Sean Lightholder’s Pumpkin Ales: Guest Post No. 4


The third pumpkin beer of the season is the Pyramid-brewed, bottled version of Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale.

As mentioned in the first of this series, “Buffalo” Bill Owens brewed the first modern pumpkin beer and its success has outstripped the original brewpub’s ability to produce and distribute their product. Bill’s original recipe did not contain pumpkin, but the current label says “brewed with real pumpkin and spices,” so, obviously, things have changed. Having had this beer for approaching 2 decades now I feel the recipe has wandered quite a bit from the way it used to taste. The beer is light and crisp, with only the slightest hint toward spice. Pumpkin is evident in the aftertaste, but without any roast character (as was so evident in Maverick’s offering). Last year the ABV was closer to 5%, this year it’s up at 6% and seems a bit darker (15 SRM). Sadly, this ground-breaking beer is altogether unremarkable nowadays in bottled form. It’s not bad, it’s just not inspiring. Luckily, the recipe brewed by Pyramid is not the one used at the brewery. I’ll look forward to trying that one on tap.

This beer would be perfect to have on hand when you’re holding out on your knowledge of the history of American micro-brews to an appreciative audience. Available only in 12oz bottles, no one will have to suffer more than a glass of this once-inspired beer before moving on to other things.

That’s the last of Sean’s current batch of posts, he has a few more, eh, brewing, but normal service resumes tomorrow when I’ll tell you about my trip to Black Donkey in Roscommon, sláinte!

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0 Responses to Sean Lightholder’s Pumpkin Ales: Guest Post No. 4

  1. I definitely agree on this one – unremarkable. And, compared to our now legions of pumpkin beers available (people either love them or hate them, there’s little in between) – this is one I’ll bypass when I’m at the store. Since I live in Tampa we’re spoiled with the likes of “Ghords Gone Wild” by Tampa Bay Brewing Company and “Great Ghords” by Cigar City Brewing and various others only available on tap. I love pumpkin, so I’m in autumn brew heaven, but many of my brewfciando friends are holding out for Christmas and winter beers.

    Great post – and it will be nice to have the backstory in my pocket in case someone gives me a 6 pack of this brew and I have to explain why it’s taking up room in my fridge. 🙂


  2. Seán says:

    Carol – I’ve heard good things about the Florida pumpkin beer. Sadly, we’re not seeing them this coast! Of the 20 beer I’ve found (which you’ll be reading about here once I get through writing them all up), most seem like they’re just cashing in on the seasonal craze without much thought to the resultant beer. Feel free to send some Floridians over, eh? 😀

  3. I feel this went way down hill after the recipe change and higher abv

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