The Great Pumpkinfest

17 Oct

While some Blind Tiger Wednesday-events feature a brewery, they’ve recently started doing style events some weeks, & this past Wednesday was the Great Pumpkinfest! 🙂 According to the write-up from the maven of the Blind Tiger, Katherine, “The … list is the sort that can make Pumpkin lovers swoon with joy, and even win over the skeptics. It’s the perfect welcome for the crisp fall weather.”

As with many events where there are many beers on the list that I’m eager to try, I opted for small pours, and started the night with the Elysian Hansel and Gretel Pumpkin (L), a 4.5% ginger pumpkin pilsner, and the Elysian Kurbitinas Pumpkin (R), a 5.1% pumpkin hefeweizen. With the Kurbitinas, I definitely get the hefe thing, but overall it was just a little too malty for my taste. The Hansel and Gretel, however, was AMAZING!!! I’m a huge fan of ginger, so I fell madly in love with this beer & could imagine savoring this in the summer, all day long!

A quick note about Elysian… they’re a microbrewery out in Seattle, WA, and they had 5 beers on the list for this event! I have a hard time deciding if, ultimately, I love them or hate them. They make these super crazy, amazingly delicious beers that you (well, me!) fall in love with, and then they take them away & you never know if you’ll ever see them again! At the Elysian event at the Tiger about 2 years ago, I feel deeply in love with their Saison Poivre (seriously, I took home 2 growlers of it while it was available!), and there’s a really huge chance that I’m never going to savor its deliciousness again 😦 Anyway, moving on…

My next 2 beers were the Sixpoint Autumnation (L), a 6.8% pumpkin beer, and the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin (R), 8%.  There definitely was not a consensus on the Autumnation in our group, but I really enjoyed it! I thought it was a really nice combination of an IPA and seasonality. It was a really nice beer that definitely says “fall,” but with a nice kick of hops. The Weyerbacher is *just* what I think of when I think “pumpkin beer”… It really tastes like pumpkin pie, with all the right spice notes, and is nice & hearty at 8%. I could definitely see having this at the table on Thanksgiving 🙂

The last 2 small pours that I had were both from Elysian – the Great Pumpkin, an 8.1% imperial pumpkin ale, and the Coche de Medianoche. The Great Pumpkin was definitely a group favorite for the evening. It was another example of a really nicely balanced, seasonal, pumpkin beer. It wasn’t too strong in any one area, and just made you feel all warm & fall-y, & want to wrap up in a big comfy sweater by a fire 🙂 Now, for the Medianoche…

There always seems to be one beer on these event lists that everyone is really excited about, either because it is a known favorite, a rarity, or just sounds really fun/crazy/funky! The Medianoche was that beer for this list. Here’s the description:

New from Elysian, the Coche de Medianoche is a Mexican-themed pumpkin ale with cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, chilies, and roasted pumpkinseeds. 

The pumpkin definitely took a back seat to the chilies and black pepper with this beer, and I’m guessing the roasted pumpkinseeds were what gave the beer a slight smokiness. I really enjoyed this beer, and while it’s not the type of beer you’d want to sit down and throw back a few of, it was a really fun brew that left a nice heat in its wake.

The event was, overall, really fun… and definitely drew in a large crowd! Kenny even offered to help me get a shot of the bar from a bit of a higher vantage point than my 5.4″ frame generally allows…

Rebecca & I ❤ Kenny… even when he’s making silly faces 🙂

Just one more great event at the Tiger! My hands-down favorite of the night was the Hansel & Gretel, because it allowed me to indulge my love of craft beer and ginger simultaneously! I can easily see enjoying that beer (which I may never ever have again! booo) in the summer, all day long 🙂  Here’s hoping you find yourselves some great pumpkin beers this fall while they’re still out & about!


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