10/6/18: Braxton's Graeter's Pumpkin Pie

11:59 AM

It's 85 degrees here and feels like 90. I'm sitting out on my porch with my Mac open and my shirt off. This is not what I imagine October 6th to be like. Instead of drinking a heavy autumnal ale, this weather makes me want some ice cream.

It's super lucky, then, that today's beer was produced in collaboration with an ice cream company. Today's beer, Braxton's Graeter's Pumpkin Pie, was purchased through Lil Chet's support on my Ko-fi page. Thanks, Lil Chet! Like its name implies, Braxton worked with Graeter's (the folks behind the ice cream) to make this special fall seasonal. How does it hold up to the pedigree from its creators?

Long time readers are well versed in Braxton's history, but let me run you through it if you're in need of a refresher (or if it's your first time around these parts): Braxton was founded in Covington, KY by a guy named Evan Rouse. Evan was the type of kid who loved tinkering and making things. When he was 16 he set up a home brewery system in his garage. That lit a fire under his feet that led to the founding of Braxton, which, in my opinion, crafts some of the area's best beer.

I can't find Pumpkin Pie on Braxton's website, but that's okay because the can lists all the info I need. Brewed with lactose, brown sugar, spices, vanilla, and real pumpkin, the 7% ABV ale contains hints of brown sugar and pie crust.

I've never baked a pumpkin but the ale's nose is what I'd imagine a baked pumpkin smells like. It has a strong pumpkin aroma, with those good pumpkin pie spices peppered throughout it. The bouquet here isn't subtle, which is great. You know what you're getting into once you crack your can. Purrl (and Háma--I tried to get his picture, too) hates how this beer smells. She gave it three whiffs before pulling away.

Here's a shocker: Graeter's Pumpkin Pie tastes like pumpkin pie. The pumpkin has a vegetabliness that's complemented nicely by the spices in the ale. It's warm and sweet, but not too warm or sweet. I do get a hint of pie crust before the vanilla finish. There's the slightest bit of boozy warmth in my mouth after each swig.

The ale feels bigger than an ale typically does. Its bubbliness (nothing close to fizziness, mind you) creates a feeling of spice on the tongue.

Last October I went camping with Michelle's family for a night at Lake Hope State Park. Lake Hope is one of our favorite places and Michelle and I make a point of getting out to it at least once a year.

We crashed for a Saturday night in her folks' camper with them and her younger brother. The afternoon was pretty warm, but the evening and following morning were cool. We had dinner and breakfast cooked over the fire. I lounged in a hammock. We hiked and hunted for fossils. It was the perfect weather for camping and, when I think back, I can still smell the campfire. It might be this beer, or it may just be the day, but that fantastic October camping trip is the foremost memory in my mind right now.

Braxton's Graeter's Pumpkin Pie is how a pumpkin ale should be done. It showcases the earthy vegetabliness of the pumpkin and bolsters it with spices and vanilla. I'm giving it a 9.0/10. I'm not surprised, Braxton always comes through with their brews. I guess it does live up to its pedigree, huh? You ought to grab a four-pack (which'll run you about $10) and see for yourself.

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

A Beer You'll See Here Soon