As summer turns to fall, pilsners and IPAs begin to take a backseat to the unstoppable seasonal tidal wave known as pumpkin beer. And despite being the beer industry's most identifiable seasonal ale, there's a ton of variety between each individual brewer's style and flavor profile. Most promote a blend of typical fall spices—allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and even molasses in some cases. But Breckenridge Brewery's Pumpkin Spice Latte beer is definitely this year's most unique offering, billing itself as a (slightly) less basic version of every cable-knit sweater-lover's favorite coffee-based beverage. But even better, this version gives you a buzz, which pairs perfectly with traipsing through leaves and egging houses on Halloween.
The Breckenridge Pumpkin Spice Latte beer sets itself apart a bit by pairing a nitro coffee stout with all of the pumpkiny goodness you'd expect from a pumpkin beer. By placing a nitrogen-infused sphere inside of each can, the beer gets creamy and frothy—just like a cup of nitro cold brew would. And, as you might have guessed, Breckenridge's Pumpkin Spice Latte is brewed with real-life coffee, roasted in their eponymous home city in Colorado. The beer is also Breckenridge's first offering in its series of nitro-infused beers, which have taken off in popularity in the craft beer world over the last five years.
Of course, there are plenty of coffee stouts on the market. There are tons of great milk stouts, too. And we all know how many pumpkin beers go on tap the minute Labor Day Weekend ends. But few brewers have put all of these styles into a single can before. Atwater brewery in Detroit came out with their version in 2015, and plenty of homebrewers have been hard at work on perfecting the pumpkin spice latte beer recipe. But the Breckenridge Pumpkin Spice Latte is perhaps the first of its kind to get wide distribution—and it's certainly one of the first that wasn't brewed inside a glass jug down in your friend's basement.
And even though pumpkin beers are a contentious subject among beer snobs these days, the reviews of Breckenridge Pumpkin Spice Latte have been pretty positive so far. Over at BeerAdvocate, user BB1313 said "the aromas are nice but subtle. Chocolate, vanilla and caramel lead the way. Lots of malts. The pumpkin spice aromas take a backseat, but are definitely present." JuicesFlowing was even more pumped for the PSL beer, saying it was "Just. As. Advertised. Excellent. Smooth, creamy, and all the tastes it tells you it offers."
So if you're looking for a pumpkin spice latte that can take the edge off, or are simply tired of trying to make pumpkin schnapps to put in your gas station coffee, this might be the salvation (or the wake-up call) you're looking for.