Tag Archive: Brooklyn Brewery

When it comes to drinking, beer is my default option.

I’ll have a cocktail to celebrate and wine often finds its way onto the family table with a meal but whether I’m on the tail end of a long day or out with friends, a pint or two is very often just the thing.

This preference owes its allegiance to no particular season but as far as I’m concerned, beer is at its best in winter. Although crisp lagers will always embody summer for me, much like cider and pumpkin ales do in the fall, the first sight of snow always brings to mind winter beers.

Not a brew style per say, they do embody a number of characteristics that make them perfect when taking refuge from the cold. They’re stronger (with ABVs ranging up to 12%), both in flavor and alcohol content, with a complexity that can come from the addition of spices, fruit or even specific combinations of malt and hops.

Very often, a winter beer won’t taste quite the same from one year to the next which means you should pick up at least two or three. Some brews cellar quite well and giving it a couple months or even longer can result in an interesting shift in its flavor.

This year’s release was pretty good but a bit heavy on porters and stouts. It would be nice to see some more variety but one can’t have everything, can one? For information on cellaring your beers, check out The Malt Monk’s article in EatDrink magazine’s holiday issue.

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southern tier pumkingA month and a half ago, I was walking down College St. when I passed Nirvana which, along with its sister restaurants Last Temptation, Red Room and the recently-deceased Green Room; provides cheap food and drink to a largely-student clientele.

The sandwich board cheerfully announced that they now had pumpkin ale on draught and I remember this big grin coming out of nowhere, right across my face as I thought to myself, “Terrific! It’s that time of year again.”

Of course, I had to stop in for a quick pint and even though it was Amsterdam (a weaker example of this seasonal), I was still quite happy to drink it.

Hallowe’en may be over but the season’s not and when I think of what I enjoy drinking most at this time of year, pumpkin ale definitely tops the list (that and whisky).

Not all pumpkin ales are the same of course. A few are quite sweet, others bring the spices to the forefront and some prefer to let the beer do the talking. Fans are generally split between those who prefer an easy-drinking, lighter mouthfeel and others such as myself who enjoy a rich, sweet explosion that references the dessert.

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Too bad it doesn’t taste as heavenly.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing decidely wrong with the Post Road Pumpkin Ale but there’s nothing particularly right either.

It’s crisp and the cinamon and nutmeg flavors definitely come through although they’re cut a bit short by the excessive carbonation. I always wondered what a pumpkin pie-flavored stout or cream ale would taste like. Something with less carbonation; you could even add whipped cream!

I won’t buy it again but at least I’m not regretting anything.

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