Kern River Pumpkin Ale
Brewed by: Kern River Brewing Company
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Ale
- Variation: Pumpkin, Spiced
- Seasonal: Fall
- ABV: 5%
- IBU: N/A
Brewer’s Notes and Ingedients
So good it’s scary! This fall seasonal ale is brewed with real pumpkin and a hint of allspice. It pours slightly orange in color with a light sweetness and spicy finish. This beer is no trick and all treat!
Additional: Pumpkin and Allpsice
More KRBC Pumpkin Ale Images
Artwork: Cartoonish looking pumpkin with KRBC block letters superimposed.
Color: Bright orange.
Aroma: Mostly ale notes, mildly spiced.
Arrived in: 22oz. Bottle
Served in: Short Tulip
When you think of Kern River Brewing Company, what typically comes to mind are their bone dry, heavily hopped IPAs. We didn’t even know they brewed a pumpkin ale until our friends Cody and Tom over at Three B Zine recommended it.
What they enjoyed about this pumpkin beer was it not being an over-the-top pumpkin and spice seasonal most breweries produce. It was a beer with subtle flavors, and probably because they used real ingredients. After a few sips of KRBC Pumpkin Ale, we could see why they enjoyed it so much!
As the official tasting notes described, this beer was actually orange in hue like a pumpkin. And with its thin covering of pure white head, it almost resembled a slice of everyone’s favorite fall dessert, with a dab of whip cream spread on top.
To be honest, we were expecting more spiced aromatics from Pumpkin Ale. It mostly smelled like “beer” — more specifically a pale ale — than a pumpkin beer. It was predominantly malty and sweet, but at the end of each whiff gentle notes of gingerbread did pull through.
How many times can you say a pumpkin beer was both crisp and refreshing? It seemed like Kern’s primary goal was to brew a hoppy ale first, and then season it up for fall with pumpkin and allspice. We say that, since this was easily the most hop forward pumpkin ale we’ve ever experienced.
Pumpkin Ale was a bit malty up front with some pumpkin sweetness until those hops emerged. Right as the beer got hoppy, the allspice jumped out and paired wonderfully with the hop bitterness. In other words, Kern didn’t go out of their gourds with the additives, and left some malt and hop flavor to savor as well.
Final Score: 3.5/5
There’s a few core pumpkin beers we buy every fall, and Kern River Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale will gladly be added to that rotation. It was not too heavy handed with the pumpkin, or aggressively spiced.