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50 best pumpkin beers for this fall

Master1305 // Shutterstock

50 best pumpkin beers for this fall

Pumpkin beers have taken the country by storm. Scores upon scores of pumpkin brews are available, from cans on supermarket shelves to limited editions sold online to drafts only found on tap.

Flavored beers like pumpkin might be scorned from those who see themselves as beer purists, but the top pumpkin beers on the market are sophisticated flavors that hold their own at the bar. Some are crisp ales, some are hazy pours. They might be bright orange, rich amber, or pitch black.

Pumpkin is indigenous to America and was a staple in the diets of Native Americans who used it to brew beer. Colonists also brewed beers from pumpkin, and George Washington was a notable fan of pumpkin-based ale. Craft micro-brewing brought pumpkin beers to the modern public.

Some experts say the craze for pumpkin beer peaked about five years ago. But it’s still a big part of breweries’ selections. Seasonal beers, which include pumpkin beers, comprise about one-sixth of all craft beer sales in the United States. Seattle's Elysian Brewing Co. has embraced the popular quaffs, hosting an annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival. The 2018 show featured 80 pumpkin brews—a quarter of which were made by Elysian itself.

Top breweries have taken to experimenting by aging pumpkin beer in barrels, sweetening it with maple syrup, and firing it up with spicy peppers. Some breweries proudly make what they describe as a slice of holiday pumpkin pie in a glass, while other pumpkin brews are savory, bittersweet, and even sour. Most are only available for just a couple of months each fall.

Stacker has gathered data on all the pumpkin beers listed on Beer Advocate and ranked the top 50 according to the highest average user ratings, ties are broken by whichever had more votes. Beers with less than 100 votes were not considered. The rankings are accurate as of October 2019.

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Courtesy of Cape Ann Brewing Company

#50. Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout

- Brewery: Cape Ann Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.77
- Votes: 558
- ABV: 7%

The smoky, ebony Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout tastes of roasted malt, seasonal spices, and chocolate along with fresh pumpkin. It’s made by Cape Ann Brewing Co., a family owned microbrewery that says the flavor and character of its beers reflect the spirit and courage of sailors and fishing fleets of the North Atlantic.

Courtesy of Tyranena Brewing Company

#49. Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale

- Brewery: Tyranena Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.78
- Votes: 247
- ABV: 7.5%

Named in honor of Victorian-era painted ladies, a reference to storefronts in the brewing company’s hometown of Lake Mills, Wisc., Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale is filled with scents of sweet pumpkin, pie crust, brown sugar, and spice. Located an easy drive from Madison and from Milwaukee, Tyranena is very pet-friendly to well-behaved dogs.

Paul Thompson // Flickr

#48. Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: River Horse Brewing Co.
- Average user rating: 3.78
- Votes: 477
- ABV: 8.1%

Brewed in New Jersey, Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale is made with pumpkin, molasses and a variety of hand-crushed aromatic whole spices. One reviewer called it “a nice blend of all the usual suspects,” while another said it smelled of the woods.

Courtesy of Shipyard Brewing Company

#47. Pugsley's Signature Series: Smashed Pumpkin

- Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.78
- Votes: 1,653
- ABV: 9%

First brewed a decade ago, Pugsley’s Signature Series Smashed Pumpkin is a big-bodied beer with aromas of pumpkin pie and nutmeg. It pairs well with sharp cheeses, nuts, lamb, hearty stews, and desserts like flan or pumpkin pie, and cooks might add it to braised short ribs.

Courtesy of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

#46. Leaf Pile Ale

- Brewery: Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.8
- Votes: 117
- ABV: 5.2%

Leaf Pile Ale, made with ginger, cinnamon, whole bean vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, and pumpkin, is a product of Greenport Harbor Brewing. The nanobrewery makes small-batch ales out of a repurposed firehouse in a tiny New York fishing town.

Brent Hofacker // Shutterstock

#45. Barking Pumpkin

- Brewery: Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
- Average user rating: 3.8
- Votes: 126
- ABV: 9%

This dark and spicy brew is made with local, organic pumpkins and seeds. It is named after legendary musician Frank Zappa’s label, Barking Pumpkin Records.

