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Pumpkin Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 142
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 21.83%
Wants: 22
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-14-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 60 | Hads: 142
Photo of Dspohn
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to try this from a KR growler after the FW 14 release at the Pour House.

I'll admit to being fairly intoxicated and not taking good notes on this review. But after sampling some awesome beers and getting to try the very highly regarded Citra DIPA and Just Outstanding which were both excellent and receive a lot of praise, I feel like this underrated beer deserved a great review. By FAR my favorite pumpkin beer, incredibly refreshing, light and delicious. One of the standouts of the night. I sort of hate pumpkin beers that tend to be too heavy,sweet,over-the-top but this was a wonderful beer.

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Stan.

Appearance: Glowing jack o lantern orange with a large blanket of foam.

Smell: Sweet bready malts and pleasantly restrained pie spices. Nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger, perhaps? Spices prevail, contributing most of the depth, but this never comes off as cloying.

Great pumpkin pie flavor. This tastes a hell of a lot like pumpkin pie, actually. There's a pleasant bready sweetness beneath the clove, nutmeg and ginger. Medium in body, malty and spicy in the finish. I had low expectations, but this turned out to be a surprisingly excellent pumpkin ale.

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Photo of aknight
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange, lighter than I am used to for pumpkin beers, pours with a really nice head too though it quickly dissipates. I can smell the aroma before even bringing the beer to my nose. This beer smells strongly of pumpkin pie spices. On first taste the spices are there, it's not overly sweet as far as pumpkin beers are concerned though. This is perhaps the most pumpkiny of pumpkin beers that I have tried. There is a definite taste of pumpkin to the beer. Pumpkin is definitely a subtle flavor and I think it shines through a little better on a lighter canvas like this beer.

I often find myself complaining that pumpkin beers are too sweet. To me that is the downfall of most pumpkin beers. Not this one. It's still on the sweet side as far as beers go but it is better balanced than most pumpkin beers with a wonderful aroma and a truly pleasing flavor. I'll be buying this one again.

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Photo of Stoicfc
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lighter than your usual pumpkin ale. Still a nice head.

S: Great odor. Quality pumpkins used here!

T: Smooth yet a lot going on. Impressed.

M: Crispy generous. Hoppy smooth.

I really enjoyed this brew. Such a relaxing can't miss ale. Kern Brewing doesn't fail!

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy golden color with a faint orange hue to it. Billowy white head that dissipates to a blanket, leaving sheets of lace down the glass.

N- Slightly pungent biscuity malt with a good amount of cloves and allspice. Also a light citrusy coriander type aroma that adds a nice touch. There's an earthiness in there that I imagine to be pumpkin.

T- Wow, I love the malt in this beer. It has a rich biscuit flavor with a crisp pilsner quality to it. Nice spice accents (allspice and coriander) with a little citrus to brighten it up. Moderately bitter leafy hops bring to mind the pumpkin vine. Long soft bitter finish with lingering spice, biscuity malt, and floral, leafy hops.

M- Creamy medium body, moderate carbonation, and a bittersweet, spicy finish.

D- Overall, this is a fresh take on pumpkin beer. They use lighter malts than any other pumpkin beers I've had, it's more bitter than the typical pumpkin, and it totally works. It's more of a creamy pilsner pumpkin than the standard oktoberfest pumpkin. Kudos to another great beer from Kern River!

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Photo of beorn7676
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasant orange color with big fluffy bright white head.

Good aroma of pumpkin pie spice. Smells like a pumpkin ale should.

Really love the flavor here. Good amount of spice but nothing overpowering. Tiny bit of sweetness. Hops are subtle but help keep everything in check. Great balance in this beer.

Mouthfeel is just what i want from this ale. Slightly creamy but quit refreshing.

Overall i really enjoyed this one. Wish i bought more than one. The best Pumpkin ale i have had so far.

