This is a brutal time of year for pumpkins. They're carved up, scooped out, skinned, roasted, smashed and carelessly left to rot on front porches nationwide. But The Ram head brewers Jake Schisel and Jake Talbot have come up with an even more sinister way to abuse pumpkins: turn them into booze.
Schisel and Talbot took 100 pounds of local raw, sweet pumpkins from Wagner Farms in Meridian, roasted, skinned and macerated them, and then threw the remaining 62 pounds of pumpkin pulp into a fermentation tank with base malt from Pocatello, specialty malt from Washington, hops from Idaho and the Yakima Valley and a spice bag loaded with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and star anise.
The result, which will debut at The Ram Thursday, Oct. 25, is a local pumpkin beer.
"We got our hands on as many pumpkin beers as we could off the shelves at the local stores and read about them and tasted all of them," said Schisel.
In that process, the Jakes sampled brews loaded with a pumpkin pie's worth of spice, some with no spice, some that used real pumpkin and many that didn't.
"It's so varied, everybody's take on them, which is kind of the fun part of the style. Everybody gets to put their best foot forward," said Schisel
The Ram's pumpkin beer will be available at its Boise and Meridian locations, and at Murphy's Seafood and Steakhouse.