Pumpkin beers are tricky. If you’re talking about the version most folks are familiar with, you’re talking about a brew that can easily veer into sickening sweetness—and that’s just plain unpleasant. So it was with some trepidation that I cracked open a can of Autumnation, a 6.7% ABV monster that’s the first seasonal offering from Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Craft Ales.
Luckily, my worries were quickly dispelled. Yes, it’s a pumpkin beer, but it’s not what you’d expect. Seasoned with ginger and white pepper, it’s spicy, not sweet (though it is quite orange, thanks to that all-important squash). And then there are the hops: Brand spanking new Citra hops, to be exact. They’re added fresh, in a process called wet-hopping—as opposed to dry-hopping, which uses a ground, pelletized version—that makes for a final product with a bold, piney kick and a relatively dry finish. There’s also a little something extra to the bitterness that’s tough to explain, but damn good nonetheless. If you’re looking for a seasonally appropriate brew that doesn’t make you feel like you’re drinking pie filling, this is it.
Autumnation is available in select markets. A four-pack of 16 oz. cans will run you $10-12.