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Photo of t420o
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kern river pumpkin ale

A- pour produces a 1 finger white head that rests atop a light golden-orangish body that is hazy. Leaves decent lacing 4

S- sweet pumpkin pie type smell: allspice, cinnamon, caramel malt, smells better than the average pumpkin beer 4

M- I just had been drinking punkin before this which I feel is a good pumpkin beer but this one is definitely superior. It's similar but it tastes like sweet pumpkin pie but the pumpkin tastes very fresh and not artifial at all. They don't kill you with the allspice and cinnamon. It's done in excellent balance and is just right in the background. Overall flavor is light and refreshing but somehow rich and warming all at the same time. I love it.  Definitely in my top 3 pumpkin beers. Maybe the best 4.5 

M- excellent mouthfeel. Perfect viscosity and good cabonation. 4.5

O- great drinkability. Maybe the best pumpkin beers I've had. Will be buying many more of these 4.5

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale orange color. A bit like a wheat beer. Nice dense yet foamy white head with excellent retention. No lacing, but there's a big film around the edges of the beer.

Smell: Great spice flavor with nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Excellent pumpkin aroma, and overall rather malty.

Taste: Some light malts and perhaps a bit of wheat, with pumpkin and spice taking the front seat. Certainly a bit sweet, but not sugary or too much for this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with mild carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, mild ABV!

An excellent pumpkin ale. It tastes like it is made with great pumpkins, and it is full of fall spices. Definitely more on the pumpkin than the beer side, but I'd prefer that in a pumpkin ale, rather than a beer that just had a bit of pumpkin and spice thrown in.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extra from jmadrigal2, what's this? A pumpkin beer that actually tastes like squash and not like a bunch of spices thrown into a pale ale? Not possible? Apparently it is.

Beer is yellow and a little hazy with a whispy white head of small and medium white bubbles, like a pillow.

Aroma is a little sweet and pumpkiny.

Beer is medium body and creamy in the mouth and really pumpkin forward, its a little sweet but its not cloying at all, subtle sweetness, easy drinking, one of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had.

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Photo of pastradul
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured into a duvel green tulip.

huge white head that leaves slowly. lots of bubbles along the glass.

the nose is a ton of fall spice right in the front of the nose. with a bit of pumpkin in the back of the nose.

the taste is very similar. the spice is less then I was expecting which works out well. with a bit of pumpkin working it's way through t the palate in more of the mid and back of the mouth. as it warms the pumpkin comes through a but more.

I feel that the carb could be a bit less and it would help the beer a bit more.

Pretty solid pumpkin beer IMO.

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Photo of GrumpyJunglist
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into A The Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a slightly darkish golden yellow with a decent amount of haze in the color. The head has a good fingers worth, which is a nice fluffy bright white color to it.

S: The aromas on this are amazing. First whiff and its like smelling a freshly baked pumpkin pie. Big aromas of of nutmeg and spices which combine to give off a cinnamon aroma too.

T: The aromas somewhat mirror the the taste. You get the nutmeg and spices with the pumpkins. As the flavor settles it kind of has a banana bread taste at the end.

M: A little overly carbonated, which i feel drowns out a bit of the initial flavors of the beer.

O: I really like this beer, the aromas of this one are simply amazing. I just hope I can find more of this soon.

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Photo of route66pubs
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange color with a nice, one-finger white head. Head subsides but maintains itself well, with good retention and glass lacing. When held to the light, the orange color appears very clear and almost yellow, with loads of tiny bubbles dancing around.

Pumpkin and nutmeg dominant the aroma, giving the sensation of a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. Very lovely aroma.

Pretty much exactly what you would expect with the taste. Pumpkin, nutmeg, maybe some coriander in the flavor. I'm dying for some vanilla ice cream to go with this. I wish I would have thought ahead to making a run to http://www.fosselmans.com/ ahead of time. Very little aftertaste, save for some nutmeg, which is a huge plus as most pumpkin beers leave to much residual goo behind for my liking.

Surprisingly crisp and refreshing, with just a hit of hop bitterness at the tail providing some extra crispness. Very easy going on the mouth from front to back.

For a spiced pumpkin ale, this is surprisingly drinkable. While one is plenty for me, I can definitely see enjoying a few of these on a crisp harvest evening.

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Photo of vande
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

split with some family at thanksgiving....

a: a nice murky, reddish-orange pour with a thin layer of head...

s: immediate pumpkin spices on the nose, along with some gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeggy graham cracker.... a nice smelling beer...

t: along with the nose, this is a nice blend of the i assume, typical pumpkin type spices... a nice balance of them in a way that one is not overpowered...

m:lighter bodied, but easy to drink...

o: a nice addition to our turkey day!

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Photo of portia99
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received in trade with vurt. Thanks! Poured into a Bruery goblet.

