting aroma. Now for a sip.

Taste: This gives me a nice yeasty earthiness and an herbal profile of spice. The spice is sort of like a woody herb like, sage, which is set against sweet tripel flavors. There is also some anise. I get some candi sugar, and some sweet (but not overly heavy) and smooth flavors from the malt. There is a breadiness to this, laying down a nice base layer of malt. I do get some vegetal pumpkin in this, but it takes a little bit of a backseat to the herbs and the sweet candi sugar. The hops in this are really nicely balanced: great complex bitterness with some floral and citrus notes. This does have great flavors, with really interesting and enjoyable spice. This finishes with the sweet tripel flavors giving way to more of the restrained bitterness from the hops, yeast, and woody and earthy spice. There is a noticeable but not overwhelming alcohol bite towards the end, which is noticeable a still into the earthy and herbal aftertaste. Not a standard pumpkin ale at all. A great Belgian-style offering, with a really unique spice profile.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with moderate plus carbonation. The feel is really nice. You get smooth malt with that belgian sugar kind of pop. This is then set against some herbal spice and some earthy yeast to add a richness and more of a roundness. I love saisons and, more generally, Belgian-style offerings. So I say great here.

Drinkability: This drinks really well for a beer of 8+%. The smoothness and round complexity of the feel helps. The only real detractor, save from mote bitterness lingering more on the palate than I’d like, is the mild alcohol bite. So pretty good here.

Overall: This is a very tasty offering. For those folks that want to try Belgian pumpkins, I’d say this is ertainly worth a try. The real downside to this is its lack of prominent pumpkin in the flavors. The spices are just so well done, and balanced with the hops so well. It is interesting, earthy, and has lots of good qualities. The more I drink this the more I’m apt to mention anise a bit more. As a pumpkin offering, it is something I’ll probably revisit in the future, but not top tier for me. As a tripel, I’d gladly have this over a lot of other Belgian-style offerings.

Overall Rating: ***

DSC03808About 21st Amendment, Elysian, and this beer: I’ve previously written about this beer, and this collaboration project, in my 2013 review. This beer first came out last year, and is one of two beers in a collaboration 4-pack between 21st Amendment out of San Francisco, California, and Elysian out of Seattle, Washington.

This Belgian-style tripel incorporates pumpkin and interesting spicing of tarragon and galangal, and again, gets much more detail in my 2013 review. I still really enjoy it, thus my drinking it again this year. Cheers.

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Elysian “Night Owl” Pumpkin Ale (2013)

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Elysian “Night Owl” Pumpkin Ale is 5.9% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A steady pour gave a little bit of thin and bubbly off-white foam, which was gone before it came. This left just a few bubbles on top of this beer. “Night Owl” has a beautiful deep reddish orange color. The bubbles rising from the bottom suggest moderate carbonation.

Smell: The aroma is quite inviting. It has some spice and sweetness up front. I get some definite brown sugar, caramel, and notes of toffee. There is some pumpkin pie spicing of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger that all smell so fresh. This also has some toastiness to it, like from graham cracker or some bready malt. Finally, I get some vanilla, and some roasty pumpkin fruit that just bursts. This smells warm and a clear member of the pumpkin pie style. Incredible aroma.

Taste: This has a great flavor of pumpkin with roasty and vegetal dimensions, nice fresh spicing, and some pleasant woodiness. The pumpkin is nice and clear throughout, as is the spicing of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (I think). This has some brown sugar sweetness, and some nice smooth malt with caramel and toffee notes. There is some slight astringency from the pumpkin that is balanced well with the other flavors and with the round woodiness. The finishes with a little of the bright astringency coming through more, which leads into a pleasant aftertaste with toasty malt and some mild bitter spice lingering. A great tasting and well-rounded pumpkin ale.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with light to moderate carbonation. This ale has a nice complex feel. The sweetness, spice, and wood are balanced well. It has depth to the feel with some brightness from the astringency, some roundness from the wood notes, some warmth from the spicing, and some smooth sugar. Nothing drags. Good marks here.

