Not sure if you guys have noticed but since Pumpkin has become marketable and means dollar bills to many food and beverage companies there fall is totally creeping into summer... (can we instead extend it into winter since around March or April I want to move since I am so tired of winter?!) But back to fall. Why do people start selling pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beer in the end of July.. yes even pumpkin beer in JULY?! I just cannot understand this. As much as I love Fall, I love summer maybe more since Fall inevitably means that Winter is not too far behind. Winter means snow and shoveling... notw that I own a home it also means ridiculous heating bills. So suck it to all those companies giving me Fall in the middle of Summer
Now that it is officially Fall- Let the pumpkin games begin! I can enter back into that mode of comfort, warmth and all things pumpkin. This is the most wonderful time of fall, sunny, still warm, but the need for a sweater every now and again. My favorite of all the pumpkin things is craft beer- ZOMG it's totally pumpkin beer season guys! Officially- but I couldn't hold out and started last week, alright.... confession I slipping and had a Dogfish Head Punkin' Labor Day weekend! Oooooohhh the humanity. Pumpkin beer is my weakness. Especially with the right balance of spices.
So let's talk pumpkin beer. Apparently it is just a lower NYC tri-state area type of deal, but pumpkin beer here is almost ALWAYS served with a spiced sugar rim. To all the beer purists this is blasphemy- but to me it was my gateway to craft beer. I mean who can say no to beer when it comes with a spiced sugar rim?! It made me excited and since my first one at John Harvard's (a local brew pub) in maybe 2006 I was hooked. Hooked not only to pumpkin beer, but now I wanted to learn more about craft beer in general. So the spice is important to me, it has sentimental value.
So I realized this was regional when I went to VT and even update NY and when I ordered a pumpkin ale and it came sans rim... I asked. They looked at me like I had three heads, others indulged me when I asked for it (while thinking I was a weirdo).
But this rim makes it special. It makes it almost like a dessert. PS- how awesome is any drink when it comes with an accessory?!
So I thought I would share my recipe for my Spiced Sugar Rim. I changed it up this year adding more of the original spices to the mix. I used to only use cinnamon and nutmeg, but I added in some allspice and just a small dash of clove.
As for Pumpkin Beers to try-
Here are some of my faves...
When drinking hyper local I like to drink Splashing Pumpkin from Great South Bay Brewery or Blue Point Brewery's Pumpkin Ale. Southampton Publik House and Post Road Pumpkin Ale by Brooklyn Brewing Company are also good! I like a pumpkin beer with lots of spice, that's my personal opinion. When I drink a pumpkin beer I expect the spice. If you don't LOOOOVE the spice than I recommend Long Ireland Pumpkin Ale. Lots of pumpkin, not so much spice. But with the rim you will get it anyways.
However, there is one beer local to NY that is the KING of all pumpkin ales and that is Pumpking by Southern Tier Brewing Company. It is an Imperial pumpkin ale, meaning it's double the recipe and double the fun (alcohol). Another amazing one they make is their Warlock, this is an imperial stout (darker beer, lots of malt) that also has that pumpkin spice splendor!
Not local to me- Dogfish Head's Punkin' is great! I also liked Long Trails Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Shipyard's Pumpkin Ale is also excellent!
Feel free to recommend your faves below!!!