If there was ever a beer that made you exclaim its name when you take the first sip, it’s Cigar City’s Good Gourd.
We just posted our pumpkin beer round-up this week, but we’d be remiss not to tell you about this bombshell from the Tampa brewery that gave the world a Cucumber Saison. Not ones to follow the crowd, Good Gourd is unlike any of the 28 pumpkin beers we tasted for the list. While the ones with the most pumpkin flavor tended to turn off our panelists with a cloying sweetness, Cigar City treats the pumpkin as a vegetable, finding sweetness from the ever-present malts in beer.
The result is a very pumpkin-and-spice-forward beer that doesn’t taste like candy or pumpkin pie. It tastes first and foremost like a big, complex malty beer with strong enough of a backbone to carry the pumpkin and fall spice flavors—Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, Zanzibar cloves and nutmeg. This is pumpkin beer done right.
There’s a certain rawness, like one could imagine uncooked pumpkin flesh having been squeezed right into the beer. It’s important to drink this one properly cold like a lager, though, as the sweetness can overwhelm as the beer warms.
Yesterday we said, “You never go full pumpkin.” Cigar City Brewing just proved us wrong.
Brewery: Cigar City
City: Tampa, Fla.
Beer Style: Pumpkin beer