A - Pours a clear amber. Small white head. Head dissipates pretty quickly. Leaves a thin collar.

S - Lots of pumpkin character, pumpkin itself, nutmeg, cinnamon. Lots of fruityness and spicy Aromas.

T - Sweet and spicy. Sugary malt sweetness, balanced amount of spices - nutmeg, cinnamon. Not much hop character, bitterness just there to offset the other flavors. Good, well rounded pumpkin beer.

M - Thin to medium body. Low to medium carbonation. Very smooth...lingering pumpkin spices in the aftertaste.

D - Very drinkable pumpkin beer. Good blend of pumpkin spices...not overpowering, but definitely present. Very good pumpkin beer, might be my current favorite.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a slightly hazy golden color. Over two fingers of white fluffy head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head slowly dissipates, leaving chunky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - In one word, it reminds me of fall. Light spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. There is a definite pumpkin aroma - though not overdone. Overall it is a more subdued aroma of the spices and pumpkin, though quite pleasant.

Taste - Interesting - not what I was expecting. As the individual who posted beneath me noted, this appears to be a blonde pumpkin ale, though that is not necessarily a bad thing. The spices come through nicely, though I will admit there is an odd vegetable flavor (again, not bad in my opinion, just different) that suggests, besides pumpkin, celery and perhaps cabbage? There is more of a "bitterness" to this than malt (I do wish there was a hint more malt) though honestly, this is an odd pumpkin beer but one that is impressing me the more I sip it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, pretty creamy.

Drinkability - Quite so. Relatively quaffable in my opinion. Not nearly as heavy on spices as say DFH Punkin, however, a great session pumpkin beer in my opinion. There is just enough flavor to make you want more, but it is not overpowering in the sense that you would get sick of it after a glass. A great attempt from Kern River with their own twist to it.

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Photo of sliverX
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy light copper/yellowish nice dense foam head lasted forever nice lacing.
Smell is pumpkin spice and a touch of hops smells really nice.
Taste is heavier on spices and pumpkin finishes with a bit of hops
Mouthfeel was weird it was light drinking but had a chewiness to it worked well nicely carbonated.
Overall this is a nice pumpkin beer does its thing and doesnt try to kill you with one thing or another.

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Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood - served in a snifter.

Clear ECE/ACE amber body with a half-finger of seashell foam. Pasty lacing, decent retention.

Light pumpkin aroma with a hint of angel cake as well. Pleasant but restrained.

Pale malt base comes through with a lovely crispness on the palate, offsetting any sugars from the pumpkin. The latter is pure and while not vegetal, certainly isn't going to bring to mind "pie" either. A touch of earth and pepper (perhaps from hops) is revealed in the finish.

Light-bodied, lively, and smooth mouthfeel.

About as refreshing a take on the style as one could imagine. Unique and well done.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with slight clarity. Small off-white head with good retention, but no lace.

S: I remember last year's growler being more pungent, but this still has that signature aroma of graham cracker and pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, allspice, even ginger and cinnamon). Not much sweetness.

T: As the nose implies, the taste is fairly dry. No brown sugar sweetness. But the beer has a balanced delivery of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and graham cracker. The tastes are in balance without overwhelming the palate.

M: Light-bodied. It's not a session beer by strict definition, but it's sessionable, if that's an acceptable word. It is immensely drinkable, in large part due to its dryness without having overwhelming spice.

O: I haven't had this beer since I sampled a growler of last year's (which I maintain was phenomenal), but the bottle is a slight step down. I see why it doesn't have a high average overall, given the predominance of bottle reviews. Nonetheless, it's quite solid and it should be sampled by those who enjoy the style.

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Photo of kevanb
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes. Bomber into a pint glass.

Kern River was one I hadn’t had in the past and was really looking forward to trying. It pours a really nice hazy orange color with a thin foamy head, very inviting. The smell is really nice, its all pumpkin with just a hint of spice. The flavor follows the nose, loads of sweet pumpkin up front with a nice spice laden finish. I come from the midwest where fall is a real season, but Kern River has captured that season in a bottle.

Verdict: Like the bottle says. So good it’s scary.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much closer to honeycomb amber than jack-o-lantern orange. Steady rivers of superfine bubbles have created a meringe-like crown of alabaster colored foam that looks like it will hang around for a spell. Scattered sheets of suds stick as well.

