Pumpkin Ale | Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.

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Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
First canned Pumpkin Ale in the US.

Added by GDBEERMAN on 09-29-2010

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 179
Photo of SpdKilz
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at a local Binny’s. I love pumpkin beers and now that I am back in the Midwest, I have a whole slew of new pumpkin beers to try I was not able to access while in CA. Poured from a can.

Appearance – Pours a, I’m gonna say it, pumpkin color into a tulip. About a finger of slight off white head is achieved with a careful pour that leaves spotty lacing on the sides of the tulip.

Smell – Slight spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, a hint of vanilla, brown sugar, and pumpkin. More spices than pumpkin.

Taste – Similar to the nose in the sense that the flavors are quite distinct and can be picked out. As with the aroma, the spices kick in first which fade to the pumpkin which creates the sensation of drinking pumpkin pie. The vanilla and brown sugar mix in at the end, creating a nice full flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied to lighter bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall – As with most pumpkin beers, I normally can only have one at a time. This is no exception. While I appreciate the spices, they are a bit too dominant in my opinion. However, taken as a whole, this is a relatively easy to drink pumpkin beer and I will for sure finish the other five cans of the six pack before long.

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Photo of Jammies
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- deep orangish red with a half an inch of foam. Poor lacing and no retention

S- earthy yet sweet. An obvious pumpkin pie smell.

T- very light with a watery and pumpkin taste. Not as much carbonation as expected

M- very light and smooth. Leaves a sweet coating on the tongue.

O- not too shabby. Definitely a dessert beer every once in a while.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

wild onion pumpkin, can. being clearanced out.

a 4-4.5 hazed lemony pumpkin color. 1-finger head

s 4-4.5 nice aromas of pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin. starting to wonder if i should have bought more than one can. totally makes me imagine a slice of the pie, minus the crust.
(after a while, the smells seem to tone down.)

t 3-3.5 kind of relieved to discover the flavor is not as big and beautiful as the sniffing suggested. the base beer seems like a cream ale, and the beery flavors show through than i prefer in a pumpkin brew. a pumpkin light, but not bad. the finish is mostly tangy with a lightly clove/metallic element.

m 2-3 light-med, i guess about what you'd expect for a 5.4%. but i hoped for lusher/creamier. hmm, turning waterier as the glass goes on...

d 3.5 all in all significantly better than expected for a clearanced can of beer from a brewery i'd never heard of. not a lot of pumpkin flavor, but at least they don't overdo the spices. drinkable, but not too savorable.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. can poured into a Cigar City snifter

It pours a hazy orange hued amber with a two finger head. The head dies down rather quickly and leaves a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is of moderate malt sweetness with faint pumpkin pie spices. I think the age is starting to show on this one a little bit.

The taste is very similar to the smell with just a bland maltiness with some faint spicing.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, just bland and boring for the most part. I really think I missed the boat on this beer as I had heard good things, Next year I'll try and pick it up fresh.

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Photo of matjack85
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this single 12oz orange can in the discount bin at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL. Surprised to find it came from a local brewery that I never heard of before.

The beer poured a cloudy pumpkin color with a nice frothy looking 1-finger white head that lasted about a minute before fading to just a thin rim. Lots of lacing on the glass with each sip.

This smells like all the ingredients in a pumpkin pie. Not strong smelling, but nice.

The taste leaves no doubt that this is a pumpkiin ale, and not a bad one at that. Light dose of sweet malt mixed with pumpkin and all the pumpkin pie spices of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. Any hops get lost in the spices as I found no bitterness at all. Not overly sweet - in fact it's actually dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with medium carbonation.

Goes down easy without a trace of alcohol. A decent pumpkin ale.

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Photo of samie85
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a clear amber color with a two finger white head that quickly dissipates.

S-Smells strongly of allspice, nutmeg, and cloves.

T-Mimics the nose almost exactly: strong allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

M-Not a bad mouthfeel: medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, but suffers from what every other pumpkin beer suffers from... an unpleasant dryness in the mouth from the spices.

D-Easy drinking for a pumpkin beer, but I don't think I'll be buying any more anytime soon.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.39/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The CANQuest (TM) pushes on in its march to # 400! My thanks to indiapaleale who seems to CANtinually sniff out more CANs for me.

