Here’s the thing: I am unapologetically basic.
I don’t know exactly what “basic” means, but it seems to have something to do with liking things other people are too cool for (and also you have to be a woman, generally).
There was a time when I’d have tried to watch out for what I was and was not supposed to like in order to be hip, but now I just like what I like and enjoy things earnestly. For instance: I like Genny Cream Ale. Not ironically. I like drinking it, especially at concerts.
So it has been a source of great disappointment that, despite my love of pumpkin spice everything, I have not historically been a fan of pumpkin beers.
I’ve tried. A few years ago I did a whole post about trying different ones, and by and large I came away thinking “eh” at best. Except for Pumking and its little brother Warlock, but those seem so obvious as to not count.
This year, though, something is different. I’m drinking pumpkin beer and I’m enjoying it.
One reason is obvious: we have New Belgium now. Pumkick is exactly what I want a pumpkin beer to taste like. The flavor is there in most of the ones I tried back then, but they were missing body. Pumkick makes up for that.
I’m also trying the style again. I know there are pumpkin beers out there I haven’t tried, some of them local. But given my history with them, I’ve been hesitant. The nice thing about having a wonderful mom, though, is that not only will she watch your kids on short notice so you can work the Bidwell market, but when you get back she’s left you beer! (this may not be a universal experience)
Among my surprise beers have been Sam Adams’ 20 Pounds of Pumpkin. Many people reading this wouldn’t have bought it, I’d wager, which Jim Koch is not happy about. But you know what? It hit every note I wanted from a pumpkin beer, much better than most of what I drank in 2013.
And so it appears I’m back on the train, drinking pumpkin beer with my pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider floats (see footnote) and scarves and rainbow skeleton earrings. And I couldn’t be happier.
(Footnote: to make an apple cider float you fill a glass with ice cream, fill in the cracks ~2/3 of the way with apple cider and top with ginger ale. You’re welcome.)