Craft Beer of the Week

Chow Bella's Guide to Pumpkin Beer 2012

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Pumpkings Prepare for pumpkin pandemonium! These brews are high in alcohol and packed with excessive amounts of pumpkin and spice.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Shipyard Brewing Co., Maine 9 percent ABV

Smashed Pumpkin is the second of Shipyard's pumpkin offerings, and this one brings the heat. An aroma like pumpkin pudding blends sweet pumpkin puree with whipped cream, apple juice, maple and nutmeg, while the flavor adds graham crackers.

Fermentation Without Representation Epic Brewing Co., Utah 7.7 percent ABV

Utah's Epic Brewing made this imperial pumpkin porter in collaboration with D.C. Brau, an established craft brewery located in our nation's capital. To a base of strong porter, brewers added a five-spice blend, whole Madagascar vanilla beans and more than 200 pounds of real pumpkin per batch. The result: a flavor strong in vanilla, marshmallow, nutmeg, clove, milk chocolate and dried pumpkin pie. 4

Uinta Oak Jacked Utah Brewers Collective, Utah 10.31 percent Brewed to an absurd and gimmicky 10.31 percent (the date of Halloween), this imperial pumpkin ale spends time again in oak barrels, which gives it nice vanilla tannins that play off sharp, uncooked pumpkin and the usual spice array: clove, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. A smooth, medium-light body buoyed by sticky, viscous booze makes this one for sipping and sharing.

Zach Fowle is a Certified Cicerone, an accredited guide to beer. He works at World of Beer in Tempe.

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Zach Fowle
Contact: Zach Fowle