Thursday, October 16, 2014

Town Hall Petunia's Pumpkin Ale

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret: I don't really care for pumpkin beers. Any more. Kind of over it. Just like with fruit beers. Oh, I was all about them years ago, when it was a novelty, but now everyone has them, and it's kind of like, been there, done that. I used to be into, you know, apricot ales, and things like that, a million years ago. Now...yawn. I'll still drink the fruity/vegetably stuff, sure, but you're never going to see me dancing in the store aisles, paraphrasing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" to be about pumpkin beers. Nope. Not gonna happen.

And then I felt like revisiting Town Hall's version, which I usually skip, and looked back at the first time I had it, some nine years ago, in October of 2005. Here come those notes, but keep in mind, some things are probably still true, like the recipe, but I'll bet they're not collecting portions of the profits to give to charity anymore:
For the first time, I took home a growler with Town Hall's new logo, and here we have new next to old. I'm still partial to the old-fashioned look.

Made with a mild ale base, using English malts and 27 pounds of pumpkin. 10 more pounds were added later, along with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and other pumpkin pie spices, and the brew simmered in those spices after fermentation. (That's my best paraphrasing of the brewer's information, found on the latest menu...apologies if I got anything wrong.) 

Nearly clear, slightly hazed, pale orange/amber hue, thin, but lasting layer of off-white foam above. 

Aroma: cinnamon on top, but tempered well with other spices, and the pumpkin lies below. Well-controlled spices, just enough to please the nose, not so much to scare anyone away. 

Spices are on top of the taste, too, herbal/vegetal flavors riding it out below. Medium bodied, light, mild finish. Pumpkin spice flavors just up and tease the tongue with each new sip, then fade back, making for easy drinking. 

I could have used a heftier body to suit my tastes, but, then, I'm not everyone, and this was used, in it's debut, as a fund-raising beer to benefit a former employee battling Lymphoma. Something to fit the season, that's not too bold that the average pint pounder can't stand a couple, and in doing so, add to the aid. ( Although, my friend couldn't have more than one, and I yearned for something hoppier after my glass had emptied.) 

Actually, I like it quite a bit...the closer the beer gets to the bottom of the glass, the more I realize that...I'll have fun finishing the growler tonight!

One question is still unanswered after nine years: who the heck is Petunia?

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