Being home early from Deutschland has its benefits. Like getting told to put down the toilet seat, working 55 hours a week (scratch that), Autumn in the south (though that is still a few weeks away temperature wise) and pumpkin beers. Pumpkin beers are big, they have been for a couple of years now. However they suffer more from what I call ‘season creep’ than any other beer. Season creep is when beers are out before the season is, well, in season. You read, see or hear about pumpkin beers showing up in August. In the south August is the season of water only. The good thing though is that it means Autumn is coming.
On Sept. 5 Terrapin held a fun day at the brewery dubbed The Great Pumpkinfest. This meant a few things; I had a reason to leave work ‘early’ (because 10 hours is a short work day), I could see people I missed, beer, hot Georgia heat on a Friday afternoon and beer. A couple of the boys from work showed up (one stayed behind to cover my tracks; thanks Jeff), Denver picked us up on the way and Sarah came over after work. Sarah actually got there first and we jumped way up in line with her. Once in those of us in the know went for the prize first. Back track for a minute and let’s talk special beers for this event. If the name does not give it away then Pumpkinfest was release and pouring was Cuckoo Fest, a Southern Fest Bier, but the star release was the Reserve Series Imperial Pumpkin Pie Porter. Now can you guess which beer Denver, Sarah (yes my wife is a coveted beer geek now) and I all went for? The Imperial Pumpkin Pie Porter is the third in the Reserve Series (first this year) which was preceded by Cinnamon Roll’d Wake n Bake and White Chocolate Moo Hoo. It poured with a nice thickness but had a dry finish that didn’t feel too bad on this hot day. The nose is really impressive with big hints of cinnamon and spice like you would expect exactly of pumpkin pie. The tastes all came together more as it warmed and the mouthfeel you can say would almost match that smoothness of pumpkin pie. The other stars were the always enjoyable Pumpkinfest lager. A good refreshing beer that comes up a little short of that pumpkin beer that most people are expecting. But once you understand it’s a lager you begin to appreciate the quality of it. The Cuckoo Fest Bier, a Side Project release, is a fest bier or marzen brewed with Blue Ridge Mountain grits. It was really enjoyable as was the Liquid Bliss on tap plus Recreation Ale on tap.
Funny story, the lines were long as usual and expected for an ‘event’. I jumped out of the big line and walked over to see what was pouring with the cooler taps. A college aged guy behind me yells those aren’t pouring good. I told the others it was Liquid Bliss and Pumpkinfest and we would have beers after 8 people instead of 38 people. I guess what he meant by not pouring good was that there was an inch of head.
The other cool part about the event that we did not enjoy was that Kate Lloyd; Tour Supervisor, Cask Mistress and Hop-Back Braniac was pouring beer through a big ole’ white pumpkin. What the beer experience would have been fun the line experience was wrapped about 40 deep. So all in all a
good great afternoon even though we perspired a little. Now go ahead and order your Hop Harvest tickets before it’s all sold out. Hopefully we’ll see you guys and gals over there.
Pints Up and Prost!