I totally forgot the name of this thing, but the only mention of a pumpkin beer on the Mussel Inn’s awesomely / terrifyingly retro website — it just screams Microsoft FrontPage, which was last released seven years ago — is one they call ‘Happy Jackal’ (I’m not sure why).
Dogfish Head’s Punkin’ Ale was a surprising find, for me, at Beervana; despite hating pumpkins, I freaking loved it. So this draws inevitable comparisons against that, and I’d have to say that the Dogfish one does win, hands down — but there’s hardly any shame in that. This just lacks the smoothness that a good pumpkin ale can get you. My brewer-nerd friends point out that the actual pumpkin basically boils / ferments away to nothing, so these beers are all about that texture, and the spices you throw in with it — they’re more pumpkin pie than pumpkin pumpkin. Mussel Inn’s offering certainly has those spicy flavours in abundance, and the lighter body does leave it as a perfectly-respectable and interesting quaffer.
And wow, if you write “pumpkin” eight or nine times, it starts looking really weird.
Verbatim: Mussel Inn Pumpkinsomething 8/9/10 — woot! — ?%, also gifted. ÷2 from an old-school Mac’s bottle w/ Haitch. Definitely spicy + especially cinamonny. H freaked out that I knew what Big red gum was; she’s not used to my Cosmopolitanism, still. I have to compare it to Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, which I had at Beervana, and must say this isn’t a patch on that, which I was surprised to find enjoyable. Much less body, here. Lacks that fullness + smoothness. Ah! Turns out that Punkin is named for the Punkin’ Chunkin’ Fest! Drinking the remainder faster, I discover this works better as a quaffer than a sipper; like a spiced wintery lager.