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Michigan Pumpkin Beers Highlight Fall Season


By Ashey Dardis

In 2013, Michigan pumpkins generated $11.2 million from the production of 97.8 million pounds. Michigan pumpkins are used for processing and jack-o-lanterns. In 2013, Michigan produced 122 million pounds of squash for fresh or processed use, totaling $17.7 million.

Agriculture is Michigan’s #2 industry. $102 billion a year industry. Placement in the Great Lakes creates cool climate conditions which allow for the growing of more than 200 fruits, vegetables and other agricultural commodities.

Pumpkin is full of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta-carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Squash is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B 6, folate, calcium, and magnesium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene, and manganese.

Michigan made pumpkin brews available for 2016 include:

Arcadia Ales, Battle Creek & Kalamazoo

Jaw-Jacker (6% ABV | 19 IBUs).  Grandma’s pumpkin pie never tasted this good. This fall seasonal spiced amber ale is a celebration of harvest time and the changing of the seasons. Brewed with cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg (a riff on Grandma Davies’ pumpkin pie recipe). Additions of Caramel and Crystal malt for balanced flavor, drinkability, and a brilliant orange-amber color create a bold flavor reminiscent of pumpkin pie. This seasonal beer, available for a limited time on draft and in 6-pack, 12oz glass bottles, is a favorite for harvest festivals, Halloween parties and Thanksgiving dinner. It pairs well with braised brisket with root veggies, roast duck or turkey, pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie with vanilla bean ice cream.

Atwater Brewery, Detroit

Pumpkin Spice Latte (6% ABV | 28 IBUs).  Amber herb & spice beer, flavors of pumpkin spice and coffee along with a smooth hop blend. This pour will give you a punch of walnut-coffee flavor and then ends with a smooth hint of honey and the perfect amount of pumpkin.

Barn Brewers Brewery, Lawton

Jack ‘o Hammer (6% ABV | 13 IBUs). A medium bodied pumpkin ale with light spices. It’s brewed with special amounts of pumpkin and by adding in the light spices it allows the perfect pumpkin flavor to appear.

Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids

Pumpkin Tart (7% ABV | IBUs). – This is an agriculture rich pumpkin farmhouse ale that is created with real pumpkin and the prefect dash of spice. This brew is crafted with a kettle sourcing technique, this allows for the ideal amount of sharpness to flourish on your taste buds and brings all the flavors of fall to you.

Dead Bear Brewing, Grayling

Jean-o-Ween Pumpkin Ale. This brew not only gives you every taste of fall you ever dreamed of, but it also comes with a sweet little story. This is the first recipe the brewer ever crafted and to make it even better, he not only named it after his favorite holiday, but also his loving, incredible wife.

Drafting Table Brewing, Wixom

All Agourd Pumpkin Ale (7.5% ABV | 25 IBUs). Brewed with pumpkin, victory malt, milk sugar, and a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice making it a perfect autumn ale.

Dragonmead, Warren

Devil’s Knight Pumpkin Ale (6% ABV). Brewed with real pumpkins in the Mash and the standard pumpkin pie spices added to the boil, along with molasses and brown sugar, this American Spiced Ale is reminiscent of your favorite autumn dessert: pumpkin pie. The nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon that create this beer’s delicious aroma are balanced against the malts and pumpkin in this recipe to give this spicy treat its charming flavor profile.  Devil’s Knight Pumpkin Ale is only available while supplies last.

Elk Street Brewery, Sandusky

Pumpkin High (6% ABV | 14 IBUs). A deliriously delicious pumpkin beer, crafted with real pumpkin and just the right amount of spice to savor on crisp fall days and nights. So delightful, you’d swear you’re eating a slice of pumpkin pie. This beer is liquid comfort food at its best!

Eternity Brewing, Howell

Pumpkin Muffin (5.7% ABV). – Are you looking for the perfect fall dessert beer? Pumpkin Muffin brew from Etenity Brewing is your lucky ticket. This beer is a spiced amber ale made with pumpkin muffins and spices. It’s crafted with the perfect amount of delightfulness with just the right amount of traditional pumpkin pie flavoring. This is the ideal fall drink due to its toned down malt flavor and fall wrapped into one crisp sip.

The Gallery Brewery, Portland

Pointillism Pumpkin Ale (7.9%). – You don’t want to miss your chance to taste this amazing fall beer that is only available for a limited time.

