Hello again and welcome back to the Fall Beer series! And in keeping with my ongoing efforts to give as many pumpkin ales their due, I have procured a bottle of Cannery Brewery’s Knucklehead Pumpkin Ale. As some might suspect, the name is a reference to the type of pumpkins used, but also makes for a delicious pun on the whole “pumpkin head” thing.
And I have to admit, I was somewhat surprised with this version of the fall beer classic. Whereas most breweries tend to make their beers along the same general lines, spicing them with cloves, cinnamon and/or nutmeg and allspice, Cannery seems to have taken the purist route. The label says Pumpkin Ale, and that appears to be what you get. Yes, the label also says they use spice in the mix, but that does not appear to be the case once you taste it. While they may have chosen to add some of the aforementioned spices to
Appearance: Dark ruby-brown, transparent, light foam
Nose: Very mild notes of pumpkin flesh and malts
Taste: Light, refreshing, slight notes of pumpkin, no discernible spice
Aftertaste: Lingering taste of pumpkin flesh, tangy malts
Yes, this beer was a bit of a stumper for me. On the one hand, it was quite light and odd tasting for a pumpkin ale, a variety of beer which usually packs a good dose of rich, spicey flavor, reminiscent of pumpkin pie. However, at the same time, I can see both the honesty and the balls in them doing a beer in this way. While everyone else is doing a pumpkin pie ale that tastes predominantly of cloves and allspice, they are doing a straight pumpkin one that offers nothing but what the name suggests. Admittedly, not my favorite of the variety, but a good and honest beer nonetheless.