Michigan Brewing Screamin' Pumpkin Spiced Ale
Pumpkin beers tend not to be beers that excite us geeks, and for good reason. All too often they're basically just pale ales with a hint of pumpkin and some other spices added to give a bit of texture and flavor. But working in a beer store for the first time this season showed me that pumpkin beers have a lot of admirers, particularly in people who either don't drink other types of beer at all, or among those who'd really only otherwise drink one of the macros.
Michigan Brewing's Screamin' Pumpkin was probably our most requested pumpkin ale, so I definitely wanted to give it a try. And what did I find but a pretty decent pale with a nice pumpkin spiciness? This doesn't have the mouthfeel or the spicy complexity of New Holland's Ichabod, or the sheer tastiness and quality of ingredients that clearly went into DFH's Punkin, but that's not really an issue here. For fans of this product, drinkability is key, and this beer's clean pumpkin flavor with only a touch of cloves and nutmeg to balance out the sweetness really fits the bill. No real carbonation to speak of, and no real hoppiness -- this brew goes down smooth and is a great introduction to the style.
Would I drink this before some of the other Pumpkin Ales I've had? No, but it's a got a smoothness that some of the others lack, and is probably the most accessible example I've had of the style.
My overall BA rating: 4.0/5