The hardest part about maintaining my increasingly dubious September 1st start date for “official” Halloween festivities is resisting the temptation to break into the pumpkin beers as soon as they start to appear on store shelves in August. As of yesterday, August 20th, Phoenix area Total Wine stores had several perennial standbys in stock.
Most intriguing was the existence of 2016 vintage Southern Tier Pumking and Warlock. Both solid 5-jack beers. The Warlock in particular I was never able to find last year (and believe me, I checked often), so it’s curious that they would have last year’s batch laying around. How well a bottled beer holds up after that long depends entirely on how it’s stored – I’ve had sour, undrinkable year old + beer before, and totally fine beer, so you roll the dice with that purchase.
They also had 2017 Pumking in 4 x 12oz packs, which I bought in anticipation of the September 1st kickoff. I also picked up a bottle of Buffalo Bill’s Black Pumpkin stout – another 5-jack recipient.
Aside from the aforementioned, I also spotted the following pumpkin beers on the shelf:
- Uinta Punk’n
- Nebraska Wick For Brains
- New Belgium Voodoo Pumpkin (New for 2017, have yet to try)
- Grand Canyon Pumpkin Porter
- Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin
- Ballast Point Pumpkin Down
- Buffalo Bill’s Original Pumpkin Ale
- Wasatch Black O’ Lantern
I’m very much anticipating the arrival of Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, Elysian Night Owl, 2017 Warlock, Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, and Trader Joe’s KBC Pumpkin Ale. These are all an essential part of the Halloween season bouquet, and I can’t wait to consume too many of them and their empty carbohydrates.