Stevens Point, WI — Autumn means pumpkin beer. At Stevens Point Brewery, pumpkin beer means a special treat: Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale.
This year’s spicy Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale has been aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for a year. Now available in limited quantities in Wisconsin and Illinois retail accounts, it is not sold in the Whole Hog family’s traditional four-packs. Instead, Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale is sold in in select bars and restaurants and off-premise in loose cases of 12-ounce bottles, a package aimed especially at the single-serve market that thrives in supermarkets, liquor stores and convenience stores.
Bourbon Barrel aged Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale has already been awarded a Gold Medal at the 2016 World Beer Championships, Barrel Aged Ale category.
Pumpkin beers in general sell well in single-serve packages, according to Julie Birrenkott, Stevens Point Brewery Marketing Manager, and so will Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale.
Pumpkin beer fans waiting for Whole Hog’s 2016 release will by intrigued by the flavors contributed by aging the brew in oak barrels, Birrenkott said.
“Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale is a special full-bodied beer to celebrate the fall season,” she said. “It fits perfectly into two classic and always popular beer segments, barrel-aged beers and pumpkin seasonal beers. We expect many pumpkin beer lovers to try Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale, so we don’t expect retail inventories to last long.”
Brewing (and Aging) Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale
Brewmaster Gabe Hopkins and his team brewed Whole Hog Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale using real pumpkin puree along with Munich, caramel and roasted malts, Perle hops, and traditional pumpkin beer spices – cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
After fermentation, the beer was aged for a year in heavy 55-gallon oak bourbon barrels obtained from the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY.
“Aging in bourbon barrels lends pleasing oak and vanilla flavor notes to the ale, and there is some slight bitterness from tannin,” said Hopkins. Barrel-aging beer requires some special care during the process.
“When it was time to package the ale, we painstakingly tested each barrel to make sure that no secondary fermentation had occurred,” he explained.
Representing the epitome of the brewmaster’s art, Whole Hog Limited Edition beers are “big” beers handcrafted in small batches to appeal to the most discerning craft-beer aficionados.
Stevens Point Brewery, founded in 1857, uses only the highest-grade barley malts, specialty malts, grains and the choicest hops to brew its handcrafted beers.
In addition to Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale, Whole Hog Limited Edition “big beers” include year-round Whole Hog Espresso Stout and Whole Hog Imperial India Pale Ale.
Seasonal offerings also include Whole Hog Peach Hefeweizen, Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout, and Whole Hog Barley Wine.
The Stevens Point brewery’s year-round lineup features flagship Point Special Lager; Point Amber Classic, an American-style Amber Lager; Point S.P.A. (Session Pale Ale) an American Style Pale Ale; Point Onyx Black Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Beyond the Pale IPA, a robust, hoppy India Pale Ale; Point Smiley Blue Pils, a Czech-style Pilsner; and Point Drop Dead Blonde Ale, a 110 calorie golden ale.
The brewery’s seasonal beers include Point Coast Radler, a mix of beer and natural citrus flavors for the spring; Siesta Key Citrus Pale Ale, for the summer; Point Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-style Märzen beer; Point Bock Beer, a traditional full-bodied beer for the winter, and soon-to-be-released Point Snow Pilot Pistachio Nut Brown Ale, a delicious brown ale for the winter.
In addition to the year-round and seasonal craft brands Point offers four seasonal variety 12-packs, each containing three bottles of four unique beers available only in the variety packs.
Available in the summer months, the Long Days variety pack features four refreshing fruit lagers: Point Lime Lager, Point Mango Lager, Point Tart Cherry Lager and Point Watermelon Mojito Lager. During the winter months, the Long Nights variety pack features Malted Milk Shake Lager, Pistachio Nut Brown Ale, Gingerbread Ale and Salted Caramel Toffee Ale. For Fall, The Harvest Craft Creations 12-pack features Point Cranberry Wheat Ale, Point Squash Ale, Point Pumpkin Peach Ale and Point Blood Orange Amber. Four unique year-round India pale ales – Point Spruce Tip IPA, Point Peach Mango IPA, Point White IPA and Point One Shot IPA are available only in the Point IPA variety 12-pack.
For more information about the Stevens Point Brewery, visit www.pointbeer.com or call 715-344-9310. Tours of the brewery are available, with schedules listed on the website.