10/5/22: State of Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale

1:32 PM

This is one that I hadn’t anticipated when I originally started collecting the beers that would form this year’s Spooky Finger Puppet Ghost Month. But, Halloween is a season that’s full of surprises.

So, when Michelle and I found ourselves in Aldi at the tail-end of September and I saw a sixer of State of Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale for $8, I couldn’t help myself.

State of Brewing is an Aldi brand, not an actual brewery. The brewing for the brand is contracted out to Waunakee, WI's Octopi Brewing. Since Octopi's name isn't on the beer's packaging at all, I won't go into detail on them here. But, if you want to know more about the people behind today's ale, you can check out my post on Octopi's Maple Imperial Morning Stout. I'll also leave a link here to their "About" page.

Since today's beer's an Aldi product, we'll take our information for it from its page on Aldi's website. It's a 6% ABV pumpkin ale with "winter spices" and "warm and malty pumpkin flavors." Let's see what that means, exactly.

The ale's nose gives me the warmth that's promised from the flavor profile: all roasted pumpkin, graham cracker, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and a touch of ginger. There's vanilla present, too, along with a subtle boozy jab (which is surprising, given the meager ABV). There's also a bit of malty sweetness (caramel and brown sugar, namely). On the whole, this bouquet scores above its price point. With her twenty-three whiffs, Purrl seems to agree with me.

A short pull from my bottle gives me all the flavors associated with the aromatic notes I mentioned above, with one majorly powerful addition: molasses. There's a dollop of pumpkin, graham cracker, and pumpkin pie spices that hits my palate first. But immediately after this, the molasses comes through. This heavy wave rides the rest of the swig, lingering long into the finish and nearly overpowering the mild hops found therein.

On the mouthfeel front, Pumpkin Ale drinks like a brown ale. Mildly bitey and refreshing.

Have you ever been to a "haunted" location in the daytime? Sure, it's easy to imagine ghosts and ghouls lurking about some old, ramshackle building when the sun's down and the moon's obscured behind a tight covering of clouds.

But, in the daytime, when the sun's shining through cracks in the blinds and catching dust as it twinkles through the mostly-still rooms? That's haunting, sure, but almost beautifully so. Like you can picture the lives that once filled that half-forgotten home. 

State of Brewing's Pumpkin Ale's a beer that shouldn't be as good as it is. It's tasty, it's full, and, most importantly, it's cheap. I'm giving my bottle an 8.0/10. Catch me going back to Aldi before the season's out to pick up some more.

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