Drinkability: This is quite drinkable for something with a  lot of flavor and some notable spice. It is smooth and even refreshing, though a little bit of the slightly sour astringent notes do pop out some. Good marks here.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer. I remember that Elysian uses pumpkin seeds in this beer, which might contribute to the woodiness in this. The roasty and vegetal pumpkin and warm fresh tasting spices are just great. This is a seriously good beer for a less than 6% ABV offering. It has great complexity, a nice and interesting feel, and great pumpkin. It is one of the best non-imperial pumpkin ales I’ve had. I like it even more than when I reviewed it last year. I would recommend this above most of the 6%ish pumpkin ales on the market.

Overall Rating: ***3/4

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About Elysian and “Night Owl”: Elysian Brewing is located in Seattle, Washington. I’ve written previously about them. See last night’s post, where I reviewed their “Hansel and Gretel” ginger pumpkin pilsner.

“Night Owl” is Elysian’s original pumpkin ale. They use 7.5 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel, adding pumpkin into the mash, the boil, and the fermenters.  The spicing consists of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. An interesting addition of both roasted and raw pumpkin seeds comes in during the mash. I think some of the deep and interesting woody spice flavors come from this addition of pumpkin seeds. Elysian uses Pale, Munich, and Crystal malts, as well as a touch of Magnum hops take this beer to 18 IBU’s and 5.9% ABV. Night Owl is my favorite of Elysian’s four bottle-released pumpkin beers. The other three include “Hansel and Gretel” ginger pumpkin pilsner, “Dark O’ The Moon” pumpkin stout, and “The Great Pumpkin” imperial pumpkin ale. So many good pumpkin offerings come out of Elysian.

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Elysian “Hansel and Gretel” Ginger Pumpkin Pilsner (2013)

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Elysian “Hansel and Gretel” Ginger Pumpkin Pilsner is 4.5% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A careful pour tossed up an inch of fizzy off-white head, which dwindled to a mere dollop on top of the beer. This beer has a bright golden yellow color with great clarity. It looks to have heavy carbonation.

Smell: There is definite strong fresh-smelling ginger to the aroma, some white pepper, and some slightly funky and earthy yeast. I’m not getting much by way of pumpkin, but some slightly astringent vegetal something or other. There is some slight honey sweetness, mild toast, and some acidic overtones. I’m interested to taste it.

Taste: To begin there is a lot of punchy ginger and some white pepper. You get some earthy notes from the spicing in this, which are enjoyable. This has some astringent squash to the flavor, but is otherwise overtaken by the strong ginger and pepper. The malt in this is slightly toasty, clean, and bready. Towards the end there is something like candi sugar, and some more mild bitterness from some fairly mellow hops and the strong ginger. This strong ginger and peppery bitterness gives a bit of a bite for the finish, and leaves some mild coarse bitterness for the dry aftertaste.

Feel: This is light bodied, with moderate to heavy carbonation. The strong ginger and pepper add some coarse texture to an otherwise pretty unassuming and flat feel. This is pretty dry, and runs a little hot because of the ginger.

Drinkability: This is pretty low in ABV, and has some smooth and mellow malt to it. The strong ginger and pepper is a nice addition, though does detract from the drinkability. It is a bit harsh, especially on the back end. Not so smooth here.

Overall: I like the pumpkin pilsner idea. I’ve had a few pumpkin lagers before, and a few hybrid styles. But everything else has been squarely in the ale camp. So this is unique. I also really enjoy the ginger presence in this. It is crisp, and has a lighter body. It doesn’t have much pumpkin to it, which I wish were a little different. Also, as noted, I think the ginger and pepper are overpowering and a bit too harsh. They do make for an interesting beer, though. This would be a nice beer to have with a curry. I’m planning on having the rest of this bottle with some Thai-style curry with peanuts, garlic, and chilis.

Overall Rating: **1/2

image (41)Elysian Brewing and “Hansel and Gretel”: Elysian Brewing was founded in 1995 in Seattle, Washington by Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhle. Dick, who is the brewmaster, produces more pumpkin ales than any other brewery in the world. I wrote a little about Elysian in this post, when I reviewed their “He Said” collaboration beers with 21st Amendment. Elysian now consists of three different brewpubs, where they often offer more than 20 different offerings across their locations. They have also won Large Brewpub and Brewmaster of the Year three times at the Great American Beer Festival! As of 2011, Elysian opened up a new production facility in Seattle’s Georgetown, which allows them to make more of their great beer and still keep its production close to home.

