Much to the delight/dismay of many craft beer fans, pumpkin beers are coming back. If you have noticed more Oktoberfest beers on tap in your preferred bar and fewer summer releases, rest assured that soon several will be replaced with pumpkin beer. While pumpkin beers haven't exactly taken off with our local breweries, Lakewood has always been one to put out seasonal beers. Unsurprisingly, Lakewood has already started churning out their "pumpkin pie-spiced" dunkel, aptly named Punkel.
Poured from the bottle, Punkel doesn't have much of a head to it. However, it does have a crisp mouthfeel to it, which was a bit of a surprise. One thing that it does not miss on is the very solid pumpkin pie taste that, fortunately, is not overly sweet. To match, there is a light mixture of cinnamon, allspice and ginger that creates an aroma very much like pumpkin spice; all of this makes for an interesting beer. With a lighter body than its appearance suggests, a mild aftertaste that still allows the spices to come through, and a smooth feel, this is a solid pumpkin beer, coming in at only 5.5 percent ABV. Assuming you like your pumpkin pie in beer form.
Maybe it is born from a yearning for Thanksgiving, our greatest holiday, or at least some cooler temperatures, but Lakewood's Punkel is a beer worth giving a shot. Though it could be argued that America has gone too far with its love of all things pumpkin spice, and beers are no exception (looking at you, Shock Top), those who are looking to gear up for fall with pumpkin-spice-everything are going to be big fans of Lakewood's Punkel.