From the CAN: "Celebrate the harvest season with our classic autumnal brew. This crisp ale brewed with spices has hints of pumpkin pie and a rich, malty aroma. Alc. 5.4% by Vol. Come visit our pub and restaurant located 45 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. We brew a variety of year-round ales and lagers, along with an ever-changing lineup of seasonal beers available only on tap under the massive Douglas Fir timbers."

Speaking from personal experience, it is worth the trip from CHI. I met AutumnalDave for the first time at the nearby Metra station and he and I spent the afternoon touring around, including a stop at the Onion. I am elated to have one of their CANned offerings.

The Crack revealed another craft CAN filled right to the brim! Nobody CAN say that I am not getting my money's worth. The Glug produced two-plus fingers' worth of foamy ecru head with decent retention. The "rich, malty aroma" was evident even without leaning in for a whiff. It was big with spice in the air. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. After the head settled to a coat of foam across the surface of the beer, I leaned in for a sniff of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was thin, watery even, but with a pleasant pumpkin pie spice taste on the tongue. Finish was equally pleasant, with the spices lingering well after the swallow. As pumpkin beers go, this was middle-of-the road and as CANs go, I probably would not put this in my imaginary cooler since this is more of a dessert beer or for a special occasion, but not for the beach or mountains.

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Photo of jsh420
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours amber orange with a 1 finger head that faded to a small film and left no lacing

smells of bready malts and lightly spiced pumpkin

taste is a bit watery upfront then a bitter semi sour pumpkin and bready malt taste is left in your mouth

mouthfeel - light body and is dead flat

drinkability is so so - this would be a good starter pumpkin beer for a newbie - after my first sip i thought to myself bud light pumpkin but its better then that

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Photo of cbutova
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy orange with a small white cap. Head retention is fairly low and a small ring leaves sticky suds and a just a bit of lace.

S- Not amazingly strong but there are notes of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and malt.

T- Fairly good, like a pumpkin pie. There is actually a good amount of pumpkin flavor with the spice and malt blended in well. Slightly fruity/hoppy notes seem to not make much sense to me.

MF- Light body that is a bit watery. Carbonation is at a moderate level. A tiny bit of bitterness in the finish.

DB- Not bad at all. The fruit thing in the flavor kind of confuses me but doesn't throw off the overall profile that much. One of the better Pumpkin Ales I have tried this year.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A little cloudy caramel and pumkin skin color with ok bubbling and a little foam.

The aroma has a little malt sweetness in the way of caramel. PLus some faint pumkin meat, cinnamon, and nutmeg. All very faint.

The tip of the tongue gets sweet toasted caramel malts with a little pumkin skin. The middle bitters up a bit, as if you were to bite right into a pumpkin. The finish sweetens into more of a pumkin pie. You taste the pumkin and nutmeg with some sweet malts that linger slowly after each sip.

Palate is mild with a little creamy feel on the finish.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.89/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The body is deep burnt orange with about a finger of off white head that retains for a bit and leaves just a thing ring of lace. The smell is full of pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and a rich malt body. I'm not going to lie, this is seeming to be better than I anticipated. The taste follows the aroma perfectly, it really reminds me of pumpkin bread. It has a big pumpkin body with autumn spices following through. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, somewhat on the light side and the carbonation seems to be lacking a bit but overall this is a really solid seasonal offering. I wish I grabbed a couple more.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark amber with a bit of a foggy or misty haze to it. The head is stark white and fades to an ominous ring around the rather opaque reddish amber liquid that comes to light as this one settles.

Aroma - toasty, malty, brown sugar, pumpkin spice (allspice and cinnamon), perhaps some cloves as well. Its not overwhelmingly sweet smelling and that is a good thing. For me, its all about balance with this style.

Taste - nice and smooth on the palate. Some subtle spices and sweetness initially and a great malty/toasty finish. Not a whole lot of carbonation on the tongue which makes this one so smooth I guess. A couple sips and a little warmth bring out the pumpkin flavor. A little earthy, a little sweet and a little tangy. As you continue with this beer it only gets better.

Overall - Plenty of flavor is packed into this can and if you're a fan of this style than you won't be disappointed. Nice work. The bar for other canned pumpkin ales has been set high!

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. This is a great pumpkin ale with some great packaging to boot. Makes a great beer for a fall bonfire!

