Two Great Pumpkin Ales (Awesome of the Day)

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Forget what you know about pumpkin ale. I'm sure, like me, the first time you tried one, it tasted like someone had melted candy corn pumpkins into a Michelob Light. But two of America's finest breweries have crafted unique, delicious beers that will make this perfect October weather even more enjoyable (apologies to those living in Florida or Alaska).

Dogfish Head, a Delaware Brewery with more remarkable beers than anyone, has created a subtle pumpkin beer called Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. There's enough brown sugar and spice to call to mind Halloween festivities, but not so much that it wouldn't also go well with a weekend of fall football watching.

Pennsylvania brewery Weyerbacher takes the opposite approach with their Imperial Pumpkin Ale, but to equal success. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardiman and clove give this 8.0% ABV beer the full-bodied flavor of a slice of grandma's pumpkin pie. But the hops and malts don't let you forget you're drinking a big beer. "Imperial" might not mean much more than beer-geek-ese for "Big Ass Beverage," but the tag is justly applied  here. These two beers are to other pumpkin ales what a Reese's Cups and Kit Kats are to those unmarked toffee-like candies in the orange wrappers on Halloween—an actual treat.

Josh Jackson is the editor-in-chief of Paste magazine and blogs daily about music, film and culture (and sometimes beer) at High Gravity. You can follow him on Twitter @joshjackson.

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