Upslope Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale: Another Reason to Love Autumn In Colorado
If you are lucky enough to live in Colorado, you have probably noticed the leaves changing. Soon we might even start getting cooler temperatures, but either way it looks like autumn is finally arriving. Maybe it’s the fact that in Colorado, autumn lasts all of a couple of weeks, but it’s my favorite season and also the best season for beer. Feel free to disagree, but in my opinion there isn’t much (especially from the spring and summer months) that beats a really good “Oktoberfest” or pumpkin beer.
In my relatively short time as a craft beer fan, I’ve noticed that pumpkin beer seems to be particularly polarizing: on one side, there are fanatic devotees, and on the other there are those who think that pumpkin should not ever be found anywhere near beer. It’s probably obvious that I fall on the fanatic side of the debate, and every autumn for the past few years, it has been my mission to try every pumpkin beer I encounter.
Earlier this year when I visited Seattle, I was lucky enough to try Southern Tier’s Pumpking, which I’ve yet to find in Colorado stores, and it is definitely a must-try for pumpkin beer fans. From a more local perspective, though, my favorite pumpkin beer to date is Upslope’s Pumpkin Ale.
Last week, I visited Upslope’s taproom in north Boulder in time for their second 2012 tapping of Pumpkin Ale. I first discovered (and became slightly obsessed with) this incredible beer least year, and shortly after that it won the 2011 GABF Gold Medal in the Field and Pumpkin Beer category. The word is definitely out, and it was incredibly popular last autumn but this year is even more so. While waiting for the magic tapping hour to arrive, I struck up a conversation with a visitor from Portland, who incredulously asked me if all those people were there just for the Pumpkin Ale (and yes, they were!).
I enjoyed seeing how skeptical he was that it could be THAT good, but after he finally tried one, he was instantly convinced. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what makes Upslope’s Pumpkin Ale so good, but the fresh ingredients, custom blend of spices and really well-balanced pumpkin flavor make it incredibly enjoyable. It has an ABV of 7.7%, so it’s not lightweight, but it doesn’t taste “heavy” or hit you over the head with the alcohol content (I’m looking at you, Rumpkin).
This year, Upslope has thankfully canned Pumpkin Ale for the first time, and while it’s on the pricy side (around $15 for a 4-pack of 16-oz cans), it’s a very limited release and well worth the money.
The 4-packs can only be found in Colorado, but I am hoping that eventually they might have wider distribution, because I definitely believe the rest of the world needs the chance to try this beer as well. Right now, though, I am just trying to decide how many 4-packs I need to stockpile to tide me over until next year.
Alannah – TFP Colorado Metro Intern