Pumped for Pumpkin


(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on Oct. 10, 2012.)

It’s easy to dismiss pumpkin ale.

First of all, there’s the ruined expectation: they don’t taste like pumpkin. That complaint I can’t really understand. Who wants to bite into plain pumpkin, anyway? Squirrels?

Then there are the drinkers for whom the style is too intense. “Yuck,” they say. “It tastes like I just sucked on a cinnamon stick.” That complaint I can get with. Who wants their mouth covered in spice? Squirrels?

Pumpkin in beer goes back to colonial times, when they used it for fermentation. A lot of today’s professional brewers – and even some homebrewers — have a masterful touch and test batch control, and they’re able to play with just how pumpkinny, verses spicy, they want their product to be.

Continue reading “Pumped for Pumpkin”

Bridgewater VFD Fundraiser

There’s something nice about being in the middle of nowhere and feeling like you’re at the heart of somewhere.

I had the honor to play Beer Snob at the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser tonight in tiny Bridgewater, Conn. It’s not too far from New Milford, if that’s any reference for you.

Beneath a large wooden pavilion with a roaring fire cracking on one side, a hundred or so people contributed to the cause and sampled beer and wine, traded local gossip, and appeared to have a blast. Continue reading “Bridgewater VFD Fundraiser”