Brewing Company: Allagash Brewing Company
Location: Portland, ME
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer | Wild Ale
Allagash’s wild pumpkin ale is ghoulishly delicious
From Allagash’s landing page for the beer:
Our favorite Halloween tradition is brewing Ghoulschip with fresh, local pumpkins, molasses, and raw pumpkin seeds. On All Hallows’ Eve itself, we send the beer to rest among the specters in our Coolship, where it collects wild microflora from the chill Maine air. The beer then ferments in a stainless tank on our house yeast before heading into oak barrels, where it sits in waiting for up to three years.
Although Ghoulschip isn’t spontaneously fermented, we rely on natural microflora to sour it. The finished product is a blend of one-, two-, and three-year-old beer. In the first sip, caramelized malt and a mild acidity balance Ghoulschip’s subtle earthiness. The finish of this light golden beer is dry and tart. Boo!.
Two weeks in a row and two Pumpkin themed beers? Am I becoming basic? No…anything but, I’d like to think because this particular beer is far, far from your basic “Pumpkin Beer.” But when you look beyond some of the core beers from Allagash, that’s what you see, beers far from basic. One of the styles/methods they’ve drawn considerable respect and acclaim is their open fermentation/funky/wild beers, or Coolship beers. This beer is a play on the style and the name, just in time for Hallowee’en and spooky season.
The beer pours like I’d expect a saison to pour, bright yellow with a fluffy head that exhibits aggressive growth. In fact, a friend who had this recently wasn’t expecting such a “saison-ish” beer and frankly, that’s what drew me to the beer even more.
Aroma is a little funky with maybe some underlying pumpkin.
First sip is quite pleasant and gives an acidic tang, which isn’t what one expects from a pumpkin beer. The finish of that first sip is sweet and fruity, with hints of the pumpkin, maybe hints of fruit juice with vanilla / oak bringing a lot of these flavor elements together.
The flavors in this beer are damned interesting, there’s definitely more funk than pumpkin. The label/description indicates molasses was add to the beer, which I suspect enhances the pumpkin and increases the sweetness. That sweetness balances the funky/tart element of the beer quite nicely.
The fruit element expresses itself very strongly on the finish, which makes me want to go through this bottle rather quickly. Ghoulschip is relatively high an ABV at 8.7% so finishing this one too quickly would be a shame because it is one you want to appreciate for the relative oddness of the beer..
Recommended, link to 4 bottle cap untappd rating check in.