This pumpkin ale from Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke, Ontario is pitched with saison yeast and pours a hazy golden orange colour with a small, but frothy white head that settles as a collar and thin, moldy-looking film. The smell of Saison du Pump is vibrant with aromas of yeast and a blend of spices. A mild pumpkin tone blends with the honey-sweetened malt base to give the air of a honeydew melon.
Saison du Pump has a fairly sweet taste that quickly yields a burst of yeast and traditional pumpkin ale flavours such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove. This ale has an earthy and very yeasty body with temperate carbonation and minor oiliness. The finish has a somewhat sour funk to it before imparting a lingering, peppery dryness and hint of gourd.
The label of Saison du Pump is painted in orange and white, depicting a pumpkin headed scarecrow enjoying a glass while lounging on a hay bale. On the back, you will find an embellished story about how the beer came to be, a description of the Tank Ten series, serving suggestions and a partial list of ingredients. Freshness dating is said to be stamped on the bottleneck, though I have not seen it on the units I have purchased.
The best word I can use to describe Saison du Pump is weird. It’s a very interesting and tasty marriage between yeast and spice, but should be considered an acquired taste. I do find it a bit heavy on the palate and can’t really go for more than a glass at a time, suggesting it would make a good digestif.
Traditional Thanksgiving dinner fare like sweet potato, vanilla ice cream and a pumpkin or apple pie are obvious choices for pairing with Saison du Pump, but try something like sharp cheese, pita chips or garlic dip too. At the time of publication Saison du Pump was available at roughly 40 LCBO stores and the brewery’s retail store.
Type: Saison / Farmhouse Ale / Pumpkin Ale
Region: Ontario, Etobicoke
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.2%