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Pumpkin Ale Ideas

Tis the season for vegetable beers! If you said that to most non-beer folks they’d probably run away from you.  But us beer lovers realize that Fall means harvest, and harvest means pumpkins.

Now I am not a big fan of Pumpkin beers.  Mainly, because I find most of then out of balance, in-your-face explosions of pie spices.  However, a recent pumpkin stout from Cape Ann Brewing Company (A BeerAdvocate review) made me take a different look at this style of beer.

So I got to thinking about these beers and had the following thought.  What about making a pumpkin beer using something like WLP550.  WLP550 is White Labs Belgian Ale yeast.  You can get a spicy phenol and ester profile with that yeast by fermenting a little warm (72-74F).  I thought that maybe a nice caramel and nutty malt bill with pumpkin and WLP550 would make for a nice balanced beer if done right.

Does anyone know of any Belgian style pumpkin ales?

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not going to brew a pumpkin ale.  But I do have a sweet potato beer I want to brew up for the season.  So maybe a 12 gallon batch split for two yeasts is in order to try this out.

What are your thoughts?



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  1. Don’t do it! I’ve never had a pumpkin beer I’ve liked. On second thought, do it, send me a bottle, and I’ll see if I need to revise that last sentence.

  2. Señor Brew™, I think you should really check out the Pumpkin Stout from Cape Ann if possible. I was really surprised, because I too have had mucho bad luck with pumpkin ales.

  3. I really would suggest you try Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale if you have never tried it. It is not a normal pumpkin beer and it actually delivers on flavor.

    Mike you left a comment on my site about the sweet potato beer and I think that there could be some nice flavors in there. I’m not sure about a Belgian yeast in a pumpkin beer as the spices used in pumpkin are different then those produced by the yeast. I finally got my pumpkin ale recipe up and I hope to brew it next weekend: http://breweryreviewery.com/?p=810

  4. chris

    From what i can recall from trips to belgium pumpkins were pretty thin on the ground. I don’t think it is common or even occasional practice to use squash in beer in belgium but i may be wrong.
    Good luck and slice and roast your pumpkins til they caramelise…..it improves the taste.

  5. Dan

    Found the link the Cape Ann beer very interesting. I grew up spending a few weeks each summer there and have been planning to take my wife there. Now I have another reason to go back.

  6. Dr1nkBeer

    i just brewed a pumpkin and used the wlp545.. strong belguim ale yeast. I’m wondering how this went since I cant find any other real info out on the interwebs yet..

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