Well, natural ingredients are a must. Unlike the artificial stuff that goes into spiced lattes and what-have-you, brewmasters are pureeing enough pumpkins to adorn all the front porches of a small village.
All of that goodness gets dumped into the fermenter, which concentrates the flavor.
However, the pumpkin alone is only part of the puzzle; careful use of spices are another important element. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and all-spice are often prevalent, gifting flavor and aroma, without overpowering the drinker.
Indeed, a world-class pumpkin ale walks the balance of sweet and spice so finely that it often feels like you’re enjoying a slice of Thanksgiving dessert.
Color is also important. Those rich ambers, browns and rubies that connote the turning of the season are enough to entice the taste buds before the first sip.
So, settle in next to the fire and savor this selection of fine fall beers.