It’s not the great pumpkin

illustration by Hayley Doshay

Pumpkin beers have never appealed to my palate, and I often stigmatize brews in the style as mere novelties. Most of them amp up the pumpkin-juice flavors like it’s Sunday brunch at Hufflepuff House, while ignoring the obvious autumnal benefits of pairing pumpkin flavors with breads and spices. If any brewery could crack the code, it would seemingly be Salt Lake City’s excellent Uinta Brewing Company, creators of Baba Black Lager and Hop Notch IPA. Its Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale smells like pumpkin-pie spices and nuts, but the taste doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the nose, offering more in the way of pumpkin juice, flesh and seeds. Like Linus in the pumpkin patch, I remain in search of the elusive great pumpkin beer. $10.99 for a sixpack at A&P Liquor Store, 1101 21st Street.

Beer: Saison Diego
Brewer: Green Flash Brewing Company
Where: Taylor’s Market, 2900 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 443-6881

Beer: St. Bernardus Abt 12
Brewer: Brouwerji St. Bernardus
Where: Kupros Bistro, 1217 21st Street; (916) 440-0401

Beer: Festina Peche
Brewer: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Where: Curtis Park Market, 2703 24th Street; (916) 456-6488