It’s Jack the Pumpkin Head, and he’s got beer.

My neighbor, who’s a total sweetheart, she likes pumpkin. So do I — especially pumpkin pie — and so one of the three beers she brought over was this “All malt seasonal brew limited edition Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale.” According to the label, it’s “Ale brewed with only the finest barley malt, the choicest hops, pumpkin and spices.”

Does anyone hear any familiar wording in that front label boast?

Searching around the bottle confirmed my suspicions. This brew is brought to us by the same people who are responsible for the beachwood-aged disaster which they proclaim as, “The King of Beers.”

I clear my thoughts. I try to forget this fact. I want to keep an open mind, and not pre-judge the brew.

I pop the twist-off cap and take a whiff. It smells like sour pumpkin over the top of some weak brown malt. Well, I think to myself, that doesn’t really mean anything. Let’s give it a try.

I take the first sip. It does not become a gulp. I take another, smaller sip.

Nope. No surprises. It’s fizzy, watery, and sour-bitter, tasting like Budweiser with a touch of pumpkin juice and some nutmeg. It rolls down the back of the throat like dry weeds. The aftertaste gives me the signature chemical tang of an Anheuser-Busch beer.

Not groovy. Not at all. If you want a good pumpkin beer, I recommend Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale.

In fact, I’m going to go over to my local Beer Heaven and buy a Buffalo Bill’s for my neighbor. She’ll love it.

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