It’s rainy, I’m not so hungry, and I have a tub of duck fat in my fridge for… a thing.
I whip out a glass from Gulu Gulu, a favorite bar/cafe in Salem, coat the rim with powdered vanilla, and fill it up with a bottle of Pumpking Ale. You can tell they mean business because of the pun.
(It’s autumn, it’s New England, I’m a basic bitch. Expect pumpkin shit for a while.)
The beer has a very smooth pour with a head so small it could qualify as microcephaly [please, Google Image search that one – ed.]. The glass is filled with a deep amber honey color, there aren’t any bubbles rising from the base yaddayadda one can smell pumpkin on the way in to take a sip, and the beer itself has that perfect balance: enough of a pumpkin taste to enjoy, but not one so strong that drinking more than two of these would be a chore (looking at you, Dark & Stormys). The cinnamon hint is a bonus.
To round it out I whipped up a batch of stove-top popcorn, shook out some Tony Chachere’s seasoning (a Louisiana spice conglomeration) onto it, and then dribbled some melted gras de canard over those kernels. If you have a pound of duck fat hanging around, who needs butter?
I recommend this one, but personally I’m not hot on what the label says is ‘natural flavor added’ in addition to the pumpkin, as in the US ‘natural flavor’ means ‘whatever we want it to mean, there’s no binding legal definition, idiots, how ’bout some New Jersey-created flavinoids?’
Imperial Pumpking Ale
Southern Tier Brewing Company
~$3 for a single bottle