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Binny’s New Brew: Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale

Remember Ken? He is the beer manager at Binny’s in Buffalo Grove, and shares with us why he can’t get enough of Point Brewing’s new pumpkin ale, Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale.


One word to describe this beer: Delicious!hog-9-13-2013


What makes it delicious?
This beer had a great nose full of pumpkin and cinnamon; plus the head had a gorgeous subtle orange hue to it. I missed out on it last year and later found out it took gold at the GABF 2012 for the pumpkin category. Anyone who loves pumpkin beers has got to pick a four pack up and give it a go, you will not be disappointed!


How does it taste?
The body has a creamy texture with all the right amounts of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice etc. that you’d expect with a well balanced pumpkin ale. This is the closest beer to compete against Southern Tier’s Pumking that I’ve ever come across!


Do you homebrew?
I plan to dabble with homebrewing in the future, but right now it’s hard enough to keep up with all the new beers coming into our market. To top that off, I have a hard time drinking more than two of the same beer, let alone 5 gallons of it.


What’s the oddball beer on your shelf that more people should try?
I have a soft spot for sour/lambic style beers. From what I’ve seen, this is a big grey area for most drinkers, but every day this style is gaining more and more popularity. If you see any sour put out by The Bruery, I highly suggest you pick it up.


What foods do you pair with your pumpkin ales?
The brown sugar and caramel notes pair well with the browned skin of a roasted turkey and who doesn’t love turkey around Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie is a no-brainer, but this also balances out a spicy dish with the malty sweetness and nutmeg that pumpkin ales are known for.


Do you have a preferred mode of transportation?
If it was summer year round, I would have to say hands down that I love riding my 2007 Yamaha R6. Riding a motorcycle in my eyes is the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground and I enjoy going out anytime I can. The last ride I did with some friends was a trip up to New Glarus Brewery and talk about gorgeous countryside and of course, great beer!


Summer all year round? That would be great! Thanks for the review, Ken! Join Ken and his beer team Saturday, October 5th for an epic Pumpkin Beer Tasting.


Binny’s New Brew: Pumpkin Beer Edition

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, especially pumpkin brews. In light of the season, we picked some of our favorites for you to try. Enjoy!
Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
“This pumpkin lager has strong aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose, which continues onto the palate. The spices are followed up with a balanced pumpkin flavor, and the beer finishes with a touch of malt sweetness. A must try for fans of pumpkin beers.” – Peter Sorgatz, Binny’s Glen Ellyn


Schlafly-9-13-2013Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
“Hands down, there is nothing more appealing on a cool Indian Summer night than Shlafly’s famed Pumpkin Ale- that is unless you can manage to hold onto this gem throughout the remainder of fall. The build of this beer holds a firm amber-malt toastiness complimented by the clean crisp sweetness it provides. Minimal hop presence allows for the pumpkin base to shine through, harmonized fantastically with a variety of spices. Nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice, and vanilla are some of the more notable characteristics. Toasted malt and a buttery graham cracker flavor provide a seductive dessert-like beer perfect for any occasion. Unlike most pumpkin ales I’ve had the opportunity to try, Shlafly’s provides a well rounded body big enough to match the array of spices packed into this top notch brew. Pour it, adore it.”
– John Hedges, Binny’s Champaign
*Note: Schlafly beers are only available in our Champaign and Bloomington locations.


Big Muddy Pumpkin Smasher
“I am not a big fan of Pumpkin beers, however, Big Muddy Pumpkin Smasher is a pumpkin beer I had recently that I could drink quite a bit of. The beer is brewed with real pumpkins and savory pumpkin pie spices; natural cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are peppered throughout. The blend of American hops balanced with Pale/Caramel malts creates a full-bodied taste and fantastic flavor. This is pumpkin pie in a bottle!” – Nick Gallichio, Binny’s Bolingbrook


hog-9-13-2013Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
“The nose is softer that the boldness of my other favorite pumpkin beer, Southern Tier Pumking, but this one sure delivers in large amounts on the palate. Huge notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and pumpkin which all balance wonderfully. Point Whole Hog also took Gold at the GABF 2012 for the pumpkin category. This is the closest beer I’ve tasted to Pumking to date and any pumpkin beer fan should absolutely give this one a try. ” – Ken Habenicht, Binny’s Buffalo Grove


Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
“Don’t confuse this with Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale; Smashed Pumpkin packs over twice the ABV (9%) and a boat load of more flavor than its counterpart. Smashed Pumpkin was top dog at a recent blind tasting of ours that included 8 pumpkin ales. It is spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a plethora of other fall spice flavors, to go along with a perfect amount of pumpkin flavor.” – Kyle Fornek, Binny’s Willowbrook


Fan of Pinterest? Check out these brewtastic holiday crafts.


Binny’s Mailbag: Pumpkin Beer / Event Suggestion

Another great question from the Binny’s Mailbag:


   As a big fan of pumpkin beers (and being that this is the season for them), the following article got me thinking: “Binny’s should host a tasting event for people to try the various pumpkin beers (and ciders) out there!”
   The Ultimate Guide To Fall Pumpkin Beers (via Huff Post Food)

1.) Is there an event like that already planned?
2.) If not, would you consider arranging something along those lines?

- E


Hey E,

   Thanks for the question and thanks for the link to the article. We both love and carry a good number of those beers and the ones we don’t are just anticipation.

   We actually did have a big tasting recently featuring about 30 fall beers at our Bolingbrook store, featuring mostly pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers.

   Believe it or not, many of the most popular fall beers, especially pumpkin beers, are already sold out or are nearly sold out at our stores. The next wave will be a small batch of wet-hopped beers (yum!) and then we’re into winter styles (awesome).

   We always have tastings. Keep checking our events page. It’s updated often, and there’s always something cool going on.



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