By The Beer Professor JW Faulkner – @EngProfJW
This past weekend, my parents made the trek from Philly to North Carolina. To help expose them to the Southern way of life, we visited the North Carolina State Fair. This visit led to the greatest division between Northern Yankees and Southern Rednecks since 1863. With everything from pig races to antique farm equipment (insert joke about how Southern farming was accomplished during those “antique years” here), flower and garden shows, more overalls and denim than one could ever see in one location and where everything and anything you eat comes with the question, “Would you like that deep fried?,” the NC State Fair is a must-attend. After, I did what any beer lover would do and took my family to a brewery. As October comes to a close, I am toasting to a great month of beer drinking with one of the best pumpkin beers available. This weekend, Aviator Brewing Company Pumpkin Beast is What’s On Tap!
Now it goes without saying that if the Beer Professor takes you to a brewery, you are going to have some great beers. But what I love about Aviator, besides their brews, is their smokehouse. Since March 2011, Aviator has been smoking meat, and hands down it might be the best food a brewery has ever made. Wings, brisket and pulled NC-style pork are all made in house, and their sauce and marinades are all made using their beer. And if that does not sell you, you can choose either two sides or one beer to go with your food. Let that sink in, two sides OR ONE BEER. Best. idea. ever!
Speaking of great ideas, why just settle for choosing between a Märzen / Oktoberfest or pumpkin brew when you can combine them? Aviator took their Octoberbeast Märzen style beer, added spices and pumpkin flavors and created Pumpkin Beast. On first smell, you get nutmeg, a little caramel and some cinnamon, and there is also a hint of roasted nuts and malts. Pumpkin Beast up front tastes like malt and barley / wheat (almost Belgian brew-like), then you get the pumpkin and sweet spice flavors on the back end.
Pumpkin Beast is an awesome combination of Märzen and pumpkin beer; I love the flavors and smell. Seeing as I had this at Aviator’s smokehouse, I am definitely recommending this brew with some type of meat. But I am going to leave the type of meat and cut up to you. And as your door bell keeps ringing with annoying kids and over-bearing picture taking parents, crack open another Pumpkin Beast and enjoy this perfect fall combination brew.
Alcohol by Volume: 6.2%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s): 17
Color: Cloudy Copper / Orange-ish red-ish