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12 perfect pumpkin beers

Trick or treat? You get both when you sip on seasonal beers brewed with everybody’s favorite squash. The trick: getting real pumpkin flavor in liquid form. The treat: ghoulishly good flavor!

1. Saranac brews a sweet surprise into its Pumpkin Ale, already loaded with pumpkin, allspice, clove and cinnamon: Light, dreamy vanilla!

2. Evolution Jacques Au Lantern’s spice is super-nice: Spicy Belgian yeast character draws out nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, while the pumpkin sweetness hums quietly in the background.

3. Beer’s not the only beverage that attracts the good gourd. The wizards at Woodchuck win big with their pumpkin-spiked Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin cider, which blends ripened apples, sweet toffee and creamy pumpkin flavors into one delicious sip.

4. One of the most sessionable pumpkin ales out there, Brooklyn’s 5%-ABV Post Road Pumpkin Ale gets its flavor from hundreds of pounds of Dickinson pumpkins in the mash, and its softness from a bit of wheat.

5. We love the beers that taste like liquefied pumpkin pie, but Southern Tier Imperial Pumking’s dead-on pumpkin bread profile makes it an office favorite. Watch out for the 8.5% ABV!

6. Arcadia raided the spice cabinet to inject fall flavors into its pumpkinless pumpkin ale, Jaw-Jacker. Huge cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg fuse for a near-tart mouthfeel that lives up to the beer’s name and makes us forget all about the missing squash.

7. Upslope Pumpkin is like a sweet pumpkin cookie, with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and pumpkin flavor hitting the high notes, and finishing with a nice little alcohol kick.

8. Pumpkinfest from Georgia’s Terrapin is a seasonal twofer: An Oktoberfest’s sweet, toasty malts married with a pumpkin beer’s creamy pumpkin and cinnamon notes. It’s tasty and economical.

9. The most complex and pumpkin-iest brew in the patch, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale’s toasted malt and expressive pure pumpkin flavor round out gorgeous brown sugar and cinnamon.

10. There’s real pumpkin in New Holland Ichabod, but the beer’s real stars are its malt-and-nutmeg nose and swift, spiced-up swallow.

11. There’s more to Harpoon Pumpkin UFO than just pumpkin and spice: A deliciously sturdy Vienna and Munich malt spine nicely supports the seasonal additions and brilliantly counters the earthy hops.

12. River Horse’s version is the most beer-forward: At first sip, Hipp-O-Lantern tastes like a smooth amber ale; the pumpkin flavor is a subtle addition, creeping in a little stronger with each sip.

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