NorCal Beer Blog: Hermitage Brewing Company Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog’s brew review.
Tonight’s featured beer is Hermitage Brewing Company Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale. As Halloween draws nearer I plan to review (out of order I might add) Fall seasonal, October or Halloween beverages so as to be sure the reviews drop well prior to “the big night”.  Eventually I’ll get back to the beers I sourced on my Summer vacation and then hopefully back to NorCal centric reviews.
From the Hermitage Brewing Company website: “Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale achieves the perfect essence of Fall with sweet, California-grown Heritage Pumpkins.
The sun-filled Summer days of the Pajaro Valley are tempered by the salty marine air from the Monterey Bay, allowing for slow ripening of sweet, delicious pumpkins. We plant our Heritage Pumpkins early to take full advantage of the area’s perfect microclimate. In late Summer, we harvest the pumpkins for our special release pumpkin ale.
The fruit is roasted to extract maximum sweetness and flavor. We add pumpkins three times during the brewing process: in the mash tun, kettle, and fermenter. The outcome is a perfectly sublime pumpkin flavor melded into a deliciously strong brown ale.
We further celebrate our local agricultural legacy with a “fruit crate” art inspired label. Celebrate Fall, and celebrate California with this truly special limited release.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours amber with a nice tan colored head and good lacing.
Aroma: Grainy and roasted malts with earthy pumpkin notes.
Taste: Amber and caramel malts, slight roasted pumpkin meat flavor, nutty with a hoppy finish.
Overall: Not sweet, nor spiced like the a-typical “pumpkin beer”, Hermitage Brewing Company Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale is easy to drink and enjoyable.  At 9% ABV the alcohol is very well masked.  I was very surprised at the lack of sweetness and spice since pumpkin beers tend to be sweet and spicy. I’d drink this one again.
Mark Harvey

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