Several months ago we received a call from the folks at Blueberry Bay Farm in Stratham, NH asking us if we were interested in buying some pumpkins. (Note- Blueberry Bay Farm supplies the Portsmouth Brewery with their pumpkins, and they found us through a recommendation from Head Brewer Tyler. Thank you, Tyler!)
Since several of our customers had been asking us about pumpkin beer, Annette and I decided to go ahead and pick up 100+ pounds of the pumpkins and brew up something special. Given that neither of us likes overly spiced pumpkin beers, we chose to make a lightly spiced, lighter ale – with a focus on trying to make the pumpkin flavor and color really shine through.
The result is a gourdgeous beer (yes, we know it is a bad pun, but we can’t help ourselves 🙂 ) – amber / orange-ish in color, super easy to drink, and perfectly spiced. The most prominent spice is the vanilla, followed by a touch of nutmeg, allspice and ginger. Annette roasted the Dickinson pumpkins (more on that below), and we think this helped to bring out the pumpkin flavor in the beer. The pumpkins are a really pretty heirloom variety, as you can see in the picture above of Hank guarding them.
Brewing this beer was a pure labor of love. Annette had to first cut them all up and remove the innards. She then grilled them all which took a very long time. (Remind us next year to rent a big grill!) In the pictures below you can see the pumpkin being grilled and then another photo of the roasted pumpkin, which Chris put into the mash when brewing the beer.
Gourdgeous Pumpkin Ale will be first available next week during special pre-Thanksgiving Growler hours. Special Turkey Day hours will be Tuesday, Nov 20th 4 to 6pm. Wednesday, Nov 21st 12 to 6pm. Thursday we are closed. Friday, Nov 23rd we resume regular hours (4 to 7pm.) Saturday, Nov 24th are regular hours as well (1 to 4pm.)
The stats: 5.2% A.B.V. 23 IBU.