Years ago, by pure happenstance, I managed to stumble upon one of the better beers out there. This one began my love of a brewery known as Southern Tier Brewing Co. They really make what I consider to be the ultimate pumpkin beer. What, another pumpkin beer review? Well, it’s the time of the year, and I’d feel despicable if I made you wait another year before I told you who the king of pumpkin beers was. Are you ready for it? You probably read the title of the article, so you know it’s Pumking!
“Wow” would be all I could say about this beer, if I wasn’t so driven to write a review of it. If I had to use more words, I’d have to say it was remarkable. Before I tell you how fancifully it dances across one’s tongue, I’ll tell you how I came across the best. A few years ago, my roommates and I would have a weekly beer tasting of sorts, in which I purchased two Mix-A-Six beer packs from a lovely little place called The Foodery. Its walls are covered with beers you can select and purchase individually, and it’s got a selection that truly can’t be matched. While I’d say it’s within walking distance, I’d have to add on that’s a good walk.
Leap ahead a year and I find out that Mad Greek’s does the same thing! Their selection is a little more limited but the fact that their rotation is constantly changing means that going there week to week was worthwhile. One day I ventured in and I’m recommended the Pumking. I wasn’t convinced. A group enjoying their meal nearby held up an empty bottle and told me I frankly couldn’t go wrong. I asked if I could try and they happily obliged.
Fast forward to my friend and I clinking glasses. Mmm, oh my word. You really have to try this. If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, beer or just happiness in general, you have to go out and grab yourself a bottle. “Wait,” you might tell yourself. “This costs $8 per bottle! That’s a lot!” I’d say that’s a valid argument if it weren’t for the fact that a bottle of Pumking is twice the size of a regular beer, coming in at 22 ounces, and it’s twice as strong as Guinness. Add to that the factor of unparalleled taste and you’ve got yourself a bargain by anyone’s standards.
Some of you by now have thrown the paper in the air and rushed so quickly to the nearest Pumking peddler that you’ll have popped the top and had your first sip before paper lands on the ground where you once were. For those of you yet unconvinced, let me actually tell you how this stuff tastes. It’s the pumpkin pie of beers, it’s the beer of pumpkin pies. I truly can’t tell you how perfect a fusion this has. As you drink it, you really find yourself not drinking a weak imitation, but genuinely enjoying a perfect liquid recreation. I gave it to my friend, who was impressed … and then he exhaled. I have no idea how they manage to do it. I’m sure I could make a beer taste like pumpkin pie — I’ve done it with vodka. But at the end, when you breathe out, you get the crust. That graham cracker bready sweet cinnamon bit.
To this day, I’m left speechless after each sip. I regret to say it’s so good, it may have ruined pumpkin pies for me. I intend to review good beers only in the future, but I reserve the golden 10 out of 10 spot for the truly remarkable one. Even a 9.9 would insult all the love and ingenuity that went into this perfect brew.