Brewer: Terrapin Beer Company
Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer
Description: Terrapin Pumpkinfest pours a dark amber color with a thick creamy beige head that leaves a very thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is very enjoyable and alluring, just what you would want from a pumpkin beer. The spices dominate the nose, especially cinnamon up front, and that wonderful fresh pumpkin pie aroma cuts right through with just a hint of sweet malt. The palate is also dominated by the spices up front before being washed over with Munich malts that bring about thoughts of a lovely Oktoberfest beer, blending with bready and caramel malts. The beer finishes long and dry with the spices lingering on the palate. The body of the beer leans toward the medium side of the spectrum with a moderate amount of carbonation – a very nice balance. This is a well-balanced pumpkin beer that does not overdo with the spices and has an excellent malt selection to give the beer a nice body – a very enjoyable fall beer.
Food pairing: The richness and sweet malty balance of this beer makes it a perfect pairing for rich and hearty foods that are great in the cooler months. Pumpkinfest is a perfect pairing with a rich and hearty beef stew; the beer is perfect for highlighting the tender meat sweetness. This beer also pairs very well with many German dishes and is at home with any pork dish, with a malt backbone that brings out the caramel flavors of the meat but enough heft and carbonation to cleanse the palate and leave behind a nice balance of spices. However, Pumpkinfest also finds a very happy partner with roast chicken. Also, feel free to try with rich desserts such as carrot cake or, of course, some warm pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. Pumpkinfest is also a fantastic beer to have on hand to cook many dishes with, so get out there and be adventurous!
The final word: Terrapin Pumpkinfest is certainly a pumpkin beer worth a taste. In a market that is beyond saturated by pumpkin beers that tend towards being over-spiced, it is nice to find one that is very nicely balanced and actually pulls in some Oktoberfest inspiration. Terrapin is a brewery that consistently brews high-quality beers, and Pumpkinfest is no different. The only major complaint is that Pumpkinfest is sold in four-packs, as a nice six-pack of this one would make the beer even better. So be sure to pick some up this fall season and enjoy this beer while breathing in that lovely autumn air.
Rating: W W W V
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Wegmans, Dickson City; J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Goldstein’s Deli, Kingston; and Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.