STEAMWORKS PUMPKIN ALE—Interesting, maybe even good, certainly not abusive

Over the last month pumpkin beer has had its way with LBHQ—much the way the kids have had their way test-driving Halloween costumes with yours truly.

We’ve had so much Halloween-inspired beer that  last time we went beer shopping our brains shut down and we bought macro beer. The pumpkin beer thing had just started seeming (and tasting) kind of gimmicky.

With the exception of LOST SOULS CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PORTER, in which pumpkin and its associated spices take a backseat to chocolate and, well, beer, these pumpkin offerings have been a little irresolute about what they’re going for.

STEAMWORKS has already impressed us with its steampunk-inspired bottle and pleasantly hoppy PALE ALE. But how does its PUMPKIN ALE perform?

Chihuahuas…there for the cupcakes.

Dark and opaque with an apt orange tinge, STEAMWORKS PUMPKIN ALE wafts pumpkin pie spices aplenty. For seasoned pumpkin ale drinkers this might be very welcome. For occasional indulgers, it’s a little confusing. And for bears who eschew solids entirely, it’s a whole new experience. I mean, it’s a little random. Where was the turkey-flavored Thanksgiving beer? Are we getting poppy-seed beer this Remembrance Day?

Importantly, the spices in STEAMWORKS PUMPKIN ALE aren’t overwhelming; they’re just a little too interesting perhaps. On the palate they don’t dominate, but the beer does end on an unexpectedly sour note. Not abusive like this:

Just weirdly dessert-like and a little precious. I don’t think any respectable hobo would bother with it, especially at $5.50 for 650 mL.

For those fellow inebriates with moustache concerns, STEAMWORKS PUMPKIN ALE won’t leave a cloying residue on your facial hair/fur. I spilled quite a bit of it on myself and have still managed to escape the washing machine, possibly because I licked it up, which animals do.

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