I had a chance to sample Jack’s Pumpkin Space Ale this week. It’s a mainstream fall ale put out by Anheuser-Busch, and before you say “ew, I bet it tastes like Busch Light,” keep in mind that even Blue Moon is brewed by Coors.
“For adults who’ve never tried a pumpkin beer before, we’d encourage them to experiment with Jack’s,” said Florian Kuplent, brewmaster, Anheuser-Busch, in a statement. “Because the pumpkin and spice flavors are so well-balanced and subtle, Jack’s doesn’t overpower foods and makes for an ideal culinary experience.”
There are two fall beers I tend to order once the summer brews run dry. First and foremost, there’s Samuel Adams Octoberfest, the fall seasonal brew from the Boston Beer Company. It’s amazing, second among their seasonal beer only to Summer Ale, which takes the cake. Next, there’s Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale, which tastes a lot like Jack’s Pumpkin Spice. I’m ordinarily a steady Blue Moon drinker, but I’m not sold on their seasonal varieties. They’re fun to drink for a change, and I’ll buy a case out of drinking habit, but Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale tastes a little strong, and it’s just not as good as regular old Blue Moon.
That brings us to Jack’s. It’s very similar to Blue Moon Pumpkin Spice, but the flavor isn’t as overpowering. It’s very clean tasting for an ale, but goes down with a bit of a bite to remind you that you are drinking a beer after all.
Pumpkin beer is just something you have to try. It fits the season very well. It’s a beer that’s meant to accompany food, and Jack’s 5.5 percent alcohol by volume isn’t nearly as much alcohol as a white or wheat ale, some of which can potentially double that.
“Year after year this is one of our favorite beers to brew,” said Kuplent. “We hope beer drinkers who enjoy trying new flavors will sample this seasonal ale.”
Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale is available on drought and bottle. Other Busch seasonal beers include Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale, Spring Heat Spiced Wheat and Beach Bum Blonde Ale.
Jack’s is brewed with two-row, caramel and carapils barley malts, a blend of imported and domestic Hallertau hops and domestic Saaz hops, according to a Busch statement. It is meant to be poured in a tall, fluted glass for full taste, “allowing its rich aromas to funnel straight to the nose” — if you’re into that sorta thing.