You have to admit, seven is an awesome number. There were Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Marilyn Monroe was responsible for a Seven Year Itch, James Bond is 007, there are seven virtues (of which I can lay claim to one or two, but only sporadically). Additionally, you can wear Seven jeans, play seven-a-side rugby and drink 7-up- which is refreshing, with just a hint of lemon-lime. And speaking of drinking and number seven, it’s time for the seventh edition of Beer o’ The Week!
This weeks beer comes to us from the southeast corner of British Columbia: Fernie Brewing Company. It is that time of year when pumpkins start to show up and the crew at Fernie have decided to have a go at brewing some, producing a limited edition pumpkin brown ale titled Pumpkin Head. Since they were good enough to brew it, I felt I should do my part and partake of it.
First and foremost, I love the label. It has a creepy, tongue-in-cheek, slasher movie simplicity to it that is humorous and engaging. But humorous and engaging only takes you so far in this crowd. The bigger question is: What does the actual pumpkin juice taste like?
The beer is a clear cola-brown hue and carries a tight tan head. On the nose the scent recalls dry, traditional pumpkin pie spices: ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste showcases those same flavors in a nicley understated manner. As well, expect to find a hint of brown sugar sweetness and an easy pumpkin edge. The end is where the spices really show up. There is a long gingery, peppery finish, anchored by a solid taste of fresh pumpkin. I was pleasantly surprised to find a lighter mouthfeel than I am accustomed to in a pumpkin ale, which contributed to a truly smooth, easy “drinkablity”. Rather than a cup of liquid pumpkin pie, the crew at Fernie has achieved a brew that puts beer first and gently introduces pumpkins and spice. To which I can only say, “great job!”
On a related note, the Fernie Brewing website recommends this ale with turkey, which is not only seasonally appropriate, I’m going to say that it would be a fantastic match. And after this weekend, when I will be enjoying one along side a plate full of roasted gobbler, I will be able to tell you for certain. Happy Thanksgiving!