Head brewer and co-owner of Collusion Tap Works Jared Barnes brews a batch of Bad Trip beer, and explains the process along the way. Kate Penn
The leaves are changing color and the weather is getting colder, but the real sign that fall has arrived is the sight of pumpkin spice everything on store shelves.
The pumpkin spice trend isn’t just limited to lattes and candles. Local brewers are getting in on the trend as well.
“I think pumpkin beers are popular because it just reminds people of the season,” Pete Koelsch, Wyndridge Farms head brewer, said. “It gives you a homey feel to fall. I think the spice reminds people of pies that their grandmother used to make around the holidays."
READ MORE: Hate pumpkin? Try these fall beers instead.
Fall beers are generally darker than you’d find in the summer, featuring heavier bodies and leaving the drinker “a littler warmer to counteract the cooler temperatures,” Jared Barnes, Collusion Tap Works co-owner, said.
Not all brewers are pro-pumpkin, with several in the county opting out on the trend and choosing other fall flavors.
If you’re looking to procure pumpkin beers, here’s some you can check out:
“The King of Tricks” – Collusion Tap Works, York
The name of this beer may be the “King of Tricks,” but it isn’t fooling anyone. It’s a true pumpkin beer.
“It literally tastes like a pumpkin pie,” Barnes said.
The beer is similar to a pale ale malt bill with pumpkin pie ingredients instead of hops, Barnes said. It carries an ABV of 7.5 percent.
It will hit Collusion’s taps in the next few weeks.
“Booo!!!” – Miscreation Brewing Co., Hanover
This pumpkin cream ale shouldn’t scare anyone.
Miscreation head brewer Brent Stambaugh said the beer is brewed in the traditional style and made to taste like a pilsner or a lager with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices.
Booo!!! has a 5.4 percent ABV and is currently on tap.
“Hoke Fest” – Liquid Hero Brewery, York
This pumpkin ale does what every good fall beer should do — provide a smooth transition from the light beers of summer to the dark beers of winter — all while providing a rich pumpkin taste.
The Hoke Fest mixes pumpkin pie spices and real pumpkin. It has a dark amber color and a pumpkin pie flavor that isn't overpowering.
The brew is only available during the fall months and has a 6.5 percent ABV.
“Nitro Pumpkin Latte” – Wyndridge Farms, Dallastown
You can’t have fall without your pumpkin spice latte, so why not grab something similar from your local brewer?
The Nitro Pumpkin Latte is a stout with notes of real pumpkin spices and coffee. It is poured from a nitrogen tap, creating a thick, creamy head that looks similar to the foam on a latte.
The beer will only be available in Wyndridge’s tasting room, Koelsch said.
“Sunken Punken” – Mudhook Brewing Co., York
Sink your taste buds into this rich brown ale at Mudhook.
Sunken Punken is made with dark malts that provide flavors of caramelized sugar and graham cracker crust. Seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are also added, providing a great, seasonal pumpkin beer.
Sunken Punken carries a 6 percent ABV and will be on tap within the next few weeks.