Think pumpkin pie and pale ale. This ale is brewed with actual pumpkin along with the spices usually associated with the fruit in pie form. These spices are overt, making themselves apparent in the odor and flavor of the ale. The beauty here is found in a near to perfect pairing of these spices with a solid base of hops, generating a pleasing combination of bitter and sweet and something in between. Buffalo Bill’s Brewery is a traditional style brewpub operating in Hayward, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco. Buffalo Bill’s, since conception, has managed to produce a lineup of brews unique both in range of theme and style. If Bill’s Pumpkin Ale is a testament to the overall quality of this lineup, then I suggest further exploration into what this American microbrewery has to offer. America’s Original Pumpkin Ale may sound a bit off-putting to those heavy-hitter beer lovers out there, but if you find yourself at a good old American fall gathering in want of that desirable desert complement, you would be hard-pressed to find a more fundamentally suitable option.
Spaten Oktoberfest is claimed by its creators to be the original Oktoberfest beer. In truth, it may be the first to have claimed the title, but this style of beer more appropriately originated out of a long German brewing tradition. In the old days, Germany stored its summer stock of beer in caves to preserve it from the summer heat. In the fall (the beginning of the new brewing season), the remaining reserves were excavated and served at large Autumnal festivals, such as Oktoberfest. Through this process of storage, the beer that started out in lager form, by fall had matured and acquired a richer, more aged quality. This root classification of beer is referred to as Marzen (March) beer. Spaten Oktoberfest is a light beer with a slightly amber color. It has a malt-like consistency and a faint smoky essence. Ultimately, it may serve as a beer with which to tease your pallet until the winter warmers arrive.