Categorized under: Allagash, CBC, event

CBC – Pumpkin Extravaganza – FRIIIIDDDAAAYY Night

Oh, I am torn. So I am going to the Maine Brewers festival this weekend. Beer dinner with the Maine Brewers on Friday night and the Saturday afternoon sessions. IF I wasn’t going to be there…. I would have a hard time staying away from CBC – Cambridge Brewing Company. If you wonder why, please check out what’s going on.


Drink from a Pumpkin — Then you can cross this from your bucket list.

Pumpkins, Acetylene Torches, Monks–What a Party‏

Dear Fellow Pumpkin Ale Aficionado,
-If you do not really like pumpkins you should delete this email immediately.

-If you do not embrace the hilarity inherent in a pumpkin ale festival and are neither aroused nor even slightly intrigued by such an event you should delete this email immediately.

-If you are even mildly offended by the objectification of this glorious, God-given gourd and this gross violation of the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) then you stop reading this immediately.

-If you are sick and tired of my poor attempts to write humorous and clever prose about pumpkins, then you should definitely delete this email immediately.

Still with me? It’s Pumpkin Ale Time! I’ve got the whole shebang for you today. Menus, Descriptions, Details and some slightly amusing (at least to me;-) pumpkin banter as well.

First of all, let’s talk about exploding pumpkins.

As we speak, there is a pumpkin so big, so pressurized, and so full of delicious pumpkin ale as to put the integrity of our giant walk-in refrigerator at risk, sitting in that very refrigerator.

Now this example of ‘Blatant Alcohol Abuse’ is yet another one of Will’s harebrained brewing ideas. You Know, the whole ‘It sounded like a good idea at the time’ thing.

This pumpkin conditioned pumpkin ale all started with a 138lb pumpkin and a dream…

Firstly, the giant pumpkin was gutted of course.

Next, they needed to ‘seal’ the surface inside. To do this they knew they were gonna have to torch it, they just didn’t know how.

There was talk of hiring a Welder to do the job. So Will got on the horn and called the guys who do work on our tanks. Then he got out his trusty copy of the yellow pages. Then he…

To make a long story short, after being laughed at and hung up on for the 5th time, Will decided that maybe hiring a welder to ‘weld a pumpkin’ wasn’t gonna work out after all.

Now, Will is being very hush-hush about this whole process. I believe he ended up renting an acetylene torch. Being a completely unqualified operator of such a device, Will found himself quite outside his comfort zone.

Of course, in true CBC spirit, owner Phil Bannatyne said, “screw it, what could possibly go wrong?” Well, I guess everything went pretty well. Although, come to think of it, Will’s eyebrows do look a little thin…

Anyway, once the thing was properly torched they filled it up to the brim with CBC Great Pumpkin Ale, sealed it with Bees wax, put it in the fridge, crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.

Should this pumpkin ‘cask’ survive until next Friday Night, there will be a ‘pumpkin processional’ (led by some kind of Pumpkin Ale Monks I’m told???), followed by the official tapping of the Giant Pumpkin Ale Cask. This all happens at 8:00pm on the dot, next Friday night.

Now, once this ritual is complete and we are all enjoying a glass of the pumpkin conditioned pumpkin ale and/or finished wiping the pumpkin matter off of our persons there will be a costume contest.

It is Halloween after-all. What would a Halloween party be without a costume contest?

At 9:00, twenty or so lucky contenders will prance around in front of a ‘celebrity’ panel of judges while this highly qualified panel of ‘experts’ determines which costume is truly the most original,
most provocative and generally all around best costume in the world.

The winner(s) will be showered with prizes so amazing and so shocking that I can’t even list them here.

All right, so I actually don’t know what they are yet. But Will says there going to be really, really, really cool. So trust me on this one.

So, by now you are probably thinking to yourself “all right, I’m gonna come to your damn pumpkin festival. It sounds awesome.

Just shut the Hell up already and tell me all the details.

You’re not really that funny!”

Fine. Sorry. Jeeze.

1st Annual CBC Pumpkin Ale Festival
Halloween 2008
Friday, October 31st
5:00pm to…

10 Pumpkin Ales on tap
– 5 CBC Pumpkin Ales (including the potentially exploding pumpkin)
– 5 Guest Breweries on Tap (All Pumpkin, of course)
– A pumpkin inspired Tapas menu

Costumes are Highly Encouraged but Not Required

*All items are available a la Carte including beer and food
*This is NOT a ticketed event
*The full CBC dinner menu will be available

Disclaimer: CBC is not responsible for any damage to your clothing caused by flying pumpkin matter.

And finally here are the menus:

Guest Beers:

Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth, NH “Pumpkin Ale” – Our friends in Portsmouth have brewed a “traditional” pumpkin beer with 200 lbs of organic pumpkins added to the mash tun for a 14bbl batch. The pumpkins are from a local farmer and are a mixture of Dickenson and Cinderella pumpkins. They hand shred them and add them to the barley malt mash. The color of this beer is amazing! They’ve added some pumpkin pie spices, but not too much, to the boil with a light kiss of hops. Delicious!
5.0% abv and 20 IBU’s. $2.50/6.00

