Ultimate Oregon Pumpkin Beer Guide

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It’s Fall, October and Pumpkin Beer season, perhaps more accurately pumpkin pie spice season. Love them or hate them, pumpkin beers as a seasonal style have exploded in the last five years but may finally be on the wane according to Forbes. Even highly ranked new pumkin ales like Ninkasi’s Imperial Pumpkin Sleigh’r, which debuted last year, is not returning. But even with declining sales, the seasonal does not appear to be going away with this weeks Elysian Great Pumpkin Roadshow traveling through Oregon and new pumpkin beers from the likes of pFriem, Alesong, Ex Novo and even pumpkin ciders from Reverend Nat’s and 2 Towns Ciderhouse.


Judging by the new Pumpkin Pie Spice Oreos or this tribute gangsta rap video by The Chive, some peoples love of pumpkin pie spiced everything means the beers are not going anywhere.

pFriem Pumpkin Bier

pFriem: Pumpkin Bier

pFriem Family Brewers new Pumpkin Bier is one of the clearest signs this style is here to stay, and probably one of the most exciting additions to be released this year. According to the website, the brewery feels the styles “…best versions use real pumpkin, while roasting the pumpkin can also add tremendous depth of character for even better results.” Fermented with Belgian Ale yeast, you can expect Pfriem’s version that is out now in bottles to have aromas of vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, and clove. Rich flavors of pumpkin pie with a touch of caramel. Finishing with a soft, creamy, and fluffy mouth feel at 6.9% Abv and 15 IBU’s. You can order a bottle here.

spice rubbed pumpkin slices after roasting, for use in Alesong's Harvest Ale

spice rubbed pumpkin slices after roasting, for use in Alesong’s Harvest Ale

Alesong: Harvest Ale

The brand new Eugene brewery from Matt van Wyk and the Coombs brothers has a draft-only pumpkin Farmhouse Ale that will be hitting next week starting October 13th in Portland and Eugene. In celebration of the harvest season, Alesong Brewing & Blending sourced locally grown ingredients for their pumpkin ale and should be commended for using real whole fresh pumpkins that were spiced and hand roasted. The local ingredients used include Wheat from Malpass Farms, Pumpkins from  Lone Pine Farms and warm fall spices from Mt. Rose Herbs in Eugene.  They describe their Harvest Ale as having a deep orange colored with subtle hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg,and ginger are wrapped around the spicy and fruit flavors of the Belgian yeast.  Harvest Ale provides the perfect balance of malt, hops, and fall spices to warm your cool Autumn evenings. It’s 6.4% abv, 10 IBU’s and Pumpkin Pie spice blend (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger) + Garam masala and Grains of paradise.

Stormbreaker Pumpkin Pedaler Label

Stormbreaker: Pumpkin Pedaler

Stormbreaker Brewing has released their Pumpkin Pedaler beer again in bottles. They use 150lbs of canned pumpkin pie mix with molasses, brown sugar, rum and pumpkin pie spices for a final product of 7.3% Abv and 13 IBUS. Pumpkin Pedaler is available now on draft and in 22oz bottles.

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Ancestry Brewing: Pumpkin Ale

The new Ancestry Brewing out of Tualatin (with a separate pub in Sellwood) has released their first Pumpkin Beer. It’s on tap now and available by the keg.

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2 Towns Ciderhouse: Hollow Jack

The love of pumpkin pie flavoring has even spread to hard ciders, this year 2 Towns Ciderhouse out of Corvallis, Oregon introduced Hollow Jack, an unfiltered pumpkin cider. With a festive combination of fall spices,  fresh-pressed Northwest apples, caramelized pumpkin and sweet potatoes they finish with a dash of honey, nutmeg, allspice and cloves to carve out its role as a seasonal limited release. It’s available now in bottles.

Rev. Nat’s Where Pumpkin Pies Go When They Die

Also Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider will be releasing “Where Pumpkin Pies Go When They Die” in late October. This hard cider will be made with actual whole pumpkin pies from Random Order Coffee House and Bakery with two pies added per barrel of hard cider!

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Oakshire: Big Black Jack

I must admit to not being a huge pumpkin beer fan myself, but Oakshire Brewing out of Eugene, Oregon’s Big Black Jack, an Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter is a fave and recently made a welcome return to draft and 22oz bottles. Spiced with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice and ginger it’s a rich toasty, chocolatey treat with not overbearing spicing. At 7.8% abv and 30 IBU’s it’s a terrific after dinner sipper.

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Cascade: Pumpkin Smash

Cascade’s 2015 Pumpkin Smash is a blend of Belgian blondes and Quads aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels for up to 22 months with pumpkin and spices. It was released on draft at the Barrel House on September 6th but was not bottled this year but there are bottles of vintage 2013 and 2014 Pumpkin Smash on sale at Cascade’s two locations. Made with house-roasted pumpkins grown on Portland’s Sauvie Island, this Northwest sour ale features robust pumpkin and spice flavors ending with a rich, warming finish.

