For many brewers, the changing of the seasons means opportunities to roll out limited edition, seasonal brews. Here in British Columbia, Surrey's Central City Brewing Company has demonstrated the harvest time spirit through its release of Red Racer Pumpkin Ale, based around that traditional October squash, the zucchini.
Pumpkin. Whatever. The cans are eye-catchingly orange, giving them excellent camouflage amidst the falling leaves of autumn, and the can is practically American--with only the word "bière" present in French, it's not exactly the sort of design that wold roll in Quebec. Assuming, that is, that it gets out that far--Central City's beers are most easily available in Metro Vancouver, understandable given that I can see the site of their brewpub from my window, though some of their varieties are available as far east as Ontario... mostly the pale ales, though.
Pumpkin Ale is definitely not a pale ale, and for that I'm thankful. You can find it at the BCL or at private sellers such as Central City's own liquor store for approximately $12.45 for a six-pack before taxes.
The taste of Pumpkin Ale lives up to its name. More importantly it's a departure from the ordinary--it quickly and strongly sets itself up apart from the standard "beer." There are plenty of brews out there, in my experience, that seem to be just minor permutations of the same recipe once I pour it out. Pumpkin Ale, by contrast, isn't the sort of thing that can be mistaken for something else, unless that something else is a different seasonal pumpkin ale. Sure, there's an initial rush of the "beer" taste and the alcoholic tang, but it's quickly drowned beneath the tang of the pumpkin and the spices that follow it up.
It's a comfortable, familiar taste, really--it's a lot like drinking a pumpkin pie. With 5% alcohol by volume, it goes down smooth and it does not overstay its welcome.
ANDREW'S RATING: 4/5
Previous Quaff Reviews
- #26: Betty Stogs
- #25: Polygamy Porter
- #24: Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale
- #23: Secession Cascadian Dark Ale
- #22: Asahi Black
- #21: Howe Sound Rail Ale
- #20: Olympia
- #19: Eel River Açaí Berry Wheat Ale
- #18: Bah Humbug
- #17: KLB Raspberry Wheat Beer
- #16: Mana Energy Potion
- #15: HE'BREW Messiah Bold
- #14: Mackinac Pale Ale
- #13: Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40
- #12: Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale
- #11: La Loubécoise
- #10: Summer Honey Seasonal Ale
- #9: Earthquake High Gravity Lager
- #8: Route des épices
- #7: Sparks Plus
- #6: Hurricane High Gravity Lager
- #5: L'Indépendante
- #4: Antigravity Light Ale
- #3: Nektar
- #2: Innis & Gunn Original
- #1: Abbey Belgian Spiced Ale