Shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures are slowly driving us indoors, which means it’s time to hunker down and pick up the darker, richer beers of fall. Thankfully, local craft brewers are prepared for the change in seasons with delicious beers to help smooth the transition.
If you enjoy the mild spice of summertime Belgian ale, it's an easy seasonal transition to a fall pumpkin beer. Pumpkin beer was an American original, a colonial beverage invented out of necessity by beer-loving pilgrims, who had more access to Native American squash than English barley malt.
When cooked at a low heat, enzymes in the pumpkin flesh convert starch to sugar, which the yeast can later ferment into alcohol. Pumpkin beer recipes improved over the years and the rustic style remained popular from the 17th to the 19th century, when it was swept into the dustbin of beer history by malt-based beers produced by increasingly large industrial breweries.