Long live the pump-king of beer!

It’s that time of year again. When the leaves change from green to red, the Patriots win game after game, and everyone whips out their Patagonia fleeces. Yeah, you guessed it… it’s Fall. However, campfires and pumpkin spice lattes shouldn’t be the only thing you’re looking forward to. When good ol’ autumn rolls around each year, so does the quintessential Maine fall beer: pumpkin beer, that is. Every time I think of fall and Colby, the first thing that comes to mind is the always classic Shipyard Pumpkinhead. Today I’m here not to discuss the great revelry yielded by the pumpkin-headed horseman, but instead I’m here to chat about the style of pumpkin beer and suggest some pairings to make sure that anytime you’re craving a PSL, you’ll go for pumpkin beer instead.

The first recorded brewing of pumpkin beer hails from colonial times. Being English settlers, the colonists loved themselves some beer. Unfortunately, malt wasn’t the most available ingredient. So they wound up using what was local and plentiful: pumpkins. This native plant was the easiest source of fermentable sugars. In fact, sometimes pumpkin would take the place of malt entirely.

After realizing that this beer tasted quite good, pumpkin beer continued to be a staple throughout the 18th century but once there was access to high quality malts, pumpkin beer was seen as a rustic and archaic style. Today, the style has made a resurgence and is extremely popular in the fall. So next time you break into a pumpkin beer, know you’re taking a sip of a true American beer style that may have been at the original Thanksgiving feast. Here are a few cheeses and pumpkin beers that are sure to liven up your drinking this Fall:

Cheese to Pair

• Point Reyes Original Blue

• Fuzzy Udder Creamery Co. Sheep’s Milk Brie

Notable Pumpkin Beers

• Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

• Southern Tier Brewing Co. Imperial Pumking Ale

• Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

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