Photo by Shane Wynn
As the story goes, Púca was a creature from Celtic folklore that was both feared and respected. Púca was said to have tossed wayward travelers on its back as it traveled through the night, offering them the ride of their lives. Southern Tier’s Pumking, an imperial pumpkin ale, is an ode to Púca. It’s a brew that beer enthusiasts will remember far after the tap runs dry.
Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen Yahn started the brewery with the vision of reviving the practice of small-batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. Their handcrafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States, as well as parts of Australia, Denmark, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia and the United Kingdom.
Dating back to 2002, Southern Tier Brewing Company began production in the Stoneman Business Park just outside Lakewood, N.Y. By 2003, select varieties of small-batch ales were locally distributed, and by 2005, sales covered most of New York and Pennsylvania. Today, the brewery produces around 50,000 barrels of beer annually.
In 2007 came Pumking. Labeled with the suggestion to pour this brew into a goblet, this epic beer is filled with enough pumpkin aroma and taste to tantalize your taste buds and completely wreck your palate in the best way possible. With a nose and flavors of vanilla, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, Pumking is a sufficient substitute for mom’s homemade pumpkin pie. So skip the dessert table this Thanksgiving and make room for a glass of Pumking. You won’t regret it.
Pumking can be found at Acme Fresh Markets, Giant Eagle, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Heinen’s, West Point Market and other fine craft beer establishments. The 22oz bottles retail for $8.99.
/ Writer Aaron Fowler is a bit of a craft beer geek. Though he may deem himself a bonafide hophead, he never passes up a well-defined stout.