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The Beers of Autumn: Pumpkin Ale by Kennebunkport

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Kennebunkport Brewing Company (of the eponymous Maine town) makes a pumpkin ale that seems to be an old-school member of the species: the bottle, at least, boasts wood-cut pumpkin art that conjures up an autumn harvest party.

For better or worse, the experience of drinking Kennebunkport is not unlike drinking a pumpkin ale married happily to a cherry soda. At first and second taste, the beer is like any other pumpkin ales, light, easy to drink, slightly pumpkin flavored with a bit of hoppy bite. But then this sweet, fruity aftertaste creeps up on you. Whether that's a good thing or bad thing is up to the taster, and the ale's sweet accessibility might make it a good bridge beverage for newbie beer drinkers. Personally, more hops and less sugar would've made for a more pleasurable autumn experience. There's something about cherry soda that is distinctly summerish.

Pumpkin Ale Kennebunkport Brewing Co. Six 12 oz. bottles Purchased at Trader Joe's for $5.99 Overall Grade (scale of 10): 6 Autumness: 53% (The seasonally appropriate pumpkiness of the beer is undermined by the distinctly summery influence of cherry soda)