I have had extremely limited access to seasonal beers here in Lubbock Texas. I can’t even get Sam Adams Octoberfest, yeah it is pretty bad. So every time I go to the store I look for any seasonals, if I find one, I pick it up. I recently found Buffalo Bill’s Brewery (actually it is brewed by Pyramid Brewing Company) Pumpkin Ale. I was all over it, and it was on sale!
Pumpkin Ale claims to be “America’s original pumpkin ale.” I have no idea if it is true, but it sounds good. It comes in a 5.2% ABV and has a plain orange cap. It was surely distinctive. Pumpkin Ale pours orange and is slightly hazy. There is a slightly off-white head that quickly diminishes. Almost reminded me of a soda’s (or pop for those of you in the Midwest) “head.” It was there for a second, furiously bubbling, and then gone.
The smell is mostly nutmeg with cinnamon, ginger, and all spice in there as well. Pretty much the spices you would expect from a pumpkin beer. There is some malt sweetness in there as well, but not much compared to the spice. The first taste I noticed some malt upfront with the spices in the end. Not really any hop notes in there. The spice takes over the ending notes. I kept drinking trying to find a few more flavors, but I couldn’t. The pumpkin part of this beer comes in as pumpkin pie spice, not pumpkin flavor.
The mouthfeel is very watery. There is good carbonation, it just is very light in your mouth. Pumpkin Ale by Buffalo Bill’s Brewery is a decent pumpkin beer, but there are much better examples out there. As I said before, this beer delivers on the pumpkin spice aspect of a pumpkin beer, but not much in the way of pumpkin flavor. If you like trying seasonal fall beer, namely pumpkin beers, try it out to see how it compares. Your tastes might differ from mine, but I would not be picking this up again as there are a few other seasonals that I enjoy more than this. Continue reading
I have decided to take the plunge and go onto Twitter. The blog gets a bit backed up sometimes becasue it takes awhile to get all of the reviews and everything else written up. The little bit of photo editing that I do also takes a bit of time as well. Twitter enables me to update as I am doing things. While it is not nearly as descriptive as I would like, I can get the basic message across.
It will enable anyone who is “following” me (that still creeps me out a bit) to get a sneak peak at what will show up on the site a little further down the road. I will also post about a few non-beer (GASP!) related things from time to time, mostly about my beloved Phillies and their quest for back to back championships. The full address for the Twitter feed is below and it is also on the right hand sidebar at the bottom. Follow away.
When I first started doing 5 gallon batches of homebrew I picked up two books. The first was the Joy of Homebrewing and the second was The Homebrewers’ Recipe Guide. I figured that the JoH was a great teaching book but didn’t have a lot of recipes, and I wasn’t totally ready to start formulating my own, so a recipe book was the next best thing.
The Homebrewer’s Recipe Guide was the book I went with after looking though several in the homebrew shop. There were other books out there with 300+ recipes and others that catered to making clones, but this book had a good mix of original recipes and some clone ones. The other thing I really liked was that it offered holiday and seasonal beer recipes.
It comes with “more than 175 original beer recipes” and a lot of helpful hints to help you out along the way. The other thing that I really liked is that the beers are broken up by style. You can easily choose a style that you want, and then go for a specific recipe in that style. Most styles have three or more different recipes to choose from. The book is broken up as follows:
- Bitters, Pale Ales, and Other Regional Ales
- Brown Ales, Porters, and Stouts
- Bocks, Doppelbocks, Barleywines, and Strong Ales
- Fruit, Herb, and Smoked Beers,
- Holiday and Seasonal Beers
- Brewery Copycats
- Meads, Lambics, and Ciders
- Food and Beer, Beer and Food
Clearly there are a ton of options and it even ventures into meads, ciders, and food recipes. All of the beer recipes are extract based but if you are an all grain brewer you could easily convert everything over to make it work for your needs as well. I have probably outgrown the book for recipe purposes right now, but I do refer back to it for the Brewer’s Tips and for some guidance on recipe formulation.
A lot of homebrewers put down recipe books because they don’t think the books really deliver on what they say. They might be right, but this book gave me a lot of guidance and helped me along my brewing experience. The recipes I used from the book always turned out pretty good. I think the biggest thing I learned was how to develop my own recipes. You can see how a beer is put together from a recipe book, and what flavors you should be looking to develop in a particular style of beer. That is where this book was the most help to me. I still pull it out from time to time to help me out. Charlie Papazian does the foreword for the book if that is any indication of the quality of it.