Iron Hill is just one of the local brewers ready for pumpkin beer season to begin.(Photo: Courtesy Iron Hill)
Don’t be surprised to find some pumpkin beer in the cooler at this weekend’s Labor Day parties and cookouts.
The seasonal creep, as some call it, means the pumpkin brews many adore (and others love to hate) can be found on shelves and on tap as early as mid-summer.
Delaware breweries have held off until at least August to bring out their gourds-and-spice-and-everything-nice beers, with some brewers waiting until autumn officially kicks off (or later) to send out their seasonal.
Alas, not all Delaware brewers are into the gourd thing.
Twin Lakes Brewing Co. (4210 Kennett Pike, Greenville) isn’t planning on doing a pumpkin beer, although they do always release an Oktoberfest in the fall.
At 16 Mile Brewery (413 S. Bedford St., Georgetown), they’re busy brewing Delaware Oyster Stout with 250 fresh, local oysters and smoked malt, according to Claus Hagelman, sales and marketing director. The first batch should be on tap in about three weeks.
They’ve brewed it three times before, but this will be the first time they’re doing it nitro style. They’re hoping to have it in six-packs soon, he says.
Now back to the gourds. Here’s the skinny on what’s coming, and what’s already out.
SPICED HARVEST ALE, Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company
It may not have pumpkin in the name, but this medium-bodied beer has all those tasty fall flavors we love: Cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice and yes, pumpkin. It was released last week.
Available in bottles and on tap and in the brewery’s tasting room, where you can get a “dirty pumpkin:” half Spiced Harvest Ale, half Oak Barrel Stout.
1284 McD Drive, Dover; www.fordhamanddominion.com
PUNKIN ALE, Dogfish Head
Dogfish waits until the unofficial end of summer before selling its spicy, seasonal favorite, and it asks retailers to do the same. Punkin Ale hit shelves this week and is out at the brewery and brewpub today (Friday).
Don’t panic if you scan the shelves and don’t see the tried-and-true pale orange label. The label has a new look, but the beer has the same recipe with subtle brown sugar and pumpkin notes.
Brewpub: 320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; www.dogfish.com
Brewery: 6 Cannery Village Center, Milton (GPS address: 511 Chestnut St., Milton)
GREAT IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ALE and CLASSIC PUMPKIN ALE, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
The big day at Iron Hill locations, including those in Newark and Wilmington, is Sept. 5. That’s when Classic Pumpkin Ale will be on tap and their Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale will be ready for drinkers to take home in 750 milliliter bottles.
For hard-core pumpkinheads, the Wilmington location will be serving up five different pumpkin brews – Pumpkin Ale, Charlie Pumpkin Brown, Great Pumpkin Stout, Pumpkin Weiss and Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale – from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13.
Newark: 147 E. Main St.; www.ironhillbrewery.com
Wilmington: 620 Justison St.; www.ironhillbrewery.com
PUMPKIN ALE, Pizza By Elizabeths
This past spring, the charming Greenville eatery also became a brewery. And as of fall, they’ll check off two other firsts: First pumpkin beer brewed in-house and first growlers sold.
In mid-September, pumpkin ale and a hazelnut brown ale (yum) will be added to the house-made beers on tap, says Rob Traynor, sous chef and manager. Traynor and Paul Egnor, executive chef, are the in-house brewers.
Growler sales will arrive at the same time seasonal brews do, Traynor says.
3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville; www.pizzabyelizabeths.com
CHUNKIN’ PUNKIN’, 3rd Wave Brewing Company
The state’s beachy brewmakers at 3rd Wave are releasing their Chunkin’ Punkin’ in mid-September, says owner Lori Clough. The Belgian ale has lasted until November in the past, but there’s no telling how long it’ll be in stock this year, especially with their increased distribution in Maryland, she says.
Drinkers in southern Delaware and Maryland should be able to find it in area bars in coming weeks. If not, they can always head to the brewery and take some home in a growler.
501 N. Bi-State Blvd., Delmar
MISCHIEF NIGHT PUMPKIN ALE, Stewart’s Brewing Company
Last year, the beer o’ the gourd wasn’t tapped until late September or early October, but no news on when we can expect it this year. The brewery is closed for renovations until Saturday at 11 a.m.
219 Governors Place, Bear
MISS BETTY SWEET POTATO SPICED ALE, Mispillion River Brewing
October will bring the return of Miss Betty, a holiday spiced ale brewed with vanilla beans, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, clove, sweet potatoes and candied pecans, according to the Mispillion River website.
Made with local sweet potatoes, the brew should be released at the brewery durign the first week in October.
255 Mullet Run Road, Milford; mispillionriverbrewing.com
BOOGSLEY’S PUMPKIN ALE, Argilla Brewing Company
The nanobrewery will be releasing its Boogsley’s Pumpkin Ale for its Fall Fest in mid- to late-October. Word is they’ll brew it for that and keep it around for a while after the festival. But because the brewery is only a 1.5 barrel operation, better get it while you can.
2667 Kirkwood Highway, Newark; www.argillabrewing.com
Contact Sarika Jagtiani at email@example.com or (302) 324-2885.
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