Illinois Breweries’ Popular Pumpkin Beers

Fall seasonal beers drive sales and growth for retailers, and next to Oktoberfest releases, pumpkin beers are still the most popular of fall flavors. Every October, the spike in interest for pumpkin beers has increased. According to one organization that tracks trends and online communication, social conversations about pumpkin beer were up nearly 70 percent last year. 

In Illinois, the Pumpkin Smasher beer from Big Muddy Brewing Company in Murphysboro is among the most popular and best rated. Pumpkin Smasher is brewed using real pumpkins and pumpkin spices giving hints of natural cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Also in downstate Illinois, the Lil Beaver Brewery in Bloomington has a pumpkin pie ale that packs a punch. The Punkin Pi Imperial Ale is packed with pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and lactose flavors, making it a perfect choice on a fall day. And Punkin Pi carries an 8.9 percent ABV, so it should be savored slowly and in moderation. 

The Wild Onion Brewing Company in Lake Barrington features a delicious reddish brown pumpkin ale in a can. The Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale includes a host of fall flavors, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, and pumpkin. Beer enthusiasts have described this ale as ‘a diamond in the rough’ and a ‘serious session ale.’ 

At the North Shore Cider Company in Evanston, a pumpkin pie spiced cider is packed in cans and available at small pubs in the Chicagoland area. Being a brewed cider with hints of pumpkin spice makes it a unique beverage to be enjoyed. Spiteful Brewing in Chicago includes unique and spunky designs on its bottles and cans of Jackass O’Lantern, a carmelized pumpkin beer. 

Nearly 20 percent of sales from craft brewers are made up of seasonal beers. In the five months between July and November, nearly 60 percent of all seasonal beers are typically sold. There is nothing else like this in any other alcohol category. 

When looking for a pumpkin-themed beer this fall, please be responsible and drink local whenever possible. Illinois has some great pumpkin beers to choose from while keeping it local.

Illinois Wine Industry Thriving and Continuing to Grow

With at least 165 wineries and over 100 miles of wine trails, the wine industry in Illinois is thriving and the growth has been exponential in the last 30 years. Illinois is now the 12th-largest wine producing state in the country, which is remarkable considering there were only 12 wineries in the entire state in 1997. Read more…