Gonzos Biggdogg Brewing, Kalamazoo

Hollow Head Pumpkin Ale (5% ABV | 20 IBUs). – The polished spiced pumpkin ale that is not only the perfect company on a fall night but it brings you the taste of a fall night in a bottle. It’s a craft of moonless midnights and shrieking from an orange abyss, and completed with pumpkin potable twists and bubbles with maddening spices.

Greenbush Brewing, Sawyer

Unicorn Killer (7.3% ABV – 42 IBUs). – This brew brings beer and pumpkin puree together, and brings a little bit of heaven to you. That’s not the only thing that makes this brew the most delicious fall drink, this brew also incorporates a complete list of fall ingredients. Including brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a little punch of orange zest. The flavor stays true to its beer ties with just surfacing hints of pumpkin to implant a hint of fall.

Griffin Claw, Birmingham

Screamin’ Pumpkin (5% ABV – 25 IBUs). What to know what pumpkin pie taste like in beer form? Sip on the brew and all your curiosity will be filled. You first sip will be full of cinnamon, clove, sweet pumpkin, and molasses, but it doesn’t stop there. The finishing taste of this beer will leave your taste buds with the resemblance of crispy curst. Not only is the brew satisfying for your Halloween wonders but also your Thanksgiving or Christmas, but only if you can get some before it all runs out!

Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Dexter & Traverse City

La Parcela (5.9% ABV).  OK, so the joke was Jolly Pumpkin doesn’t brew a pumpkin beer! Well, now we do – just this one – No. 1 pumpkin beer. With hints of spice, and a gentle kiss of cacao to liven the soul, this oak-aged sour beer has real pumpkin added to the barrels during the aging process. An everyday easy way to fill your squashy quotient. Guess now folks will have to find something else to joke about! Being released for the first time in Fall 2009.

Latitude 42, Portage

Cross Eyed Jack (8.9% ABV) – This pumpkin harvest ale is fine-tuned with the best technique and 250lbs smoked organic pumpkin right from Sunshine Silo farms. The brew is all you need for a nice fall afternoon, and Imperial smoked pumpkin harvest ale that will punch your taste buds with delicious notes of smoked pumpkin and spices.

Liberty Street Beer, Plymouth

Windmill Cookie (aka Fall Shandy) (5.3% ABV | 25 IBUs).. Pun-kin pie ale with a splash of liberty street root beer, tastes like a windmill cookie, what more could you need for a sweet treat on a fall night? This beer will flood you with memories of when your grandmother would sneak you some windmill cookies. This is a seasonal brew that will be available at the brewery, make sure you don’t miss grandmas’ cookies.

Midtown Brewing, Lansing

Imperial Pumpkin Cream Ale (5% ABV). Sugar and spice and everything nice… that’s simple definition of this brew. They take the sugar and the spice and intertwine it with the perfect autumn squash flavors of pumpkin. This brew not only give you the taste of fall but also the sights, with a smooth orange pour and a creamy white head cake from this brewer’s expertise nitrogenation process you would think you found a slice of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie in a bottle.

Motor City Brewing, Detroit

North Cass Community Garden Pumpkin Ale (9% ABV). This Pumpkin Ale is sourced locally from D-Town farms. It’s a Belgian-style Pumpkin Ale with a special blend of roasted pumpkin & malted barley balanced with American aromatic hops, traditional herb, spices and a lot of the neighbors’ tender loving care. The thin layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle is the mark of the true natural brewing process. Unfiltered, unpasteurized . . . NATURALLY! For optimum flavor enjoy from the glass. This special brew is in limited supply and is only available at the brewery taproom, starting October 12.

New Holland Brewing, Grand Rapids & Holland

Ichabod (4.5% ABV). As fall brings color to our trees, a chill to our evenings and countless aromas of the changing season, we instinctively look for early harvest flavors on our plate and in our glass. Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. It befits any autumnal adventure, including mysterious rides through the hollow, and pairs well with foods such as poultry and root vegetables. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert. Available on tap and in bottles through November.

