Quite some time ago, it was suggested to Bjorn, our Estate Brewmaster, that an ale enhanced by the spices used in pumpkin pie, as the American brewers had been doing for some decades, would make a good autumn ale. Now I’ll admit that Bjorn was rather doubtful about the idea, but agreed to give it a try.
So he contacted brewers he respected, consulted beer journals, and devised his idea of what might work. That was the start of a two decade project. As he said more that once, nothing worth doing right can be done quickly. And this was definitely something he wanted to get really right.
(Short digression: I recently found out the Bjorn started by using the recipe in this letter by Lady Alexanda Qiunn, Head Gardener here for mch of the Reign of Queen Victorian some one and fifty years ago.)
And then he made small batches, half kegs, of his ideas made liquid. Some were good, some were, he agreed, awful. Some were served fresh, some were aged a decade in barrels used for whiskey aging. The final version used roasted pumpkin and a delicate touch with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. He admitted that roasting the pumpkin added tremendous depth of character to the ale. And it got named Maggie’s Smashed Pumpkin Ale as she’s one of our resident corvids who loves to destroy pumpkins!
indeed she’s taken to hiding inside carved pumpkins and scaring anyone who has noticed she’s there. The felines in particular fall prey to what she obviously thinks is great fun.
let me pour a pint for you. I think you’ll find perfect on the Autumn afternoon.