Smashing Pumpkin (Beer, That Is…)

“If I’m walking by, it just looks like a headless horseman.”

When we last left our heroes, they were fiercely tasting, comparing, and enjoying two of their favorite pumpkin ales only to discover that the one they least expected to prevail, in fact, did!

Now…they’re at it again! Except this time, the pumpkin beer tasting hit close to home with a midwestern brewery battle: Milwaukee’s Lakefront Pumpkin Lager vs New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale from Holland, MI. The details? You want ’em? We got ’em:

Midwest Brewery Battle

Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
Brewed in Milwaukee, WI;
5.8% ABV
“Lakefront Brewery’s Pumpkin Lager is the only pumpkin lager available in the world”

New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale
Brewed in Holland, MI; 5.7% ABV
“Ichabod combines real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew.”

With our Chicago Shakespeare Theater note paper in hand and Gaelic Storm’s Drink the Night Away playing in the background, we were off and tasting through the pumpkin patch again.

Midwest Brewery Battle Tally

NOTE: While this tasting was between two breweries in the Midwest, they were two different styles of beer. Lager and Ale. When it comes to pumpkin, everything is Ale…except Lakefront’s Lager. Also, being that I’m from Milwaukee, both of us have been on an infamous Lakefront tour (if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, it’s definitely a must-do, trust me!), and the lager is brewed with real pumpkin and spices from Milwaukee’s acclaimed Spice House (yeah, you Milwaukee folk know what I’m talking about!), we both were coming into this with an incredible bias. 

On to the results! While neither beer particularly blew us away, the Lakefront Pumpkin Lager was the clear winner. The Ichabod New Holland pumpkin flavors were barely distinguishable to us (I think we’re used to not only a stronger ale, but also a deeper pumpkin flavor) and while it tasted fine, had we not known it was pumpkin, it would have been difficult to decipher. The Lakefront Pumpkin Lager has a refreshing pumpkin smell and taste (very similar to the Southern Tier Pumking actually) with a light finish.

Compared to last week’s tasting, we whipped through this one in less than 10 minutes. But it all really boils down to this: “Lakefront just proves once again that, when it comes to brewing beer, Milwaukee does it best.” And that’s a fact.

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