All Hail the Pumking

19 Oct

If it could be fall forever, I would be perfectly happy. It’s not too hot like summer and not bitterly cold. The air is crisp and clear. The weather is perfect for scarves and light coats.  The boyfriend and I celebrated the arrival of fall here by going for a walk around a local reservoir. I took too many pictures and it was generally a great way to enjoy the outdoors, each other, and get in some exercise.

Fall is the time of year with some of my favorite seasonal foods and drinks. Fall beers are spicy and malty–just warm enough to counteract the cool weather but with some bite lurking at the edges. Also, I am an unabashed lover of all things pumpkin flavored. Naturally, this encompasses pumpkin flavored beer.

By far the best pumpkin beer I have found is the Southern Tier Pumking.

It’s not light in the alcohol content, after all it is an imperial ale, coming in at a strong 9%ABV. However, the taste is so light and crisp that the alcohol flavor is completely masked. I’ve tasted beers with less ABV that have more alcohol flavor than this beer. The body is surprisingly light and when poured the beer has an unmistakable orange color (like a pumpkin!).

Where other pumpkin beers are heavy, spicy and dark, this beer is a perfect balance between the pumpkin flavors and the pumpkin pie spices. I prefer my pumpkin beers to be on the spicier side usually since it’s so hard to get the pumpkin flavor right in beers. Pumpkin by itself can often end up with a beer that tastes too weak and too bitter. I want to be reminded of a good pumpkin pie when I drink a pumpkin beer. However, an over reliance on spices can make a pumpkin beer cloying after a few bottles. The Pumking is the one pumpkin beer I have found that I don’t get sick of as I drink more of it. I spent a very happy Saturday afternoon sipping this beer in my backyard.


When I woke up on Sunday, pumpkin beer alone were not doing enough to sate my desire for pumpkin flavored food stuffs: I wanted to bake. So I took to the internet to find the pumpkin baked goods that I could make with the limited provisions I had in my house. As soon as I ran across this recipe for Sugarlaw’s Pumpkin Pie Cookies, I knew I had my baking project.

I did not have the pudding mix the recipe called for, so I substituted 1/4 cup brown sugar. I also didn’t have any cloves and replaced them with 1/4 tsp ground ginger. The cookies were surprisingly good. I think I ate three as soon as they came out of the oven (oops…). If you like cakey cookies, these are perfect. They taste like fluffy pumpkin pies. Delicious!


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