Kern River doesn't use the usual array of pumpkin pie spices, but allows allspice to stand on its own. It seems like cinnamon is in there too, but guess not. In any case, the spice load smells just right, so let's hope the same holds true on the taste buds.

Even though it isn't the best version of this autumn seasonal style to have ever entered my glass, Pumpkin Ale is tasty beer that does pretty much everything right. This bomber should disappear like nobody's business, thanks in part to a spice load that falls short of palate fatiguing.

It doesn't look, smell or taste as if any malts darker than pale are present... and hops don't contribute much flavor or bitterness. So far, we're right on track. The flavor profile is akin to liquid pumpkin pie, although I often have a hard time tasting the actual gourd in beer like this.

The mouthfeel is just big enough for the ABV. Slightly more full and more creamy would have been preferable, but it's hard to argue with the perfectly carbonated concoction that is rapidly exiting the bottle, entering the glass, and entering my belly.

Pumpkin Ale is yet another quality Kern River beer. It can't hold a candle to their Just Outstanding IPA, but then those than can are members of a mighty exclusive club. Bottom line: good gourd beer that is just outside the upper tier for the style.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 bottling. 22oz brown bottle shared into two 14oz pint glasses.

A: Pours a mildly hazy amber/orange. Huge, white head. Great lacing; sticky.

S: Loads of pumpkin character, pumpkin...pie?, nutmeg, ginger, allspice!, cinnamon. Smells real good.

T: Sweet & spicy. Nice sugar sweetness with a balanced amount of spice. No real hop character to speak of.

M: Quite a light body. Med carbs. Nice & smooth. Pumpkin spices linger around the aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable pumpkin brew. A pleasant blend of pumpkin spices - not too strong (like Jack's), but definitely present. Might be my favorite pumpkin beer in a few years.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy orange and brown.(I would have said pumpkin orange, but it's not quite there) A huge dirty orange tinted head forms to leave no lacing.

Smell is as advertised, pumpkin and allspice.

Taste is mellow, with not too much spice and a nice pumpkin flavor. Though there is a strange tangy aftertaste.

Feel is light bodied. Very tingly bubbles and easy to drink.

A fin pumpkin beer. Not over strong or overpowering. Only thing dragging it down is that strange tangy yeasty aftertaste.


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Photo of 321jeff
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an interesting shade of golden orange.... or maybe an orangish gold... either way, an interesting mix, with a couple fingers of eggshell white head that slowly recedes leaving a little lacing.

Aroma is very pleasant, what a pumpkin beer should be: not a spice bomb. Plenty of pumpkin and butternut squash with some faint hints of the typical pumpkin spices.

Taste features lots of sweet malts up front, and to a lesser extent pumpkin. The spices really come through in the finish and kind of hang around for awhile.

Mouthfeel is a little on the lighter side, but it works well for this beer. I am enjoying this one more than most of the other pumpkin ales I've had, which are typically heavier and spicier. This one is the first one I've had that I'd almost refer to as refreshing.... must be for Halloween in the warmer climates.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra from Richard - thanks.

Pours a hazy, slightly yellowish orange with a nice medium white fine head which slowly fades. Nose is spices dominated by allspice, a bit of clove, ginger, faint cinnamon, and a trace metallic note also. Taste is slightly sweet but not too overpowering. Lots of allspice with pumpkin coming through. Mouthfeel is a somewhat thin and watery compared to other examples of this style. Overall, nicely done and enjoyable.

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Photo of vacax
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bomber at Hi-Time.

Pours a fairly light orange, some floaties, average looking light tan head with low retention. Appears fairly highly carbonated. Smells pretty similar to some real pumpkin pie: cooked pumpkin, allspice, slightly spicy vegetable smell that is reminsicent of beets for me, all topped with a little light caramelly sweetness.

The taste has a cooked pumpkin flavor with a nice amount of allspice to it. To me this is lightly sweet, and I appreciate how the bitterness kept fairly low in order to highlight the pumpkin flavor. I am not a fan of brews that just load up on spices and intensity instead of going for a real pumpkin flavor. Slightly spicy, again sorry but it sort of reminds me of beets, but is pretty tasty. In my book, one of the nicer pumpkin beers. Light in body with a smooth medium carbonation that adds a creaminess. Finish is pretty similar to the flavor, the spice sticks around.

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Pumpkin Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.