Courtesy of Upslope Brewing Company

#44. Upslope's Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Upslope Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.83
- Votes: 151
- ABV: 7.7%

Upslope makes its Pumpkin Ale from organic baby bear pumpkins and spices. The Colorado brewing company focuses on sustainability and social responsibility, employing solar panels and other environmentally conscious practices in its production.

Timothyjosephwood // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

- Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.83
- Votes: 305
- ABV: 6.4%

Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin is a spiced ale with cinnamon and aji, del arbol, and habanero peppers for a kick. The Fort Collins, Colo., brewery, best known for making Fat Tire beer, is 100% employee owned.

Didriks // Flickr

#42. Pumpkin Down

- Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.83
- Votes: 673
- ABV: 5.8%

The brewers of Pumpkin Down put extra time into its boil to bring out the toffee and caramel flavors key to this beer's appeal. The rich ruby-colored brew won a World Beer Cup bronze medal in 2016.

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Baked Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Lancaster Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.84
- Votes: 237
- ABV: 7.5%

Lancaster Brewing Co., in the heart of Amish farm country in Pennsylvania, bases its Baked Pumpkin Ale on the flavor of pumpkin pie. In production for the last six years, the deep amber ale is scented with brown sugar, ginger, and cinnamon.

Courtesy of Hoppin' Frog Brewery

#40. Barrel-Aged Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Hoppin' Frog Brewery
- Average user rating: 3.85
- Votes: 202
- ABV: 8.4%

Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale won a gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. ABF. The creamy ale is aged in used whiskey barrels,


#39. Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale For Zombies

- Brewery: Spring House Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.85
- Votes: 301
- ABV: 7.1%

Spring House Brewing is in the heart of Lancaster, Pa. Its Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale for Zombies tastes of fresh pumpkin and sweet vanilla. Spring House makes a dark bittersweet pumpkin stout as well called Spinal Remains.

Epic Beer // Flickr

#38. Imperial Pumpkin Porter

- Brewery: Epic Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.85
- Votes: 644
- ABV: 8.0%

Epic Brewing Co.’s Imperial Pumpkin Porter is described as a milk-chocolate pumpkin-spice truffle in a glass, combining sweet cocoa, coffee, and pumpkin flavors. Reviews say its pumpkin pie flavor is outshined by its bold porter base.

Courtesy of Catawba Brewing Co.

#37. King Don's Original Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Catawba Brewing Co.
- Average user rating: 3.86
- Votes: 104
- ABV: 5%

King Don’s Original Pumpkin Ale is a smooth, orange beer with a creamy foam head. It’s made by the Catawba Brewing Co. in the mountains of western North Carolina.

MaxyM // Shutterstock

#36. Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Hoppin' Frog Brewery
- Average user rating: 3.87
- Votes: 764
- ABV: 8.4%

Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale has the aromas of cinnamon, allspice, and, most of all, nutmeg, reviews say. Balanced and not too sweet, the beer is considered an easy-drinking crowd-pleaser. It took home a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival in 2011.

Courtesy of Rogue Ales & Spirits

#35. Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale

- Brewery: Rogue Ales
- Average user rating: 3.87
- Votes: 961
- ABV: 6.1%

Rogue Ales grows its own pumpkins and other ingredients for its Pumpkin Patch Ale, that is flavored with orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, ginger, and nutmeg. The brew won a gold medal in 2018 at the World Beverage Competition.

Courtesy of Allentown Brew Works

#34. Devious Imperial Pumpkin

- Brewery: Fegley's Allentown Brew Works
- Average user rating: 3.88
- Votes: 192
- ABV: 9%

Fegley’s started brewing as the city of Bethlehem was struggling with the loss of the steel industry, and it has played a major role in the region’s revitalization, eventually evolving into Fegley's Allentown Brew Works. Devious Imperial Pumpkin Ale is described as having flavors of savory spiced pumpkin seeds, rich pumpkin bread, blood orange marmalade, and pink peppercorns, and it is best paired with roasted turkey, poultry, tart fruits, bread puddings, and pies.

