Libations: Getting pumped for October

Look at those festive sepia tones. I already drank the Woodchuck Cider, sorry.

The best part of fall is that you have a brief window to enjoy the two best seasonals in the beer horoscope: Oktoberfests and pumpkins. They’re basically the non-dairy equivalent of eggnog: chug enough to get sick on now, because you won’t be able to do it again until next year (if ever again … what if your tongue falls out?).

As a man both of science and exquisite taste, I sat down to power through five different pumpkin-inspired brews, a box of White Castle sliders and a “Friday the 13th” marathon but not concentrating just on the summer camp dry-humping scenes this time. My findings will hOrRiFy YoU!


Color: A cheap light beer.

Nose: Like spiders who hide under leaf piles and latch onto you when you jump in. This beer smelled like rot and butt. I was scared to drink it.

Palate: Juicy, and surprisingly bouncy. A little heavy for a cider, but I imagine gourds weigh down any drink.

Pumpkinyness: 6/10


Color: Like a fresh, unpopped sunburn blister.

Nose: Inhaling the guts of a jack ‘o lantern right after a craniotomy. This is probably how Cinderella felt trying to get home after the ball.

Palate: Many spices made it taste like eating store-bought pumpkin pie, but without any crust or whipped cream on top. Light, but I wouldn’t call it “refreshing.”

Pumpkinyness: 8/10


Color: Flavored cough drop.

Nose: That field trip in elementary school when you go to some farm in the woods and do corn mazes and tip cows.

Palate: Honey and apples balance it out nicely. Almost a cider, but I could drink it in front of my friends without feeling emasculated. I guess it is still a pumpkin beer, though …

Pumpkinyness: 5/10


Color: Orange and aglow. I can see my reflection and ask who is the harsh-but-fairest in the land.

Nose: This is straight up Ichabod Crane’s BO.

Palate: Floral and sweet, but still packing a punch at 7.7%. Abhorrent when you leave it sitting out overnight and try a sample in the morning (for research), but I’m really not going to ding the beer for that mistake.

Pumpkinyness: 7/10


Color: Black as a witch’s heart. Black as the lump of coal you deserve for Christmas. Black as the rotting banana on my counter that I think is polluting these nose tests.

Nose: OMG it smells like a marshmallow! AWWW!

Palate: Bitter, with muted tones. I guess whipped sugar is a flavor that’s hard to translate to alcohol. But the aftertaste stuck to the roof of my mouth and seconds later I understood the artistry, like when they find a Van Gogh sketch hidden behind a Di Vinci painting.

Pumpkinyness: 4/10

TBH, they all tasted about the same.