Though it’s easy to think that pumpkin beer is just another niche of the modern craft beer craze, it actually had its start long ago during the colonial period. Formerly unknown to most Europeans, settlers quickly learned that pumpkins were a bountiful plant native to America. At the time, good malt was not easily accessible – so, early settlers had to find fermentable sugars wherever they could. Where might they find such a thing you ask? Pumpkins, of course.
Pumpkin beer was prominent throughout the 18th century. However, the original pumpkin beer is much different than the pumpkin beer we’re familiar with today. At the time, the flesh of the pumpkin was the primary ingredient, completely replacing the malt. Nowadays, the pumpkin flavor is more commonly used than pumpkin itself. This makes for more of a pumpkin pie, or pumpkin spice, flavor profile – as opposed to what you might get by brewing a truly pumpkin based beer.
Whether you like pumpkin beer or not, it’s been around for a long time, and is most likely here to stay. With hundreds of pumpkin beers in existence today, maybe there’s one out there for you! Whatever your take on it – hopefully, you can at least appreciate it for being a long standing American tradition.
Be sure to check out our pumpkin beer brands while you’re here!
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