October 4, 2013

What Ales You: In October, pumpkin beers compete for attention

Pumpkinhead is Shipyard’s most profitable beer, and other companies have jumped into the market.

By Tom Atwell

(Continued from page 1)

Harpoon’s Pumpkin UFO is one of four seasonal brews given a taste test.

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It is 4.2 percent alcohol and made with organic sugar pumpkins and fairly light on the spices, and is $8.99 for a 22-ounce bottle.

NANCY’S SISTER, Martha, who lives in Tampa, sent two 750-milliliter bottles of Cigar City beer ahead of her when she came to visit last month. Cigar City has developed a superb reputation, and is not available in Maine.

Marshal Zukhov’s Imperial Stout, at 11 percent alcohol, is black and thick. When son-in-law Christian first tasted it he said, “Motor oil.” For me and most of the other tasters, it was too intense for a relaxed kind of party. It grew on Christian, and he ended up slowly sipping his glass for a couple of hours. It is a beer you have to take your time with.

The Last Spike is a collaboration between Cigar City and Coronado Brewing Company in California, brewed to recognize the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. This was another big beer, a mix of California Common Ale – think Anchor Steam – and an American IPA, at 7.4 percent alcohol. It is quite hoppy, but still easy drinking, and we all enjoyed it.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at:

tomatwell@me.com

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