Posted October 20 by Riley.
Today FogHorn brewed its first pumpkin beer. I like beer. I hate pumpkin. It’s a very confusing time for me and the other members of my Pumpkin Haters Club. Never heard of a pumpkin beer? You’re clearly not from America, a.k.a. PumpkinNation. Pumpkins take over America around this time of year and obviously are a big feature of Halloween (of course because it’s the Devil’s vegetable). You can find pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin chips, pumpkin air fresheners and even pumpkin candles. I like the idea of pumpkin candles because setting fire to pumpkins is a hobby of mine. They deserve it.
A similar extermination in PumpkinNation might end in incarceration because pumpkin supply is very short at the moment, leaving brewers struggling to source enough of the stuff to make their pumpkin beers. Surely this would only affect a small percentage of the brewing industry? How many American breweries could possibly want to make a pumpkin beer? All of them.
Well almost all. Pumpkin flavoured beers account for roughly 10% of all craft beer sales in PumpkinNation during their Autumn and most breweries want a slice of that (pumpkin) pie. Brewing with pumpkins in the PumpkinNation has a long history which traces its roots back to the early Colonial era. Pumpkins were abundant and cheap, and when malt was not around to provide for the brewer the sneaky pumpkin was only too happy to take its place like a lowlife homewrecker. Fast forward to modern times and pumpkins are enjoying the craft beer revolution, finding their place in a variety of beers – from imperial pumpkin ales, to pumpkin stouts to pumpkin ciders.
To produce our pumpkin ale we have chopped, roasted and puréed over 70kg of pumpkins resulting in 60kg of mash. Which point of the brewing process do we add the mash? The mash. A mash inside a mash, or as we call it Mashception (DiCaprio did not respond to our requests to join us on brewday, despite us having liked his Facebook page). We expect to produce around 900 litres of of our pumpkin beer, or 2118 schooners. This equates to 28g of pumpkin per schooner.
We’re aiming to launch the beer in a few weeks, in time for Halloween. As much as I dislike that big orange vegetable, I am looking forward to increasing my 2016 pumpkin consumption from 0 to 28 grams.