Thankfully that pumpkin problem we told you about last week, shouldn’t disrupt craft brewers’s roll out of pumpkin beers this season. Why? Well, as Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant brewer Chris LaPierre explains, he and most others who make the spicy autumnal ales already had their seasonal suds brewed and fermenting in the tanks weeks before the hellacious weather that washed out pumpkin crops from here to Albany, to Napa and everywhere in between struck. His Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale goes on tap and will be available in cork-finished 750 ml bottles at all eight Iron Hill locations beginning Friday. “I was going to brew more between Halloween and Thanksgiving, because this batch may not last too long,” LaPierre told Grub Street. “I prefer to use fresh ingredients when I can, but if worse comes to worst, I can use canned pumpkin puree.”
The Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale, which is made with 250 pounds of Crookneck pumpkins — it’s what the Amish use to make pumpkin pie — has the “pumpkin pie in a glass” aroma and flavor of typical pumpkin brews, but its gravity is boosted with a jolt of Belgian candi sugar, and the taste turned up to 11 with molasses and autumnal spices. The finished product is a big, bold beer with ample body and a deep color. And it has the ability to undermine Mother Nature.