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Photo of kbanks13
3.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaped imperial pint, both the glass and the beer are from klshanks in the Mystery 750 BIF. Thanks again!

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a two finger dense white head that quickly fades to a small layer of wispy foam with little lacing. Smells of pumpkin spice, vanilla and a bit earthy with good malt presence, smells like a pumpkin ale should. Nose kind of reminds me of ST Pumking. Taste is more pumpkin dominant than Pumking with a little spice shining though, not as bold in any of its flavors either, though. Good malt backbone too, as the nose lead me to believe. A bit thin, but still nice and has moderate to high carbonation. Very sessionable, nice flavor with a lighter body. Unlike some of the heavier pumpkin beers I could have a couple of these in a night and be happy about it. A good beer from a company I might not have gotten a chance to try otherwise.

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Photo of Drewzi
2.6/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This was the first time I have had a pumpkin beer out of a can. I unfortunately was not impressed by this beer very much. I poured it from the can into a .15L Weizen glass.
A- A dark gold in color that is clear with no haze. Head forms when first poured but dissipates very quickly.

S- Smells is quite faint for a pumpkin seasonal switching between pumpkin pie and a pumpkin left out after halloween. Its quite odd because sometimes it smells good and then other times not good at all.

T- Starts off watery and then the faint traces of pumpkin pie spices hit your tongue. Just as you start to appreciate the subtle flavor it is gone. Normally a I appreciate a flavor that doesn't linger but this beers flavor profile is so quaint that it is a disappointment.

M- Almost no notable mouthfeel. A very watery beer.

D- I gave it a 2.5 on drinkability because it is light enough in both flavor and ABV that it is a session beer. However when paired with the previous list of disappointments I don't imagine anyone really enjoying more than one.

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Photo of jlindros
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm out to try almost all pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers I can, and this brewery just showed up around here AND with a pumpkin beer, AND AND in a can!

A fizzy almost 2 finger head rises and fades at a medium pace over a hazy amber orange rosy color.

The nose is loaded with typical pumpkin and spices. A pumpkin filling aroma, lots of pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, nutty spices, etc. A light bready pie crust aroma as well. Somewhat sweet and a little crisp.

Taste has a lot of pumpkin flavor, but not as much on the spices as I thought. THis is a lot like a pumpkin muffin or coffee flavoring shot, and less like pie. It's an artificial pumpkin flavor, but pumpkin nonetheless. A light sweetness with a light toasty malt flavor, and slightly juicy. The spices are there, a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices, but not as dominant as I expected. It finishes with a slightly drier feel, slight sticky quality but mostly clean, and lots of lingering fruits, pumpkin flavor, some syrupy flavors, and I swear a lager like crispness. I would almost think this is a lager.

The mouth is medium to lighter bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK, with lingering light pumpkin spices, a little sticky feel, and slightly flemmy actually, and fairly crisp and light.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, sixer from star

I grew up in Barrington - kinda cool have some beer from lake barrington being distributed in Madison

appearance: great festive fall can design - served in a tyranena pint, cloudy dark copper body, nice creamy beige cap

smell: nutmeg, pumpkin, lots of pumpkin pie spice...pretty nice

taste: Vdubb86 is pretty spot on - their isnt a whole lot of depth after the initial hit to the palate - pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and spice. There needs to be more malt to shape this one

mouthfeel: see above - not great

drinkability: good

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Photo of 3FaveryRogue
3.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Wild Onion has the most horrid artwork all around. From their logo to the can labels, so far. This one indeed looks like a novelty soda you would buy for your child, similar to the Welch's grape juice in champagne bottles.

Nonetheless, I'm thinking this is the first pumpkin beer ever to be canned.

[A] Pours a darker shade of gold, almost orange, clear into glass. White head, with some nice bubbles that recede, and leave some nice runny drippings as you're drinking.

[S] Smell has cinnamon, nutmeg, a touch of semi-rancid pumpkin, and some hints towards pale malt. At times, it does let out a nice, pumpkin pie, and pie crust aroma.

[T] It is quite watery upfront, and on end. Right in the middle, is the tase of spices, and pumpkin pie crust. Not at all sweet or bitter.

[M] Spices impart a dry finish. Mouth is pretty flat, watery, dull, and then again, dry. Almost finishes with an aluminum twang similar to a Miller High Life or Icehouse

[D] I could maybe do 2, at the very most. But the very first Pumking I had, made me vomit. THe spice in this is quite a step down.

