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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two Local Pumpkin Beers To Get You Excited About Fall

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 8:55 AM

click to enlarge Local pumpkin ale and cider at Magnolia Brewing. - CHRISTINA SPITTLER
  • Christina Spittler
  • Local pumpkin ale and cider at Magnolia Brewing.

With Halloween right around the corner, the season of the pumpkin is upon us. Pumpkin patches have popped up overnight, cute sugar pie pumpkins sit alongside their strictly ornamental gourd brethren at the Farmers Markets, and pictures of your kids playing in corn mazes and on hay bales clog our Instagram feed. All of this is just swell our opinion, as pumpkins are delicious. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, toasted pumpkin seeds... if it touched a pumpkin, we'll eat it. And quite possibly the best way to enjoy their squashy splendor is as a glass of hearty pumpkin beer.

See also:

- Fall is Here, Bring on the Pumpkins

- Calling All Holiday Lushes: Top 5 Pumpkin Beers!

- Tasting Blind, Great Pumpkin Edition

Pumpkin beer is, and always will be the perfect, albeit elusive, once-a-year treat to bring to the pumpkin carving potluck, backyard bonfire, or Halloween party. Six-packs of the stuff are available at most bodegas and specialty beer shops around the city by now, but none of the varieties you will find on the shelves are brewed and bottled within San Francisco's borders. After days of toil and trouble (aka using the internet and the phone) surprisingly we found that just two breweries in the city are making their own pumpkin beers:

21st Amendment Brewery

Pumpkin Schmunkin ale at 21st Amendment. - CHRISTINA SPITTLER
  • Christina Spittler
  • Pumpkin Schmunkin ale at 21st Amendment.
This SOMA spot is brewing a little something they like to call Pumpkin Shmunckin: their take on a pumpkin ale made with local, organic pumpkins that are roasted in house and mixed in with the mash. It's a darker ale with some welcome notes of cloves and nutmeg, not too sweet, and is a refreshing take on a sometimes overly saccharine concoction. It's a fine, drinkable pumpkin that will give you a bit of a buzz at 7.1% ABV. We like the warm spices, hint of hops at the end, and obviously, saying the word shmunckin.

Magnolia Brewery

Magnolia's Barking Pumpkin is a dark, smooth, almost copper colored brew made with a bounty of Winter Luxury pumpkin flesh and seeds. It's a bit sweeter than the Shmunckin, but we are certainly still far away from pumpkin pie territory. The pumpkin flavor is subtle with some hints of coffee, like a porter. We like the rich and robust aroma this one brings to the duo and predict it will keep us warm on a windy night in Upper Haight.

And if pumpkin beer doesn't do it for, perhaps apples will, as both breweries also have locally made hard ciders on tap. Cheers!

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Christina Spittler


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