Last Thursday I spent an hour at Joann Fabrics picking up some essentials for my Minion Pumpkin before stopping at Albertsons on the way home.  Walking past the "make your own six pack" end cap something caught my eye.

I'd like to think I'm a connoisseur of pumpkin beers after completing the Old Chicago "Halloween Mini Tour" multiple times over every year, but this beer? I'd never seen it before.  It was Sam Adam's "20 Pounds of Pumpkin."  My go to Sam Adam's fall beer is normally their Oktoberfest, so I had to pick up a single to try.

Michelle Heart/TSM Boise

According to Sam Adam's, this brew is inspired by the pilgrims who used pumpkin for their beer long before ugg boots and scarves were a thing.  They didn't do it for flavor, they did it because they lacked traditional malts and pumpkin was a decent replacement.  However, unlike the pilgrims Sam Adam's does use four malts in this beer with a mix of 20 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to give it a taste of fall.

Unfortunately, I couldn't taste the pumpkin in it!  Compared to some of my other favorite pumpkin beers, the pumpkin flavor was almost non existent.  It has a nutty flavor and tasted more like Oktoberfest with some spices in it than a great pumpkin ale. But if you're not as HUGE of pumpkin fan as I am and just want a hint of fall to take along with you to a Boise State tailgate or refresh you after raking leaves, it's not a bad beer at all. (Ladies, it might even be a gentle way of introducing your man to the world of pumpkin spice goodness.  It took me weeks last year to get my boyfriend to even take a sip of pumpkin beer.)

Pumpkin Beer/Cider Profile

  • Name: Sam Adam's 20 Pounds of Pumpkin
  • ABV: 5.7%
  • Pairs With: Chili or Turkey
  • Where We've Found It: Albertsons Parkcenter