here: pumpkin, Oktoberfest and fresh hop. Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale is a brown ale spiced with allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. It has pumpkin, too, but the autumn vegetable is overpowered by the allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. I enjoyed Punkin Ale, and at over 7% ABV it had enough heft to match its many ingredients. Pumpkin ales, to me, fall down when they are too thin, and end up tasting more like a flavor-infused macro beer than a craft ale. Punkin Ale has character and depth of flavor, but sneaks into Holiday beer territory, which is not a bad thing.
I had a pint of Karl Strauss' Oktoberfest beer last weekend. It's an easy drinking beer. It's malt-forward, but not in the throat-clogging way of many malty beers. I was struck by Oktoberfest's yeasty aroma and its comforting taste of soft bread. This smooth drink is my kind of German beer, neither overly complex nor strange - just good.