Elysian makes their Hansel and Gretel with pumpkin and spicing from fresh ginger. This lighter offering is hopped with Czech Saaz hops, and sits at 4.5% ABV. Hansel and Gretel is one of four pumpkin beers that Elysian releases in bottles. Check in tomorrow when I’ll review their “Night Owl” pumpkin ale.

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Two Beers Pumpkin Spice Ale (2013)

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Two Beers Pumpkin Spice Ale is 5.2% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a Belgian ale glass.

Appearance: A harder pour produced 2-3 fingers of thick and frothy light beige head, which clung a bit to the sides and settled to a thin layer after about 5 minutes. This has a golden light amber color, and is mostly clear with just a very slight haze to it. Carbonation bubbles rising suggest moderate carbonation.

Smell: I get good vegetal pumpkin with some slight sourish citrus notes, and a warmth of complex spicing to this one. I get ginger, clove, and allspice. Maybe there is come nutmeg in this too. There is some light toasty and somewhat bready malt and a kind of honey sweetness to this. Smells pretty good.

Taste: This packs a lot of spice into it. I get some fairly bold  but not caustic spice up front: clove, allspice, ginger, and maybe some of the other usual suspects. The spice profile is on the darker, woodier, and more bark-like side with clove and allspice doing quite a bit of work. There is also a pepper-like quality to the spice-profile. This also has a nice and noticeable vegetal pumpkin quality, which is accented by some light citrus notes. I get some fairly smooth malt, with the earthy and peppery spice adding some complexity. It has some honey and caramel-like sweetness to balance with all the spice. This finishes with a good bit of honey sweetness, moving into an aftertaste of peppery and woody spices. Pretty good taste.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. It is fairly soft in texture, which is really nice. The citrus notes and intense spice break that up a little bit, for a fairly dynamic feel. Pretty good marks here.

Drinkability: This is decent on this score. The spices do begin to weigh me down a bit, though each sip does contribute some citrus and sweetness to break things up. The aftertaste does leave me wanting less coarse spice on my tongue.

Overall: I enjoyed this offering. I think of it more like a spice ale with pumpkin, than a pumpkin ale with spices. Its name fits this persona, which is good. I really enjoy the warmth of the spices, but wish the aftertaste wasn’t so dominated with coarse spice. I did like the dynamic feel. As usual, I would want a bit more pumpkin flavor. But I often say that, and many don’t quite agree with me on that one. The bottle has some mountains and pine trees, which is quite fitting given the flavor and feel of this beer. It would be good for folks who like a lot of earthy spice in their fall beers.

Overall Rating: **3/4

DSC03736About Two Beers and their offering: Two Beers Brewing Company opened in Seattle, Washington in 2007. Two Beers professes a strong love for “all things Pacific Northwest and the outdoors”. One of their company slogans is “Life is just a  little more honest after two beers”. Early on at Two Beers, head brewer Joel VandenBrink worked with just two 27 gallon fermenters. So they started small, only producing 100 barrels in their first year. This year, their brewery in the SoDo district of Seattle is producing 6,000 barrels a year.

Two Beers makes their pumpkin spice ale with pumpkin, crystal and munich malt, Super Galena hops, and a spice blend of clove, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. It is 19 IBU’s, and has an original gravity of 1.054, which takes it to 5.4%. Two Beers’ pumpkin spice ale won a gold medal this year at the Washington Beer Awards.

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Baltic-style Porter (2013)

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Baltic-style Porter is 8.2% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz  can into a stout glass.

Appearance: I poured this steadily, with a little vigor at the end. I got some espresso-crema head, which slowly dissipated to a ring around the sides of the glass. There was no lacing. The color on this is an impenetrable dark brown. I see bubbles suggestive of light carbonation.

Smell: I get a great roasty malt aroma to start, and some just solid earthy dark malt. There is a molasses sweetness, alongside some vegetal pumpkin. I also get some warm spicing of something like cinnamon and something else harder to discern, and some notes of dark fruit. This smells rich and robust.

