Pumpkin spice Spam, Pringles, or toothpaste anyone? While the monster autumnal flavor trend has spawned such oddball items, the warm, spicy notes do blend harmoniously with ale. At many area breweries, it’s pumpkin time. Read on for a sampling of where to sip the seasonal suds, often served with an optional brown sugar rim.
Bone Hook Brewing Co., Naples. Owner Dan Bilzor says for the last three years, brewer Bill Vaughan has followed the same formula for Pumpkin Jack’s Ale, one of Bilzor’s personal favorites. “With the brown sugar rim,” he says, “it tastes just like pumpkin pie.”
Ankrolab Brewing Co., Naples. “We usually do a festive fall brew that is made with pumpkin spices to mimic the flavor of a pumpkin pie,” says Anastasiya Kelley, co-owner with husband Adam. It’s based on the Otto’s Barn Amber, a classic malty ale. Brewer Dominic Venditti adds sweet and spicy notes from cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Hopsized Brewing Co., Bonita Springs. Owners Darlyn Victor and Ana Rodriguez de Vera, with brewer Tripp Allen, are conjuring up a pumpkin- and squash-based brew called Views Over Shadows. They plan to release it about two weeks before Halloween. Cinnamon and other spices complement the roasted squash notes.
Ceremony Brewing, Bonita Springs. For the second year, owner Zachary Smith and brewer Ryan Carruth created Mabon Harvest, a spiced fall ale with pumpkin, brown sugar, and classic fall spices. Smith says the beer is “light and drinkable, with subtle hints of sweetness and vanilla.” Ceremony also plans to tap brews riffing on Halloween treats—Reese’s Stout, Snickers Stout, Blue Raspberry Sour Patch Kid Sour, Mounds Bar Stout, and Skittles IPA.