1,800 Pumpkin Beers Can’t be Wrong

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The poor man’s beer that hipsters drink today

orange pumpkins on table
Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

I knew pumpkin beer had become “a thing.” I didn’t realize it had become a huge thing: Beer Advocate lists 1,800 brands.

That’s quite a growth from 1985, when the first modern pumpkin beer was brewed in California and greeted with bemused condescension.

I say “modern” beer because pumpkin beer in America goes back a long way. That 1985 pumpkin beer? It was apparently crafted from a recipe used by George Washington himself . . . he of the deathbed conversion to Catholicism (a legend that will never be proven or disproven).

Pumpkins were easy to grow in America and kept well, so they were a mainstay of the diet. They also became a mainstay in beer among the poor who couldn’t afford more traditional ingredients.

But as evidenced by George Washington’s use of beer (George was hardly poor), pumpkins were used by many brewers. A lot of traditional ingredients simply weren’t available in the New World, so brewers had to get creative, as evidenced by this verse from the 1630s:

If barley be wanting to make into malt,

We must be content and think it no fault,

For we can make liquor to sweeten our lips,

Of pumpkins, and parsnips, and walnut-tree chips.

Lender and Martin, Drinking in America, p. 5.

Degenerates and Cows

I miss beer. Due to my gluen intolerance, I had to give it up, but I think my vegan-weighted diet has given my system a little break when it comes to gluten. I think I’ll try a pumpkin ale.

There’s nothing like winding down with a good beer. Wine does the trick just as well, too, but for some reason, a mixed drink doesn’t. They’re all good for this purpose, of course, but there’s something about cracking a beer or pouring a glass of wine that’s different than the mixed drink. Maybe it’s the excess preparation required for a mixed drink, almost like it’s just one more piece of work to add to an already-loaded day. It’s more “consistent” with unwinding to pop open a beer.

Of course, I could just jettison drinking altogether and unwind by cuddling a cow. I guess that’s a new thing.

Criminy. I don’t know what’s more degenerate: the cow cuddlers or the guys who pay to shoot a cow in Cambodia with a rocket launcher (I’ve seen it on TV . . . the cow doesn’t survive).

I’d have to say the rocket launcher dude is more degenerate, but at least it’s manly and funny, albeit in a cruel and twisted way.

“Everyday” Gin Stuff

Looking for great gin cockails that Forbes says you can easily make from home? Click here.

Of course, you’ll need ingredients like watermelon puree, LiDestri Pink Limoncello, bitter bianco, carrot juice, elderflower liqueur, and Campari, to make about half of them.

(The other half is feasible with ingredients you’d find around the average kitchen or bar.)

I see that a lot: recipes for drinks you can make at home, but then they include an ingredient list that will require to go to three different stores to gather.

Damn hipsters.

Forbes also provides this handy list of 15 of the best gins to always have on hand.

Now, neither the headline nor article are clear:  Are we supposed to have these 15 gins on hand at all times? Or merely have one of them on hand at all times?

I assume the former, but my gut reaction when reading the headline was, “Damn, I need to go out and buy 12 bottles of somewhat expensive gin” (I only have three of them on hand now).

From that list, incidentally, Hendrick’s is my favorite, especially its Summer Solstice.