We had our Second Annual Pumpkin Beer Fest this past weekend. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to have her own fest, and two of our best friends couldn’t make it over from Bend to join in the festivities. We went on without them… it wasn’t the same but we did the best we could.
Just like last year we all brought a couple bottles of Pumpkin Beer to share and judge and rate. Our rating scale was this:
5 points: I would drink more of this RIGHT NOW, and never want to drink anything else.
4 points: I would totally drink this again and again.
3 points: I would drink this if someone offered it to me, but probably wouldn’t buy it.
2 points: Would drink if the only choices were this and Bud.
1 point: Nope. Not ever again.
Here are the results!
1. pFriem Pumpkin Bier 4.08333333. This was a really good beer. It had a really spicy finish, like fresh ginger. It was tasty and easy to drink. It had the perfect blend of pumpkin, spices, and beer. Good stuff here.
2. Elysian The Great Pumpkin 4.0 This was our winner last year, and it was impressive again! Elysian really knows how to make a good pumpkin beer. This was smooth and perfectly pumpkiny. Just exactly what I’d expect.
3. Elysian Punkuccino 3.75 I didn’t expect to like this, because I don’t usually like coffee beers that much, and this was certainly strong on the coffee. It was so smooth, and the coffee was well balanced with the sweetness of the pumpkin and the spiciness of the spices.
4. Elysian Night Owl 3.75 This one might be my personal favorite. I love this one. It is smooth and not bitter at all. Lots of spices and 7 pounds of pumpkin per barrel – which is roughly 7 pounds of pumpkin – which sounds like a lot!
5. New Belgium Pumpkick 3.666 Just like last year, we started and finished with the same beer. This score came from our first tasting of this one. This is another one of my favorites. I love the lemongrass and cranberry flavors that come through. It really just tastes like autumn to me.
6. Uinta Funk’n Patch 3.5 I liked this one a lot. It was more sour than the rest. It is brewed with Brett which made it a little funky – in a good way. It was unique and light and I liked it. It makes me want to try more beers with Brett.
7. New Belgium Pumpkick 3.333 This was the second time we tried Pumpkick, at the end of the tasting when we were feeling a little different than we were in the beginning. I like to repeat the first beer in the end to prove the efficacy of our palates and our rating system. The scores were close enough that I would consider this to be a scientific and respectable system.
8. Oakshire Big Black Jack 2.666 I always feel so bad when we score a Eugene beer so poorly. This is one of those that just doesn’t quite work for me. The chocolate didn’t meld well with the pumpkin to me. Sad.
9. Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter 2.333 This one was disappointing because it just tasted like porter. No pumpkin or spice flavors at all.
10. Laurelwood Pumpkin Ale 1.91666 I don’t remember anything about this one. Maybe that’s good, judging by the score we gave it.
We also sampled our own pumpkin brown ale. We didn’t want to score it because people would probably lie and say it was amazing, or lie and say it was horrible, but everyone really liked it. It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself.