This is the Bumpin’ Pumpkin Beer Q&A sessions. I had the pleasure of speaking with Emily Sauter of Two Roads Brewing. These guys are great! They not only have supported Bumpin’ Pumpkin with insight over the past three years, but have also supported our readers with delicious pumpkin beer! Enjoy!
It’s 2016 and the shelves seem to be saturated. What differentiates your pumpkin beer option from the others this year?
Our pumpkin ale is barrel-aged in rum barrels until our Master Brewer Phil feels it has reached the flavor he is looking for. The addition of the barrel-aging heightens the vanilla and spices and adds an extra layer.
It’s no secret America has driven a fairly strong craft beer revolution around the world at this point. What role, if any, do you feel pumpkin beer has played in the craft beer revolution?
Pumpkins are a great gateway beer for the new beer drinker and they are also a very approachable beer. Having a pumpkin beer can show people that beer can have a range of flavors that perhaps they did not expect beer could have.
Many of the breweries I’ve contacted this year are surprisingly not making pumpkin beer. Why do you think this is? Is it because of the labor, the market, a fall in demand, or otherwise?
Lots of people are trying new fall styles and that’s cool. That’s the spirit of craft brewing, especially with so many breweries opening up nowadays. We enjoy making our pumpkin beer and we also make an Oktoberfest Marzen Lager in a 16 oz can too.
What methods do you employ in making sure that you obtain the pumpkin ingredients needed to sustain a good pumpkin beer year after year? Over the past year many have reported a shortage of pumpkin puree. Have you guys experienced any struggle in terms of ingredients and if so, where has it made you reassess your strategy for the fall season?
Our Master Brewer Phil works far in advance to secure our pumpkin and we have a good working relationship with our supplier. Roadsmary’s Baby is our most popular seasonal so we must make sure all the ingredients are in place in order to create this scary good brew.
Can you give us general insight into the process you’re following in order to create your pumpkin beer this year?
Phil hand selects the barrels by traveling to the Caribbean each winter and then uses these to brew each spring. The barrels age and we bottle the beer in early August for distribution so the distributor has enough time to get the beer to the places it needs to be by the fall season.
If not pumpkin spices, what seasonal ingredient(s) do you believe could make a meteoric rise in the beer industry in the coming five years?
Breweries all over are experimenting with new ingredients and that’s exciting. Who knows what tasty creations the consumer will want next. The sky is the limit in terms of craft brewing. !
Playing it safe! I see how it is…Have you tasted any other pumpkin beer options on the shelves this year? If so, which ones other than your own have you been impressed with?
We just drank the Ballast Point Pumpkin Scotch Ale and that was mighty tasty.
I appreciate you taking the time to speak on behalf of everyone at Two Roads. Best of luck to you guys this fall! I look forward to tasting the Roadsmary’s Baby again!