One of my October traditions is trying at least one new pumpkin or “spooky” beer each year. My discovery for 2017 is a pumpkin ale from the MillerCoors owned Blue Moon Brewing Company. The company has been making pumpkin beer since 1995, so I’m assuming the “limited release” notice on the label is a reference to its seasonal availability. They also claim this product was the first pumpkin ale to be nationally available. The label artwork depicts a full moon and a crate of pumpkins, but my description makes it sound much more Halloweeny than it appears. Their website notes it was originally created with Oktoberfest in mind and I suspect that’s why the art is more “harvest” than “horror.”
My fellow pumpkin fans will be pleased to hear how you can really taste the pumpkin whenever you take a swig. The cinnamon and nutmeg (and other pumpkin spice ingredients) give it a fairly sweet flavor, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s only slightly sweeter than Wormtown Pumpkin Ale. Speaking of that beer, I actually had a bottle of Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat Beer rather than my draft-only experience with Wormtown’s beer. Sampling from a glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar was a pleasant experience. It tasted a little bitter after I had started drinking it with my meal of homemade beef stew, but it still works pretty well as a dinner beer. Others have noted the presence of cloves and a toasted malt flavor. I was also surprised to learn this beer is vegan friendly (both in terms of the brewing and packaging processes). So it looks like there are lots of different incentives for people to give Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat Beer a try!