Dan K // Flickr

#33. Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
- Average user rating: 3.88
- Votes: 513
- ABV: 9%

Rich amber Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale tastes of pumpkin pie, savory spices, sweet malt, pie crust, and brown sugar, reviews say. The brewery has its roots in a saloon on Pittsburgh’s historic South Side.

Courtesy of Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

#32. Pumpkineater

- Brewery: Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.89
- Votes: 208
- ABV: 8%

Pumpkineater is described in reviews as a high-gravity pumpkin ale, brewed with fresh roasted pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise, Pumpkins for the brew are harvested in the cool of autumn for the Squamish, British Columbia, brewing company. It was a bronze medalist at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2012 and won another bronze at the North American Brewers Awards the same year.

Courtesy of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

#31. La Parcela

- Brewery: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
- Average user rating: 3.89
- Votes: 810
- ABV: 6%

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales was in the brewing business for years before it actually made a pumpkin beer. Oak-aged La Parcela has the brewing company’s trademark tartness, flavored with nutmeg and cocoa.

Courtesy of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

#30. Rum Pumpkin

- Brewery: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
- Average user rating: 3.92
- Votes: 131
- ABV: 10.5%

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery ages its pumpkin ale for months in Caribbean dark rum barrels. It captures the flavors and aromas of autumn with blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, hints of oak, clove. and allspice. It is described in one review as woody, spicy, and just about perfect.


#29. Xibalba

- Brewery: Wicked Weed Brewing
- Average user rating: 3.92
- Votes: 183
- ABV: 8.2%

Made by Asheville, N.C.’s Wicked Weed Brewing, Xibalba is an imperial pumpkin ale seasoned with cacao, vanilla, ancho, habanero and serrano chiles before being aged in bourbon oak casks. Rich and velvety, its taste has been compared to “a mug of cocoa laced with booze and nutmeg.

Nick Quartapella // Weyerbacker Brewing Co.

#28. Imperial Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
- Average user rating: 3.92
- Votes: 2,760
- ABV: 8%

Known best for its Belgian-style brews, Weyerbacher started in an old livery stable in Easton, Pa., in 1995. Its spicy, caramel Imperial Pumpkin Ale is distributed in nearly half of U.S. states and is newly available in cans.

Courtesy of Cambridge Brewing Company

#27. Great Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.93
- Votes: 376
- ABV: 5.5%

Earthy and sweet, Great Pumpkin Ale by Cambridge Brewing Co. is made with locally grown sugar pumpkins and organic barley. Each batch uses over 150 pounds of fresh organic pumpkins that give the ale its ruddy orange hue.

Courtesy of Shipyard Brewing Company

#26. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Smashed Pumpkin

- Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.94
- Votes: 153
- ABV: 11.4%

Portland, Maine’s Shipyard Brewing Co. make its Smashed Pumpkin seasonal brew with nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Each small batch is aged for over 100 days in decanted bourbon barrels.

walknboston // Flickr

#25. Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout

- Brewery: Cape Ann Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.95
- Votes: 216
- ABV: 11%

Fisherman’s Imperial Pumpkin Stout is a more intense version of Cape Ann Brewing Co.’s Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout. Reviews celebrate the dark and fruity beer for its natural pumpkin and malt flavors, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit.

Max Pixel

#24. Great’ER Pumpkin

- Brewery: Heavy Seas Beer
- Average user rating: 3.95
- Votes: 767
- ABV: 10%

Heavy Seas’ Great'ER Pumpkin ale is aged in bourbon barrels by the Baltimore brewing company. The deep burnished orange ale, scented with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and clove is said to pair well with crisp autumn weather and crunchy fallen leaves.

Courtesy of Dogfish Head Brewery

#23. Punkin Ale

- Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
- Average user rating: 3.95
- Votes: 6,767
- ABV: 7%

Longtime seasonal Punkin Ale debuted some 25 years ago, setting an early standard before pumpkin beers grew popular. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery makes the full-bodied brown ale with pumpkin meat, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

rockandrollnerd // Flickr

#22. Maple Mistress Imperial Ale

- Brewery: Saucony Creek Brewing Company + Gastropub
- Average user rating: 3.96
- Votes: 516
- ABV: 9.5%

Maple Mistress Imperial Ale, produced by Saucony Creek Brewing Co. in Kutztown, Pa., is a pumpkin brew with added flavors of roasted butternut squash and maple syrup. The ale is named for a legendary pirate’s fierce and feisty mistress from 18th century lore.

