Food & Drink

The Pumpkin Beer Taste Test You Didn’t Know You Needed

A few of us from the HUB team (who know very little about beer) sample pumpkin-flavored brews so you don’t have to. There’s nothing better than beer novices tasting beer, right?

When October rolls around, I’m a believer in being as festive as possible and indulging in every pumpkin-flavored item I can. I rounded up the rest of the HUB team and decided to taste test a handful of pumpkin-flavored brews to find our go-to for this autumn season. Let’s meet our tasters.

Chris – Loves beer, hates all pumpkin-flavored things
Christy – Not really a beer fan but is always up for a taste test
Maddy – Likes lighter beers, but prefers a glass of wine
Taylor – An ice-cold Budlight is her beer of choice

The beers we decided to taste test are Southern Tier Brewing Co. Cold Brew Coffee Pumpking and Pumking Nitro, Mackenzie’s Pumpkin Jack Hard Cider, Elysian The Great Pumpkin, Elysian Night Owl, Elysian Punkuccino, and Elysian Dark O’ The Moon.

Cold Brew Coffee Pumking

Southern Tier Brewing Co.

Southern Tier describes this beer as “smooth, roasty cold brew coffee combined with pumpkin spice.” Overall, tasters believed this to be true.

Taylor: “Aroma is nutty, giving strong pecan vibes” ★ Taylor’s Favorite ★
Chris: “This reminds me of sitting around a fire pit on a late fall afternoon.”

Pumking Nitro

Southern Tier Brewing Co.

This Southern Tier canned nitro beer is unique to the rest of our beers since it’s canned with integrated nitro technology in each can! The flavor list includes pumpkin pie spices, buttery crust, vanilla, and roasted pecans.

Taylor: “The Nitro technology is cool!”
Chris: “Nitro foam is impressive.” ★ Chris’ Favorite ★
Christy: “Kinda shocked something this smooth came from a can.”
Maddy: “Love a can since I never have a bottle opener.”

Pumpkin Jack Hard Cider


Yeah yeah, we know this is a cider – but this last-minute addition won over a lot of hearts. According to Mackenzie’s website, this hard cider “uses only the finest real pumpkin and fall spices to enhance and excite both your nose and taste buds.” Let’s see if our tasters agree:

Christy: “OMG this is good. Great transitional beer (cider?) for seasons.” ★ Christy’s Favorite ★
Maddy: “Reminds me of the holidays, giving hints of gingerbread.”

The Great Pumpkin


This guy is the first of our four Elysian beers – we purchased their pumpkin variety pack so we could get the full experience. Elysian describes this beer as “Intense pumpkin, sugar and spice on the nose with a nice bread and malty backdrop to tame all those autumn spices”  The verdict:

Taylor: “This one is so good! Very hoppy – is that the right word?”

Sorry Taylor, can’t help ya on that one. Moving on!

Night Owl


Next up on our Elysian tour is the Night Owl. It’s described as a “very drinkable pumpkin ale – brewed with pumpkin puree and juice, and spiced in conditioning with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.

Maddy: “Lighter pumpkin flavor which I like.”
Chris: “Has a great amber color, not overly pumpkin-y.”



The Elysian Punkuccino is described as “a pumpkin ale with the attitude of a world-weary barista” with some Stumptown coffee and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. We are here for a beer with attitude, and the Punkuccino brings it.

Taylor: “Has a wood-like aroma and a hint of coffee in the flavor.”
Maddy: “I relate to the pumpkin inhaling his cappuccino” ★ Maddy’s Favorite ★
Christy: “Looks like root beer.”

Dark O’ The Moon


Dark O’ The Moon is described as “a little smokey on the nose with malty bittersweet chocolate and a little coffee with subtle earthy pumpkin.” The name speaks for itself – this beer’s deep color makes for the perfect Halloween Stout.

Christy: “Black licorice??”
Maddy: “The can has major spooky vibes.”
Taylor: “Smokey”

Some helpful insight from our testers!

After tasting all of the beers, the consensus was you can’t go wrong with a pumpkin brew during the fall. Each beer was unique, which surprised us.

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The Craft Behind Craft Beer

So often we grab a beer out of the refrigerator and don’t think about what kind of beer it is, how much effort and time went into making it, or what it actually tastes like. So we’re taking a deep dive into the Smoked Cherry Porter releasing this week at Savannah River Brewing Company to gain a better appreciation for the craft behind craft beer.