The Great Pumpkin
October 6, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The nights become stretched, the days brief, the addicting smell of new pencils is in the air, and pumpkin ale is once again lining the stores with orange.

This is how we break such news to each other, after picking up taco shells at the grocery store, my husband says, "There's something else here." I look around at the beans, tamari sauce, and coconut water and don't know what he's on about. He leads me through the store and finally stops. I turn around and gasp at the festive stacks of Buffalo Bill Pumpkin Ale. We grab a few six-packs and head to check out. The girl in front of us is very interested, "Have you tried that before or are you just trying it now?" "Oh, no," I tell her, "We buy this every year. It's a sick addiction." "I'm going to have to try it now," she promised.

Popping open two chilled brown bottles, we clink glass necks and toast to a good year for pumpkin ale (last year was rather disappointing). A long, cold, dark sip later and we look at each other and smile, "It's a good batch."

Acting on a tip our first year in California, we decided to chase down this particular local pumpkin ale. We finally traced it to Hayward and, not having a car, we made the brilliant plan of BARTing it out there. A few dodgy walks later and we were carting home a pleasingly weighty growler of Buffalo Bill. Yes, it might have been a rather ill-advised trip but we decided -- in the safety and comfort of home -- that it was worth it to drink deep from autumn's spicy breath.

By the way, Beer Advocate details the history of the beer growler, but this is where the name comes from:

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one's home by means of a small-galvanized pail. Rumor has it that when the beer sloshed around the pail, it created a rumbling sound as the CO2 escaped through the lid, thus the term "growler" was coined.

Love it.

While we may drink our Buffalo Bill Pumpkin Ale with considerable glee on the West Coast, it still doesn't hold a candle to Post Road Pumpkin Ale from the East. And this saddens me. Brooklyn Brewing, if you're somewhere out there listening to my prayers, GO WEST, YOUNG MAN!


Hungry? Get a menu pushed
under your door when I update:
Powered by
Copyright © 2002-2006 Stephanie Vander Weide