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!