Stegmaeir Pumpkin Ale Commercial Description:
“A full-bodied ale with hints of pumpkin pie, brown sugar and spices. We brew Stegmaeir Pumpkin Ale with real pumpkin and spices and allow it to slowly age to bring out the full aromas and tastes. It’s a wonderful way to savor fall’s best flavors. ”
…a wonderful way to savor fall’s best flavors.
Additions: Pumpkin, spices
Pennsylvania, United States
Style: Pumpkin Ale
As disinclined as I am to ever be forced to speak to realtors, they will all chant the same words to you: Location Location Location. I bring up this insipid mantra that they speak for a reason. Location plays a role in beer. Where a beer is from is part of its story. The location tells who was involved, their struggles and their triumphs. The location tells what was available to the brewers in perfecting their sweet alchemy. The location tells you what fellow travelers they were able to collaborate with as they went down the road of brewing beer. A beer is a love letter from a location to the world and Stegmaier’s Pumpkin Ale is no exception.
The City of Wilkes-Barre was founded in 1769 and incorporated in 1871. This was a coal miner’s town, and just like the coal industry, it has fallen on hard times. In the general public’s eye, it is better known for being the heart of the “Kids for Cash” scandal in which corrupt judges took kick backs to send children to private prisons. This culture of corruption permeates everything in this town. It is a small wonder that this one was caught.
I entered private practice with a small firm in Wilkes-Barre in September 2010. Every day I would drive there upon poorly maintained highways. Every day, during my downward spiral from whatever God-forsaken mountain I had exited the PA turnpike from, I would view the burned out coal town stretched out as a blight in the valley. Every day, ominous clouds would hang over the town, as a reminder that even the sun was disgusted with Wilkes-Barre. During my time there, I only saw one perfectly sunny day. On that sunny day, there was an earthquake. Every day, leaving work, I would pray for a meteor to strike this town. It never came.
This beer is a perfect reflection of Wilkes-Barre. This is not a good thing. Its label is dull and forgettable. The aroma is poor. Like the town itself, it is not so bad that it is remarkable, but bad enough that you want to avoid it if possible. The texture is thin, like someone thought it would be a good idea to replace the water with leftover Coors Light. I would not say there are hints of pumpkin in this beer, so much as I would say that there are hints that make you feel there should be pumpkin here. And therein lies the tragedy of this beer. Just as Wilkes-Barre isn’t bad enough to be compared to the great shitholes of the world like Detroit or Camden, which might actually earn some respect, this beer is simply not bad enough to be infamous in that regard. This beer is a step below mediocre. It is the D+ of beers. It can be consumed, but there is no reason to and it won’t be enjoyed.