Joe Mabel // WIkimedia Commons

#21. Dark O' The Moon

- Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.96
- Votes: 648
- ABV: 6.5%

Dark O’ The Moon is one of five celebrated pumpkin beers made this year by Seattle’s Elysian Brewing. The creamy stout is slightly smoky, with hints of malt, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee.

Courtesy of Griffin Claw Breing Company

#20. Screamin' Pumpkin

- Brewery: Griffin Claw Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.97
- Votes: 171
- ABV: 5%

Screamin’ Pumpkin is an amber ale by Griffin Claw Brewing Co., a Michigan microbrewery that puts roasted pumpkin into the mash and spices it with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. With its low alcohol content, Screamin’ Pumpkin is described as “a great tail-gating beer.”

Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

#19. Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 3.97
- Votes: 1,422
- ABV: 6.7%

Each barrel of Elysian Brewing Co.’s flagship Night Owl Pumpkin—brewed with pumpkin puree, toasted and raw seeds, and juice—uses seven and a half pounds of fruit.The brewing company works with local farmers in the Pacific Northwest to source its pumpkins.

Courtesy of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

#18. Farmhouse Pumpkin

- Brewery: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
- Average user rating: 4.03
- Votes: 287
- ABV: 8.5%

Richmond’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery uses Virginia-grown flame-roasted sugar pumpkins and nutmeg, clove, allspice, and fresh ginger root for its rustic Farmhouse Pumpkin ale. With a base flavor of a Belgian-style farmhouse ale, the brew is a suggested accompaniment to butternut squash soup, baked yams, and spiced desserts like bourbon pecan, apple, and pumpkin pie.

Katherine Lim // Flickr

#17. Punkless Dunkel

- Brewery: Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.05
- Votes: 168
- ABV: 8.8%

Punkless Dunkel is a pumpkin wheat ale made with dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice added to the boil. Pennsylvania’s Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company uses the local creek water in its brews.

Paul Thompson // Flickr

#16. Cold Press Coffee Pumking

- Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.05
- Votes: 278
- ABV: 8.6%

The cold press process designed to make coffee less bitter and harsh gives this beer by the Southern Tier Brewing Co. the taste of pumpkin pie served with a cup of coffee. On top of its smooth coffee flavor are notes of cocoa and chocolate and the flavor of biscuity pumpkin pie spices.

Brent Hofacker // Shutterstock

#15. Rum Barrel-Aged Pumking

- Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.06
- Votes: 524
- ABV: 13.4%

This bright, deep copper beer is aged in 30-year-old Spanish rum barrels. It is full and rich, and reviews compare its taste to honey, brandy, stone fruit, and caramel.

White Rascal // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Rumpkin

- Brewery: Avery Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.13
- Votes: 1,494
- ABV: 16.3%

Avery Brewing Co. ages its Rumpkin pumpkin ale in rum barrels, and the flavors of the powerful ale taste of vanilla and butter toffee. The Boulder, Colo., brewery has experimented with aging its beers in barrels that have held red wine, white wine, Bourbon, tequila, rum, and Madeira and Carcavelos fortified wines.

edwin // Flickr

#13. Pumking

- Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.13
- Votes: 7,748
- ABV: 8.6%

The original Pumking by the Southern Tier Brewing Co. uses pumpkin puree and pie spices. Its aromas feature the scents of buttery crust, vanilla, and roasted pecans.

MaxyM // Shutterstock

#12. Imperial Pumpkin Smash

- Brewery: Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
- Average user rating: 4.15
- Votes: 454
- ABV: 10.6%

Crown Valley’s Imperial Pumpkin Smash is a dramatically dark stout. It is known for its strong aromas of sweet pumpkin and gingerbread, with notes of chocolate, caramel, toffee, brown bread, vanilla, smoke, and pine.

Sam Cavenagh // Flickr

#11. The Great Pumpkin

- Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.15
- Votes: 736
- ABV: 8.1%

Elysian Brewing Co. uses roasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin to make The Great Pumpkin. Locally sourced pumpkins are added directly into its mash during the brewing process.


