Have pumpkin beers overstayed their welcome? Not even close

7:25 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 Drinks
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman
A trio of pumpkin beers (one is technically a cider) awaits at Growler USA, including the Tieton Smoked Pumpkin Cider, the New Belgium Atomic Pumpkin and the Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale.

It might not feel like fall outside, but that doesn’t mean Austinites aren’t going to celebrate like it is. And autumn means one thing: pumpkin beers.

Or at least it did.

By this time last year, many local bars and stores had already been rotating through their supply of pumpkin beers several times over, having had a steady stream of them come through as early as July. Now, however, the craze has appeared to die down.

“It just doesn’t seem to be as hot of a style this year,” Matt Cox, the beer buyer at Growler USA, said. 

The one-year-old campus-area beer bar only had three pumpkin beverages — one of which was a cider — on tap as of late September, though he had plans to add more throughout October. This year, he said, Oktoberfest beers seem to be the more popular seasonal style.

Retail spots like WhichCraft Beer Store on South Lamar Boulevard have also noticed the lack of pumpkin beer options. Tim Vela, the general manager of the craft beer-only shop, said that brewers have been more cautious to make them this go-round because “there were so just many left over by the end” last year. 

To Vela, who loves pumpkin beers and has ready examples of them for people visiting WhichCraft, that’s a shame. But maybe it’s not an altogether bad thing. The pumpkin beers that are out this fall are as good as ever, and many of them aren’t the typical dark brews overflowing with pumpkin spice that traditionally dominate the fruited style. For those of us craving them, we’ll get plenty.

Here are the ones to try, according to Cox and Vela, so you can feel those autumn vibes even if it’s 90 degrees outside.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman
There is a range of pumpkin beers at WhichCraft Beer Store, such as the Pumpkin Down Scottish Ale from Ballast Point, far right, and the Full Grown Jack from TUPPS Brewery in McKinney, far left.

Not sure which beer you want to commit your Halloween imbibing to? The downtown beer bar Easy Tiger is bringing back its two-day pumpkin beer flight special on Oct. 9 and 10. Throughout both days, you can order $10 flights with four pumpkin brews. They include the Punkin and the Post Road, as well as Elysian Brewing Night Owl and the always popular Southern Tier Pumking.

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