Autumn Ale Brew
A great fall beer for the pumpkin skeptics
Every fall the pumpkin ales come out in full force. I've never enjoyed a pumpkin beer and I really, really can't stand the sugar and spices around the rim. By the time you're halfway done with the thing your hands are stickier than a five-year-old's. (Obviously, not everyone feels this way. Check out our story on local pumpkin beers by Mike Morin).
But I keep trying them. I don’t really know why – maybe so I can feel like part of the pumpkin cool kid club. I’m glad I stubbornly kept it up since this fall I’ve finally found one I genuinely enjoy. The Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery’s Autumn Ale Brew is like drinking apple pie with hints of pumpkin tossed in. I wouldn’t exactly call this a pure pumpkin beer, but if you’ve never been on the state’s official fruit bandwagon, then this is the beer for you.
This clear, amber ale arrived at the table with a small white head and smelled obviously of cinnamon. The smell seemed to indicate that the taste would be overpowering, but the balance was just right. It has flavors of cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg with a hint of apple and pumpkin (others trying it at the table said they tasted clove, but that didn’t really stand out to me). For all that, though, it wasn’t sickly sweet. You could certainly have more than just one of these. I find that beers with this much taste punch are often great at first, but by the time your glass is empty you’re sick of it. That’s definitely not the case with Woodstock’s excellent fall creation.
This is probably not going to be everyone’s favorite, but if you like apple pie, spices and just a small taste of pumpkin, then I highly recommend it.
I'd love to hear what your favorite local NH fall beer is (and yes, it's OK if it happens to be pumpkin). Leave your thoughts in the comments, send us a tweet (@nhmagazine) or find us on Facebook.