10 Great California Pumpkin Beers

Fall Gourds

Pumpkins and spice are popular in fall beers and desserts, and not just in Starbucks lattes.

There are pumpkin Oreos, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin gum and even pumpkin hummus out there, but the least gimmicky use of the Jack-O-Lantern is in craft beer.  Why?  Because brewers in America have used everything under the sun in beers and pumpkin or the pumpkin pie spice blend is nowhere near the weirdest.

For your coming All Hallows Eve, here are 10 pumpkin beers brewed here in California that will give you a good overview of the newly minted Great American Beer Festival style.  And since you need a costume, I will add a character and a classic Halloween candy to pair with each beer.

Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Pumpkin Ale – One of the first pumpkin beers on the scene from Hayward and still a good intro to the style.

Pair with an old school bedsheet Ghost costume and a plain Hershey bar.

Bootlegger’s Brewery Pumpkin Ale – Real pumpkin juice and molasses make this Fullerton beer a winner.

Pair with a baker’s costume to match the spices being used and a Kit Kat to add some crunch to the equation.

TAPS Pumpkin Ale – A SoCal classic.  Perfect to try at the fall beer festivals.

Pair with an Angels baseball uniform in honor of former brewer Victor Novak and a Baby Ruth to complete the baseball theme.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery Gourdgeous – Part of the Redlands brewery’s Local Fields series that uses local pumpkins in the brewing process.

Pair with an old-time Aviator costume and a Dove bar since you will be flying high in the sky.

Almanac Beer Co. Heirloom Pumpkin – This beer combines 50% barleywine brewed with pumpkins and aged in brandy barrels, and 50% brewed with spices.

Pair with an American Gothic outfit to celebrate the farmer’s who supplied the pumpkins for the beer and a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar.



Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

Blog Comments

Thanks for the love, Sean! Go Halos!! ⚾

Always one of the best. Sorry about the finish to the season and I hope we get that Freeway Series next year.

Both teams have a few issues to address this off season, but they’re close. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, my friend!


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