September is that transitional month when we bid summer a farewell and welcome fall. With it, comes cold weather, the yellowing of trees and fall brews! This week, I picked up a six-pack of pumpkin ale from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward to get the ball rolling.

Out of the bottle, Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale pours a pale golden. On top of this sits a bright, white head that quickly disappears leaving almost no lacing. Sweet malt notes pop out in the nose, with caramel dominating. Upon the first sip, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon spice up and round off the sweetness in the malt and the detectable pumpkin undertones smooth out the ale. In terms of hops, none really stand out, making this beer especially mild. The carbonation in this beer is weak, and the mouth-feel is watery. Because of this, it makes for a good session beer that can be enjoyed with mild and light foods, such as nutty cheeses or lightly sweetened (opt for maple) toasted almonds or walnuts. Try drinking this with a piece of pumpkin bread or a slice of apple pie to bring out the pumpkin flavors and spices.

I found this beer to be a bit too watery for my liking, and would have preferred an ale with either a thicker mouth-feel and more complex flavoring or an ale with a stronger hop backing. As a session beer, it’s pleasant and unoffending, but the recipe could use a bit of revamping to make this a more solid beer.

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