Pumpkin beer isn’t about the gourd as much as it’s about cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, and other spices that are associated with fall. A true pumpkin beer, without spices, would be a heavy, starchy drink. But with the right spice notes, it can be quite delicious.
So where can you get local pumpkin beer? There aren’t many of them, but the ones we have are pretty dang good. Here’s an update:
Pumpkinator | Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
The original local pumpkin beer from the original local brewery. Pumpkinator dates to 2009 and takes the form of an imperial stout with pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar, and dry spices. This is the late-night treat, a beauty of a beer.
Reports have said that Saint Arnold is releasing the regular Pumpkinator and a bourbon-barrel version. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for its official release to stores, which should be soon. You could head to the Hop Stop in Humble on October 18 for a Pumpkinator release event. Hop Scholar Ale House in Spring is also doing one, scheduled for October 26.
Pumpkin Spice Latte | Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.
Buffalo Bayou gets it right by combining pumpkins with its gingerbread stout before aging it with Amaya Roasting Co. coffee. Added bonus: It has a 9 percent ABV! More like Crunk-in Spice Latte, am I right? (Okay, time to go.)
You can find PSL at the brewery (in bottle form) and sometimes at local bottle shops. Taphunter claims Underdog Sports Pub in Rice Military was carrying it recently.
Nightmare on 1st Street | No Label Brewing Co.
This offering, from the Katy brewery with some innovative styles, is an imperial amber base with added pumpkin, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. It was brewed annually up through last year, but No Label doesn’t seem to be dolling it out this year. Bummer.
You might be able to find one in the wild, though. Keep those eyes peeled.