Allagash Brewery, Portland, ME “Drunken Promise” – “Drunken Promise” (a reference to the alcohol induced promise Allagash founder Rob Tod gave in agreeing to brew this beer) is brewed with pureed Pumpkin added to the mash and the kettle, with toasted pumpkin seeds in the mash as well. No spices were used. Rob and Allagash Brewmaster Jason Perkins produced several batches on their small pilot system and fermented 100% in a red wine barrel. It was fermented with a mix of their house Belgian strain and their house Brett Strain, so expect some awesome complex character from our Brothers in Funk!
7.5%abv. $2.50/6.00

Elysian Brewery, Seattle, WA “PK-47” – Pumpkin malt liquor (their house malt liquor is called AK-47) brewed with pale malt and flaked corn in the mash, pumpkin puree in the mash, kettle and fermenter, and dextrose in the boil. A single addition of Magnum hops provides barely detectable bitterness. Fermented with lager yeast for smooth body and flavor, and yes, some good ol’ food grade Yellow #6 for a bright orange hue (you wouldn’t want some hippy, all-natural food dye in an authentic malt liquor, would you?).
7.25%abv $2.50/6.00

Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, Dexter, MI “La Parcela” – La Parcela means ‘the patch’ or a place where vegetables are grown. Even more interesting is that the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery has never
before made a pumpkin beer! Known for artisanal and esoteric brews, this one uses fresh and pureed pumpkin in the mash, and more pumpkin in the boil along with traditional pumpkin pie spices and roasted cacao nibs. Crazy! Fermented in open stainless steel with lager yeast, then
racked with more pumpkin puree into Jolly Pumpkin’s oak barrels for extended “wild” conditioning. We’re expecting a very funky sour beer with hints of chocolate and a spicy finish.
6.0%abv $2.50/6.00

The Alchemist, Waterbury, VT “Uncle Daddy” – Brewer John Kimmich has also succumbed to the power of the pumpkin! His response – a pumpkin hefeweizen pushing the limits of weizen bock (and certainly, too, the Reinheitsgebot!). Whole fresh sugar pumpkins were slow-roasted, then pureed. 1/3 was added to the mash of malted barley and wheat, the remaining 2/3 in the kettle for a total of 75# in a 7-barrel brew. Pumpkin seeds, toasted and ground, were added at the end of the boil. Fermented with a traditional weizen yeast strain, acombination of whole nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans subtly complement the clove-and-banana notes from the yeast.

CBC House Pumpkin Beers:
The Great Pumpkin
The beer that started it all! Phil “Brewdaddy” Bannatyne’s original recipe, going strong in its 19th season. Organic sugar pumpkins from the Farm School and Wilson Farms, a touch of cinnamon and allspice, and a lot of angst-I mean, love.
4.2%abv $2.00/5.00

The Gourd of the Rings
This pumpkin saison, or ‘Biere du Gourd’ if you will, is brewed with our house Belgian yeast, pilsner malt, lots of Farm School pumpkins in the mash and kettle, and a touch of ginger, black peppercorn, and orange. Dry, effervescent, and delicious.
6.7%abv $2.00/5.00

Black Magic
Brewed up on the double-secret CBC pilot brewery, this pumpkin stout is brewed with cacao nibs from Taza chocolate, smoked ancho pepper, and whole cinnamon sticks. Served via our nitrogen faucet for
a super-creamy pumpkin experience.
3.8%abv $2.00/5.00

Spinal Pumpkin
This pumpkin ‘barleywine’ is brewed with eleven varietals of heirloom pumpkins and squashes, and spiced subtly with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Nearly 11% alcohol by volume, but smooth as a pumpkin’s bottom. Served in our barleywine snifters to further the hilarity.
9oz. snifter $5.00

John Connolly’s Folly
Named for Sharon, MA giant pumpkin grower John Connolly, who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with his nearly 2,000 pound American giant pumpkin (it leaked). Our little Beast of the East is a
138# pumpkin, hollowed out and filled with CBC’s Great Pumpkin Ale, cask-conditioned in the gourd and tapped at 8:00pm!
(Unless it explodes before then.)

CBC House Pumpkin Beers $2/sample pour, $5 full pour
Guest Pumpkin Beers $2.50/sample pour, $6 full pour
Limit 3 sample glasses per customer

And the Tapas Menu

Cheese Pumpkin Bisque РCr̬me Fraiche, Pecan Pie Praline

Pumpkin Risotto – Duck Confit Hash, Hazelnut oil

Roasted Pork Tenderloin – Macumber Mash, Brussels Sprout Leaves, Pumpkin Relish

Pumpkin and Ricotta Pizza – Sesame Roasted Cauliflower, Pears, Fried Herbs

Pumpkin Encrusted Scallops – Melted Red Cabbage, Crispy Kale

Braised Pork Belly – Pumpkin Confit, Curried Parsnips, Candy Apples

Pumpkin Curry – Coconut, Red Chili, Pumpkin Seed Naan

Grilled Hanger Steak – Pumpkin and Mushroom Ragout, Bordelaise Sauce

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Chicken – Bitter Greens, Parsnip Puree, Natural Jus

That’s it for now.
See ya next Friday!


  • Dwight

    Nice blog. Just got back to NY from the Pumpkin Festival in Keene last weekend. If you take a roadtrip to NYC, I recommend to help find great craft beer and beer bars and beer events.

  • We tried Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale and it was such a disappointment. Have been reading through your blog and have really enjoyed it. I have made note of all the pumpkin Ale’s you note above and will start looking for them. We would love to have you stop by my husbands blog & let us know what you think.

  • Did they have Harvest Grand Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur There?

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