Pumpkin Fest

UNO’s Pumpkin Fest 10/19/13
https://www.facebook.com/unohamiltonnj

I recently had the pleasure of attending UNO’s Pumpkin Beer Festival with a good friend of mine; who also happens to appreciate good beer. The festival was set up as a scaled down Beer Festival. On either side of the main building they had outside beer tasting tables set up on patios. Between the two patio areas there were 24 Pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers to try and inside at the main bar there were another 9 beers available. All areas also had water stations set up for the patrons – smart move. The main patio also had three different games people could participate in. (bag toss, washers, corn hole).

We arrived at the festival mid afternoon and upon paying for our tickets received a pretzel necklace for munching on during the tasting. There was was small crown outside but the main bar was full. There might have been some sort of sporting event on but, ummm, who cares. We made our way to the main patio and made our choices. I purposely stayed away from the beers I had tried before even though some of my favorites were available.  However, I was there to try some NEW beers, well new to me, have fun and catch up on solving the world’s problems with my dear friend.

I started with the 21st Amend Pumpkin Triple 8.2%. This was a delightful beer with a nice golden to amber color that had hints of banana and mild citrus flavors. There was not an overwhelming flavor of pumpkin or spices they were more background notes. Over all this was a very enjoyable beer.

My friend enjoyed Ommegang Seythe & Sickle 5.8%. I took a small sip and it was a bit hoppy for me but not overwhelmingly so. One can smell the spices and it was a delightful orange color.

Next up for myself was the Cape Ann Pumpkin Stout 7.0%This beer pour a dark rich black with a nice creamy head and was so pretty to look at. One could smell the roasted malts right away. True roasty malts with chocolate, pumpkin and coffee and blended perfectly together. It ended with that nice stout bitterness I’ve come to love.

Being a true beer friend my companion for the day allowed me to try her Flying Dog Dogtoberfest 5.3%. This was a nice amber color and had sweet malty earthiness to it. It was crisp and perfect for a nice fall day. I consider this beer a true Oktoberfest beer.

At this point we decided to make our way over to the other outside area and some fun was had here. I wanted to choose wisely and not pick 8 oz. of beer that I didn’t like or did not want that much of. The staff was very willing to pour tasters so one could choose wisely.

My tastes were of Neshaminy Creek Punkel Dunkel 8.8%. Last time I tried one of Neshaminy beers I came away feeling that with time this new brewery would grow into it’s own and produce some nice beers. They did just that with the Punkel Dunkel. In early September I tried their Dunks Ferry and although it was enjoyable I felt it had brewed by someone with not a lot of experience taste. This current selection was the opposite and was very nice…a good Dunkel. However, I was looking for something with a bit more flavor so I moved on.

Next I tasted the Cisco Pumpkin 6%  (reminder the tastes are 3 sips worth so I wasn’t drinking as much as it seems) Something about this beer just did not taste right to me. I wasn’t crazy about the overly abundant carbonation level, no pumpkin what so ever and just an over all weird taste.

For my full (8 oz.) pour I went with the Round Guys Pumpkin Porter 4.5%.  Yes, I have to admit I was drawn in by the name. This beer had a nice mild smoky quality to it with roasted chocolate malts and a mild pumpkin flavoring that I found to be enjoyable but was happy it was only 8 oz. pour instead of 16 oz.

My friend enjoyed a Great Lakes Oktoberfest 5.6%. I’m going to go on record and say that I feel Great Lakes Brewing is one of my favorite breweries and several years ago had the pleasure of visiting the brewery. This was a delight Oktoberfest with hints of caramel, malt and some nice toffee undertones. There was a slight hit of hops but very complimentary and not overpowering. As far as I’m concerned another success from Great Lakes!

Next up my friend had the Left Hand Oktoberfest 5.6%. Overall this was a very enjoyable beer with some nice malt, nut and slight citrus tones to it. A delightful medium body beer and perfect for the season.

My final selection was Lancaster Pumpkin Pie 7.7%. This was what I had been waiting for a pumpkin pie on tap. Right away you can smell the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, caramel and cloves along with a wonderful roasted pumpkin pie cooking in the oven aroma. Heavenly! This beer much darker than I expected which quite frankly made me very happy as well. It’s a wonderful sipper beer that has a creamy quality to it and low carbonation level, which I love. Overall a very delightful pumpkin pie, I mean beer.

All in all and very fun fall afternoon with a very dear friend who I’m so happy also enjoys tasting different beers.

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