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Laurelwood: Pumpkin Ale

Previously called “Stingy Jack”, Laurelwood has been brewing and bottling their pumpkin beer for years. 2016 was no exception and the Laurelwood Pumpkin Ale was released in early September. It’s available now in bottles.

jmp-2016

10 Barrel: Jamaican Me Pumpkin

The Bend, Oregon based 10 Barrel Brewing released their 2016 batch of Jamaican Me Pumpkin all the way back in August of this year. After barrel-aging this Imperial Pumpkin Ale for a full year in Jamaican Rum barrels, they decided to age the bottles an additional year. With over 24 months in the cellar, 10 Barrel says it’s aged to perfection. 10% ABV and available in limited release wax-dipped 22oz bottles, only at 10 Barrel pubs in Bend, Boise and Portland.

pumpkin-patch1

Rogue: Pumpkin Patch Ale

Say what you will about Rogue Brewery but they do have their own pumpkin field, growing their own fresh gourds to use in the annual release of their Pumpkin Patch Ale. The ingredients use many of their own malts and hops includingRogue Farms Dream Pumpkins; Rogue Farms Dare™, Risk™, Carafa II & Crystal Wheat Malts; Rogue Farms Independent Hops; Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Vanilla, Ginger & Nutmeg; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast. Available in 750ml bottles and draft, it’s 6.1% abv and 25 IBU’s.

Here are a few more Oregon brewed Pumpkin Ales to look out for:

Ex Novo Brewing
Beer Name: Not yet named
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.): Rye Whiskey barrel aged Biere de Garde
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): canned puree
Release Date: November

Ex Novo Brewing
Beer Name: Not yet named
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.): Pinot barrel aged Biere de Garde with Brett
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): canned puree
Release Date: November

Fort George Brewery: Drunkin Punkin
Smooth and creamy un-spiced pumpkin amber ale. 15olbs of roasted pumpkin added into the mash. 6.5% Abv

Hopworks Urban Brewery: Great Gourds of Fire
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.): Molé spiced pumpkin beer
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): whole, fire-pit roasted
Release Date: around 10/1

Cascade Brewing stuffing pumpkin into barrels

Cascade Brewing stuffing pumpkin into barrels

McMenamins Concordia (Kennedy School): Pumpkin Gold
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.): Golden Ale
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): Pumpkin Candi Syrup
Release Date: October 15th

McMenamins Edgefield: Duskbringer Pumpkin Ale
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.):
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): Whole chopped and roasted
Release Date: Out now!

McMenamins on the Columbia: Smashing Pumpkin
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.): Pale Ale
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): Canned Pumpkin
Release Date: October 12th

Alesong uses hand roasted and spiced pumpkin in the mash tun

Alesong uses hand roasted and spiced pumpkin in the mash tun

Three Mugs Brewing Company: “A Clever Pumpkin Name” Ale
Pumpkin or Fresh Hop Beer?: Pumpkin
Style of Beer (ie Porter, Pale Ale etc.): Red Ale
Fresh Hop Variety (Nugget, Cascade etc.) or Pumpkin (canned or whole): Whole pumpkins from Sauvie Island
Release Date: 10/15

elysian-pumpkin-roadshow

Not from Oregon, but Seattle’s Elysian Brewing is the kind of pumpkin brewers and their Oregon Great Pumpkin Roadshow is already underway. The big event is in Seattle for their annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival on October 8th, but they are taking the show on the road and may be stopping in your city this week or the next. Stop into one of these events for limited release pumpkin specialty beers along with a pumpkin keg tapping, swag giveaways, and more. Costumes and pumpkin flare encouraged.

OCTOBER 12TH
Platypus Pub  – Bend

October 14TH
The Bier Stein – Eugene

October 15TH
The Green Dragon – Portland

October 20TH
Growler Guys – Ashland

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Belmont Bar Crawl – Portland

October 27TH 7pm

A one night only Belmont bar crawl with all of Elysian’s  pumpkin beer lineup!

Try all of the Elysian Beers at Circa 33:
Goardfather
Great Pumpkin
Night Owl Pumpkin

Participating bars: Circa 33, Barebones, Belmont Inn, Side Street, The Liquor Store

Try a pumpkin beer at each bar & gain access to the private Elysian Speakeasy Party at Circa 33 with DJ’s and prizes! Dress up and get festive with us!

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

Discussion

  • Jason
    Jason
    Tue Oct 4, 2016 4:19 PM

    Pretty sure the Jamaican Me Pumpkin hit distribution – I’ve seen it at Belmont Station and Whole Foods.

    • Samurai Artist
      Samurai Artist
      Wed Oct 5, 2016 9:09 AM

      yeah I would not be surprised, but according to their press release it would only be at pubs. Maybe didn’t sell through there though.