Southern Tier Pumpking

Craft Beer Spotlight: Southern Tier Pumking

Southern Tier Pumking Review

Would it be cliche if I wrote a pumpkin beer review? If so, too bad. I really do love this style and always try to have a handful of them each year; including Southern Tier Pumking.

As someone that really enjoys pumpkin beer, it’s been a rough year. There are less pumpkin beers this year than in the past as popularity didn’t scale as fast as production did.

But regardless, there are still many great pumpkin beers available for us to enjoy. This one is a classic in my book so I wanted to take the time to give it a full write up.

My Review Of Southern Tier Pumking

Southern Tier PumkingEven though I like pumpkin beers, I know it’s not a style for everyone. In fact, there are many that simply hate them.

This style can range in flavor from being a spice bomb to one that just has bland pumpkin in it. Both are on the extremes and lack the essence of what a pumpkin beer should be. I think Southern Tier understands the required balance quite well.

Here’s how they describe their brew:

All Hallow’s Eve is a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent. It is thought that we harness this magic to brew our powerful pumpkin ale. Not so, but it is with great respect to the magic of their trade that our brewers produce this fine beer. Take a whiff of this complex ale and your journey has just begun. At first sip, a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds, yet anther victim enraptured by the Pumking.

This beer weighs in at 8.6% ABV so it is one of the stronger pumpkin beers out there.

You’ll find Southern Tier Pumking beer on shelves in late August which is early for some but I don’t mind. In most areas, supply will last throughout the end of the year so you can enjoy it from early Fall and into the new year.

Initial Thoughts

I make it a point to have it every year because it’s one of the better pumpkin beers available. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s easy to find either.

It pours an appropriately orange/copper color that looks like fall to me. A head forms but then disappears within a minute or so.

The aroma is quite sweet as the pie spices dominate. It smells like the classic fall dessert that it was inspired by.

Tasting Notes

Southern Tier Pumking BottleUpon tasting, the flavor falls right in line with the aroma. The pie spices (cinnamon, vanilla, etc) are quite strong. However, it is balanced well by the malt and high ABV.

It is more than just a spiced ale as you get a true sense of pumpkin pie from this beer. It is full and rich not just a mouth full of spices; everything is in balance. It has sweet notes but isn’t overdone.

Pumking has a medium body and a good amount of carbonation which is right where I would expect it to be.

Southern Tier recommends drinking it at 40-48 degrees and I agree. I poured this cold out of the refrigerator so it was sub 40 degrees at that time. As it warmed up, the flavors got more intense and I enjoyed it more.

Final Thoughts

This is a solid pumpkin beer. Pumking is a perennial favorite for a reason; it really represents pumpkin in the best way possible. While others are often criticized for missing the mark; Pumking doesn’t.

To me, it is like liquid pumpkin pie.

While some may opt to drink this with a slice of pumpkin pie; I think it is best suited by itself. The flavors are big and strong so adding any other flavors doesn’t seem necessary.


Southern Tier Pumking 4 pack I highly recommend checking out Southern Tier’s website for Pumking. They go into great detail about the beer itself as well as including food pairings and recipes for cooking with it. Few brewery websites are as thorough.

Consider me a big fan of Pumking. It’s consistently one of the best pumpkin beers I have all season.

But as much as I love Pumking; I actually prefer their Warlock even more. That’s right, their Imperial Pumpkin Stout is even better than Pumking. So if you enjoy dark beers, make sure you grab Warlock.

While I don’t go crazy and drink pumpkin beer all season long, I do enjoy a handful of what I consider to be the best. And just when I get tired of them, it will be time to move into winter beers.

What Is Your Favorite Pumpkin Beer?


Leave a Reply

One thought on “Craft Beer Spotlight: Southern Tier Pumking”