As the label implies, this is only good as a novelty. I'd bring it to a friend's Halloween party as a conversation piece throughout the evening, but that's about all it's good for. It is weak enough that it probably wouldn't offend anyone. Hasn't offended me, but the style as a whole isn't my favorite.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for this can!

Who knew the Onion canned their brews? This one pours a clear orange-amber topped by a finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, nutmeg, dark wheat, violets, and the essence of a Glade fall seasonal scented candle. The taste starts out with the usual pumpkin pie spices, heavy on the nutmeg and cinnamon just as in the smell. Things quickly careen into something akin to what you get on the 'buds when you bite directly into the outside of a dirty pumpkin. Then some rather hard water kicks in and rules the day, while an undercurrent of bland hoppy bitterness writhes beneath. Wow. My buddies' grimaces after their first sips summed things up nicely. The body is pretty light, with a very light and mild carbonation and a dry-ish finish. As crappy as the taste is, at least it goes down really easy (it has to, trust me). Overall, I should've known: Whenever a sinister-looking pumpkin offers you a frosty pint, turn it down. You'll be better off.

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Photo of Vdubb86
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass

The Onion Pub is a local brewpub that has put this can of its Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale out seasonally. It's my first time trying this particular beer from them, and I know that I've not really been impressed with many of their beers gotten straight from the brewpub, but here it goes anyway.

It pours a slightly hazy orange color topped by a finger of bone white foam. The smell is of pumpkin spices and solely of that. The most notable aroma is of the nutmeg which comes on very strongly. The taste however is quite a let down. The tip of the tongue gets all of the hints of of the pumpkin spices then there is the void of flavor. No real malt or hop. There is nothing much to speak of aside from the initial pumpkin spice and it's too peppery for my liking anyway. In addition the hops that were to be part of the beer taste just a bit off if I must say so. I shall quite Artie "the strongest man in the world" in regards to the mouthfeel. This is unpipe, very unpipe indeed! There is an overt watered down taste to it that follow the pumpkin spice and ruins everything. I don't really like drinking this too much. It's perhaps one of the worst pumpkin ales I've ever had.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pumpkin beer in a can?! Count me in. The can also has quite the festive Halloween theme (could easily be mistook for a kids drink)

A: pours a vibrant orange, very clear, thin white head that clings on barely, some lacing

S: the smell is very spice forward with a focus on cinnamon, ginger and all spice. The pumpkin itself is actually discernible which doesn't always happen with pumpkin ales. The smell features many of my favorite pumpkin pie flavors.

T: the front features some malty sweetness along with some earthy pumpkin character, this is followed up by a strong spice profile which is led by cinnamon and allspice. Not picking up any cloves in this particular ale which is a nice change from other pumpkin ales. I am quite impressed by how well the pumpkin flavors integrate with the beer.

MF: relatively light body with medium to high carbonation. Would like a little more body, but the flavor more than makes up for it.

D: this is a highly drinkable pumpkin ale from a brewpub that is practically in my neighborhood. This is the most impressive beer I have tried from them and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid pumpkin beer.

EDIT: I have revised the score on the taste since my first review. The aroma is really nice and it initially tricked me into thinking the taste was great. Upon further drinking of this brew, it became apparent that the base beer behind all of the spices is pretty lacking and bland.

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4.1/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From draft into an imperial pint glass.
A: The body pours a deep golden color that is quite hazy. The carbonation is in steady stream. The cream colored head pours with some vigor and settles into a nice solid layer on top. Lacing is left in blotchy patterns on glass.
S: Notes of bread and spices. An aroma of a pie, with the front of bread and under tones of spice and pumpkin.
T/M: The front is a warm spice pattern on the palate of peppery cinnamon and smooth nutmeg. A silky, medium mouthfeel leaves great lingering tastes. The body although medium in body seems very light on the palate and make it quite drinkable. On the finish this pumpkin really shows the pumpkin side of things. Warming pumpkin of a pumpkin pie on the finish and a bready front.
D: The all around great flavors of this ale and the medium to lighter body, make it a very good session brew. A good one to save the last rays of summer and ward off the coming winter.

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Pumpkin Ale from Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
3.38 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
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