Taste: This has powerful dark and roasty malt, some sweetness of molasses and chewy dark sugar, vegetal pumpkin, and a warm spice profile. For the spice profile I am getting cinnamon, and something sort of woody and rustic. The flavors are great, and artfully crafted. There are also some notes of dark fruits and earth. The pumpkin in this is on the vegetal side, stands up pretty well to the strong roast from the malt, though it isn’t incredibly strong. This finishes with the dark molasses sweetness coming in a bit stronger and fading into the roast. The aftertaste has quite a bit of roast on the palate.

Feel: This is medium to full bodied, though a bit lighter than I was expecting for body. The roast, spices, pumpkin, and sweetness are balanced pretty well such as to not overwhelm in any one direction. This is on the sweet side, but it is not sticky or cloying or anything. The warmth from the roast and some of the spicing makes the feel really enjoyable.

Drinkability: This is pretty good on this score. It is more full-bodied, which would make this hard to gulp. But it is so smooth, doesn’t feel like it is 8+%, and doesn’t assault you even though it has powerful flavors. For something this bold, good marks here.

Overall: This is a very tasty beer, with nice roasted malt, some earthiness, and a more subdued spice profile. It has some vegetal pumpkin that comes through clearer in parts. And the flavors are all nicely balanced. I could go for a bit more pumpkin, and maybe a bit less sugar. But in any case, this is a good craft beer. It is a lovely alternative to the army of “pumpkin pie” ales (many of which I love) that typically dominate the market. I will certainly get some of this when it hits here.

Overall Rating: ***

image421st, Elysian, and the other “He Said”: I’ve written about the other face of this two-beer collaboration, the “He Said” Belgian-style Tripel, as well as the story behind this big pumpkin beer project in my last post. That “He Said” was delicious, as this beer is. 21st Amendment, famous for their great beers and their off-the-beaten-path watermelon beer, “Hell of High Watermelon” has done some other serious collaborations in the past. I remember their lovely collaboration with Ninkasi, “Allies Win the War”, which was a strong ale brewed with dates. In any case, Shaun Sullivan, who is the brewmaster at 21st, is no stranger to good and interesting brewing ideas. I asked him about his collaboration work, and how he is able to take on such big projects that involve a lot of moving pieces outside of his brewery. His answer was simple. He loves to brew beer, and experiment with friends. The secret is just to return the emails.

“He Said” Baltic-style porter is brewed with 2-row, Carafa II, Carafa III, Cara-Vienne, and Dark Munich malts. As in the other face of this 2-beer collaboration, they use both pumpkin juice and pumpkin puree. They also add a bit of spice in the whirlpool to add to the complexity of flavor. Dick Cantwell, master brewer at Elysian, spoke about liking the ability to dry spice at the end. For this beer and that purpose they use Vietnamese cinnamon (which also goes in Elysian’s “Dark O’ The Moon” pumpkin stout) image (8)and caraway seed. Shaun and Dick spoke about having a hard time getting the light spices in the kettle, and agreeing on how much to add. Dick wanted to add 17 pounds of cinnamon into the whirlpool. For the milder hop presence that this beer has, they use German Northern Brewer and Syrian Golding hops. As I said about the other “He Said” Belgian-style Tripel, I suspect that these won’t be lingering at beer stores for long.

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Belgian-style Tripel (2013)

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21st Amendment/Elysian “He Said” Belgian-style Tripel is 8.2% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz  can into a Belgian-ale glass.

Appearance: The pour gave some nice frothy bright off-white head, which was gone in just a few minutes. This left no lacing, and nothing much else either. The color is a bright and very clear honey with just a touch of orange. It looks like it has light carbonation.

Smell: This has a nice funky and strong-with-yeast aroma. The funkiness has some sour notes, and some earthiness like from a farmhouse ale. This has some spicing to it, but is not so easy to pinpoint. I am not getting very much pumpkin, maybe just a little. Though if you didn’t tell me this had pumpkin in it, I wouldn’t have mentioned it from aroma alone. There is also some white pepper to this. Overall this smells like a yeasty tripel.

