Best Gluten Free Beers

Ghostfish Brewing Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale

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Ghostfish Brewing Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Gluten Free Pumpkin Ale

This is my second pumpkin beer review of the season! Today’s taste test is for the Ghostfish Brewing Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale, a fall seasonal brewed in Washington state. Halloween may be over, but we’re still awaiting the arrival of the stout seasonals, so as far as I’m concerned–it’s still pumpkin beer season. :)

Ghostfish Brewing Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale gluten free beer review

Fall feels like a rapid fire of short-lived seasonals, more than any other part of the year. Fresh Hop season hits and the fresh nature of the beer style combined with the high demand of the market dries those taps quickly. Then before you know it it’s pumpkin ale season, which also fades quickly after October ends as breweries make way for their darker seasonals and winter brews. If you blink too slowly, you could miss either one of these limited releases.

Lunar Harvest started in 22 ounce bottles, but is now packaged in 16 ounce cans. The recipe can vary from year to year. I have separated the review into different release years to make it easy to understand which version I’m commenting on.

The 2020 Taste Test

Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale

This year’s release happened to contain lactose, so I had my buddy Randy (Grand Master IV Beer & Mead Judge) taste and comment on this pumpkin ale for me! His wife joined us too, so you may hear a few background comments from her as well.ย 

The 2018 Taste Test

Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale

The pour of the Ghostfish Brewing Pumpkin Ale surprised me! It is much less head-y then I would have expected, and it has a crystal clear deep burgundy brown color. It was very hard to capture a photo with any head because it bubbled away instantly upon pouring, even when I poured down the center.

The Lunar Harvest smells of sweet and warmly spiced pumpkin pie. Notes of cinnamon waft through the air as I type. The taste itself is quite a complex experience. It’s very spice-forward. The first thing I think when I drink is cinnamon and nutmeg. The pumpkin hits me directly afterwards and honestly, the strong pumpkin flavor is very bright. They way citrus is bright.

It’s interesting…this beer is both bright and warm at the same time. The pumpkin softly fades, but the spices stay with you. Interestingly, there’s a taste–and a texture present towards the end that is very…smooth. Smooth like vanilla. It lingers on your palate and sticks around to greet the next sip.

This is a very texture-heavy beer.ย The body itself doesn’t feel particularly heavy in the beginning, but it’s flavor is dense and it’s 8% ABV gives it a weight and a bite that contributes to the texture-coaster of the Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale.ย According to the label, the grain bill includes malted millet from Grouse and malted rice from Eckhart. I’m kind of surprised to learn that these are the only two grains used in this Tripel.

IBU is low at only 25, and honestly I detect no bitterness over all the spice and squash. This is the sweeter of the two pumpkin ales I’ve tasted this month. Drinking 22 ounces of Lunar Harvest is a very satisfying alternative to a slice of pumpkin pie. It gives you all the same rushes.

Ghostfish Brewing Lunar Harvest Pumpkin Ale gluten free beer review

I would love to hear from those of you who had the opportunity to try this beer. What did YOU think of it? I’d especially love to hear from those who have experienced more than one gluten free pumpkin ale this season. So shoot me a comment…let’s talk beer. :)

P.S. Like what I do for the gluten free beer community? Consider buying me a beer for my efforts! ;)

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