#10. Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
- Average user rating: 4.16
- Votes: 278
- ABV: 13.4%

The Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale, one of the earliest brewed pumpkin beers, was a silver medalist at the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship and National Grand Champion for Spice/Herb Beer at the 2015 United Beer Tasting Championship. The ale not only goes well with roasted or glazed fowl, sweet potato, and butternut squash, but can be served as a dessert beer with French vanilla ice cream or bread pudding.

Courtesy of Griffin Claw Brewing Company

#9. Bourbon Imperial Screamin' Pumpkin

- Brewery: Griffin Claw Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.17
- Votes: 131
- ABV: 9%

Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin is Griffin Claw’s classic pumpkin ale brewed stronger and aged in bourbon barrels for six months. Its flavor, aroma, and notes evoke bourbon, oak wood, and sweet pumpkin pie.

Narisa Spaulding // Flickr

#8. Punkuccino

- Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.17
- Votes: 610
- ABV: 6%

Elysian Brewing’s Punkuccino is an upscale pumpkin ale with a jolt of coffee. The creamy brew is a perfect mix of Seattle’s two favorites—beer and coffee.

Whole Hog Beer

#7. Whole Hog's Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Whole Hog Beer
- Average user rating: 4.18
- Votes: 718
- ABV: 7%

Savory Whole Hog Beer's Pumpkin Ale won a gold medal at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, beating out over 9,000 entries. The honor is the latest in a string of awards that includes an earlier gold at the festival in 2012.

Courtesy of Alewerks Brewing Company

#6. Alewerks' Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Alewerks Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.19
- Votes: 545
- ABV: 7.4%

The pumpkin in Alewerks’ Pumpkin Ale is spiced and baked before being added to the brew. While it is described as "pumpkin pie in a glass," the pie flavor is artisanal, "like a dessert baked in a farmhouse earthen oven," said one review.

Matthew Hurst // Flickr

#5. Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: The Schlafly Tap Room
- Average user rating: 4.23
- Votes: 2,399
- ABV: 8%

Schlafly Beer’s Pumpkin Ale has been an award-winning seasonal staple for a decade. The ale made by the independent craft brewery in St. Louis is fermented in pounds of fresh pumpkin squash before being filtered through an infusion of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. It’s recommended as a tasty ingredient to fall beer cocktails and baked goods.”

MaxyM // Shutterstock

#4. Horseheads' Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Horseheads Brewing Inc.
- Average user rating: 4.24
- Votes: 149
- ABV: 6.6%

In April 2019, Horsehead Brewing was sold to new owners who are making its Pumpkin Ale, distributed across New York’s Southern Tier and Finger Lakes and in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, to the relief of fans worried when the previous owners retired.The Pumpkin Ale is a seasonal local favorite, and Horsehead says it will be adding new beers to its time-honored staples.

StickerGiant // Flickr

#3. Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

- Brewery: Cigar City Brewing
- Average user rating: 4.29
- Votes: 1,470
- ABV: 8.5%

Good Gourd, a deep orange brew with aromas of buttered pie crust and roasted pumpkin, uses Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, and Zanzibar cloves. It is one of the Tampa brewery’s most highly anticipated seasonal beers.

Ed Schipul // Flickr

#2. Pumpkinator

- Brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Company
- Average user rating: 4.31
- Votes: 993
- ABV: 10%

Pumpkinator is a black, full-flavored imperial pumpkin stout, and St. Arnold Brewing Co. releases a single batch every October. The beer won a bronze medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival. The brewing company calls it the most expensive beer it has ever made and says the same amount of pumpkin could have been baked into 437 pies.

L.A. Foodie // Flickr

#1. Picture If You Will

- Brewery: Bottle Logic Brewing
- Average user rating: 4.34
- Votes: 136
- ABV: 11.8%

The exclusive Picture If You Will stout is aged six months in oak bourbon barrels. Less like pumpkin and more like pie, its aromas, flavors, and notes feature gingersnap, tarragon, cinnamon, maple syrup, and dark cherry. Fans line up online to reserve its limited supplies in advance from Bottle Logic Brewing of Anaheim, Calif.

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