North Peak Beer, Dexter 

Hooligan (5.5ABV | 35IBUs). The shenanigans continue with the return of Hooligan – a hoppy pumpkin beer, just in time for the fall harvest season. This brew delivers all the spicy pumpkin goodness one could ask for, along with a kick of hops. Hooligan is brewed with real pumpkin and fresh spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, oh my). And, did we mention…hops? Hooligan is brimming with locally-grown hops.

Paw Paw Brewing, Paw Paw

Twisted Pumpkin (6.2% ABV | 20 IBUs).  – This is a limited addition pumpkin Ale. You won’t want to miss this fall brew that resemble flavors of creamy pumpkin and pie. The perfect glass of an orange pour and topped with a nice white foamy finish to end on a sweet note.

Rockford Brewing, Rockford

Butternut Spiced Ale Beer (6.6% ABV | 20 IBUs). This experimental spiced seasonal specialty ale from the Permaculture Series is produced with an abundance of fresh, locally-grown butternut squash. It has a lightly toasted, rich amber body with layered flavors of toffee, caramel and dark dried fruit. Steeped with a unique blend of spices to give this specialty beer a warm personality. As with all of Rockford Brewing’s Permaculture Series, the Butternut Spiced Ale is brewed during peak harvest time for the best possible taste! On Tap and Bottled 22 oz. bottle. Due to the limited release – no growler fills.

Short’s Brewing, Bellaire

PUMPKINCRUSHA (6% ABV | 35 IBUs) This is a seasonal blend of pumpkin, spices, and carefully formulated ale. Brewed with real pumpkin and spice, aromas of pumpkin pie are apparent. The ale is a light pastel brown color and comfortably consumable. PUMPKINCRUSHA will be available on tap at locations throughout Michigan by October.

Stormcloud Brewing, Frankfort

Pumpkin Tripel (7.5% ABV | 24 IBUs). It’s a traditional Belgian tripel brewed with 30lbs local honey, 150lbs local pumpkins, 100% Michigan hops. This brew will flourish your mouth with a squash earthiness with a little hint of spicing. Between the woody aroma from the Vojvidina and the floral aroma from the Willamette it brings forth the perfect equation of a mildly spicy Belgian Triple yeast character.

Trail Point Brewing, Allendale

Punkadiddle (5.1% ABV | 15 IBUs). – Ever wonder what the ideal fall drinks taste likes in beer form? Then this is your brew, it’s an Amber Ale that takes pumpkin through the actually mashing process and brings it all together. To make it even tastier they drop a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. In addition, this brew is completed with a touch of light brown sugar, this brings it all together for an easy drink and the perfect taste of fall.

Unruly Brewing, Muskegon

Punk n’ rock (7.5% ABV | 30 IBUs). 100 pounds of pumpkin and beer? This brew is sure to rock out your taste buds and supply you with the wicked fall flavors. The brew is mixed together with light touches of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla. It’s sure to be a brew that will flood you with best taste of fall, available for a limited time only.

Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro, Hastings

The Candy Snatcher Pumpkin Ale (5.7% ABV). Using local pumpkins and a nice addition of fresh spices always makes a great fall time ale and a local favorite. A bit of lactose (milk sugar) balances out the spices to give this a nice creamy texture…almost a pumpkin cream ale. Available on tap the beginning of October, until it runs out.

Witch’s Hat Brewing, South Lyon

Pumpkin Porter (7.4% ABV | 25 IBUs). – Rich Amber colored ale that is released in October and is a Fall taproom favorite. Made using fresh pumpkin along and the highest quality ingredients including Madagascar vanilla beans, Vietnamese cinnamon, fresh ground nutmeg, brown sugar, and cloves. This beer tastes like fall while not being too sweet or over spiced. The beer is designed to still appeal to craft beer drinkers with its good balance between solid hop bitterness and quality English malts.

Wolverine State Brewing, Ann Arbor

Cucurbita Smiles Spiced Pumpkin Lager (6.8% ABV | 17.5 IBUs). This brew is made with pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, Saigon cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Cucurbita means “pumpkin” or “squash” in Latin. This is our fourth year brewing the beer.

The mission of the Michigan Brewers Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan craft beer industry. Founded in 1997, the Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of MI craft beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer we strive to achieve a 20% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry conservatively contributes more than $144 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $277 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”



Ashley Dardis is from Otsego, Michigan and is a senior at Ferris State University—majoring in the Hospitality Management for Event Planning. She will graduate in December and is in the process of moving to Ireland for work.

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