Taste: Right off the bat I get a nice yeastiness, and a complex and unique spicing to this one. The spicing is just wonderful, and really interesting. Pumpkin-pie spiced pumpkin ales step aside! This has some woody licorice-like herbaciousness and a sweet wildflower honey character to it. The yeast is still there, earthy and a little bit funky. The yeast is less pronounced than in the aroma, though. There is some vegetal pumpkin to this one, that is noticeable more towards the end. The flavors are way more complex than the aroma gives them credit for. This finishes to let the spice quality give way to more of the sweet and smooth honey, with a bit more coarse candi sugar thrown in. The aftertaste has some light bitter notes from the spice and earthiness that stay with you for quite a bit.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. It has great character and structure: some yeastiness, pepper, bold sweetness, astringent pumpkin, and unique spice. So the feel is dynamic. Moreover, despite the bold spice in this, it doesn’t drag on the palate. Good marks here.

Drinkability: This is a bold beer, with a lot of complexity. So naturally, it is not super sessionable or easy-drinking. Even so, the 8% doesn’t advertise itself. The spicing and sugar really helps that here. And nothing is over-done or detracting. So decent marks here.

Overall: This has really interesting flavors. I love the complexity, the use of spice, and the overall balance. It has nice sweetness, some pumpkin, and good earthiness. I love farmhouse ales and lots of Belgian-style beers. So this one is a great one for me. I do wish the pumpkin were more present. If this had a bit more front and center pumpkin, it would be even more wonderful alongside the deep flavors and unique spicing. So I say, anyway. In any case, I am certainly going to buy some more of this once it hits markets. It was a real pleasure to drink.

Overall Rating: ***1/2

image221st Amendment, Elysian, and this beer: I had the privilege of joining a webinar (21st calls these their “weBEERnars”) this past Tuesday to taste and get some information about how this beer came about. This is one of two beers that is part of a new pumpkin beer collaboration 4-pack between 21st amendment in San Francisco, California, and you guessed it, the mecca of pumpkin beers, Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Both of these pumpkin collaborations are called “He Said” (with the other being a Baltic-style porter). The collaboration project is named after the beginnings of a relationship between Dick Cantwell, master brewer of Elysian, and Shaun O’Sullivan, master brewer at 21st Amendment. Though the guys disagree about when they first met, and when the idea of doing a pumpkin beer first got aired seriously, they agree that there were some drunken conversations about the prospect of 21st joining the pumpkin beer movement more seriously with a collaboration. Dick says he has to work hard to get breweries to brew a pumpkin beer, and that they initially don’t like the idea. He even claimed that he wants to get every brewery to make a pumpkin beer. This is serious and good commitment to a great cause. Dick Cantwell is now something like the pumpkin king of professional brewers, brewing more pumpkin beers than any other brewery in the world. The original idea between Dick and Shaun was to do something that no one else had done before, some unusual styles that they could pair together: a darker and a lighter pumpkin ale in a mixed package.

I asked Dick what started all of this enthusiasm for pumpkin beers, and all the work that goes into his giant pumpkin beer festival that is now in its 9th year. He had a funny story. He said is was partly boredom, as he was looking for something that was funny to brew. He brewed a pumpkin beer that sold really quickly, and decided to brew an imperial pumpkin beer for the 1000th batch of beer at Elysian. This was apparently the first imperial pumpkin beer on the market. Apparently, when he was trying to recreate that beer on his smaller system, he missed the gravity. After realizing he then had 3 pumpkin beers, he thought that if he brewed 3 more, he could have a small festival. As he said, from there it just kind of snowballed.image (7)

This Belgian-style tripel is brewed with 2-row and Aromatic malt, with some Belgian Candi sugar thrown in. They use both pumpkin puree and pumpkin juice in the mash and boil, which is then made very interesting and tasty with spice additions of galangal and tarragon. I’ve never before had tarragon in a pumpkin beer before. I don’t think I would have thought to use that (or galangal, for that matter); but they work great! Shaun and Dick talked about using a huge 4 and 1/2 foot by 2 foot sack of these spices for the whirlpool. They showed us some blurry but still somewhat informative picture of this overgrown mutant tea bag that was captured from someone’s camera phone. The hop profile in this beer was intentionally restrained to let the pumpkin and spice shine through, and consists of German Norther Brewer, US Golding, and Sterling.

This beer is certainly one of the most interesting pumpkin beers I’ve had. It has great flavors, a respectable pumpkin presence, and is just an artfully crafted beer. Once these 4-packs have seriously hit market, I expect they’ll be gone pretty quickly. See my thoughts on the partner “He Said” Baltic-style Porter.

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