With the plethora of pumpkin-flavored delicacies at every grocery store, gas station and Starbucks in America, it should come as no surprise that breweries both big and small have embraced this popular fall flavor. I decided to try three of these festive brews: Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin wheat ale, Elysian’s Night Owl pumpkin ale and New Holland Brewing’s Ichabod pumpkin ale.
The first one I tried was the Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin. I chose this one at the store because I wanted to see how large “corporate” breweries handled the pumpkin beer. The label, which looks very similar to the traditional Blue Moon label, could be easily overlooked on a shelf. The Harvest Pumpkin has a very normal beer-ish scent, with just a hint of earthy spiciness. When poured, the wheat beer looks more like an amber ale in color, but without the cloudiness that one normally associates with Blue Moon. It tasted good. I normally enjoy Blue Moon, so I liked the smooth and refreshing flavor of this seasonal selection. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of pumpkin flavor. If it weren’t labeled as a pumpkin beer, I would have missed the hints of spice entirely.