Picking The Perfect Pumpkin Beer

Even though it’s a muggy 80 degrees here in Winston-Salem (really, North Carolina?), pumpkin beer season is officially in session. After all, we’re practically midway through October (which is so hard to believe!).

Not sure which pumpkin beer is right for you? I get it. There are TONS of options, and it can get overwhelming. Lucky for you, Kevin and I took on the arduous task (along with our friends James and Christina) of testing out several pumpkin beer options over the weekend, and I thought I’d share our findings. (I know — we’re just selfless people like that.)

So here you go: your very own 2017 Pumpkin Beer Guide! (It’s obviously super official.):

  • If you’re a cider fan…your best pumpkin beer pick would be Shipyard Brewing Co.’s Pumpkinhead. This beer is light, super drinkable, and is definitely pumpkin-y, but not in an overpowering way. (This is actually the perfect pumpkin beer for this week, when we’re having such unseasonably warm weather but everyone is itching for it to be fall!)


  • If you’re looking for a kick…snag some Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with habanero peppers, along with more traditional pumpkin beer flavors like cinnamon, this beer is surprisingly smooth and drinkable given the definitive (and delicious!) spice.


  • If you’re looking for a PSL in beer form…D9’s Latte Pumpkin is the one for you. With a hint of caramel along with coffee flavors, this would be a perfect mid-afternoon weekend beer when you need a bit of an autumn-themed pick me up.


  • If you’re looking for some chocolate-infused pumpkin-y (but not TOO pumpkin-y) deliciousness…Wicked Weed’s Xibalba (pronounced “shih-bulb-uh”) is just amazing. It, like Voodoo Ranger, has a kick (thanks to ancho chiles and habanero peppers), but it also includes cacao nibs for some extra richness. Wicked Weed has done a great job striking a balance with this beer, landing on something that should win over even those most skeptical of pumpkin beers in general.


  • If you’re looking to keep things classic…I have TWO great options for you. Either grab the beer that has the best name of all pumpkin beers (in my opinion): NoDa Brewing Company’s Gordgeous, or go with another Shipyard option, Smashed Pumpkin. Both are solidly fall and definitively delicious.



Don’t see your go-to pumpkin beer here? Let me know what I’m missing!

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