Pumpkin Beer Ready to Tap at Shawnee Craft Brewing

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SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A brewery in the Poconos is getting ready to put its seasonal brew back on tap.

The pumpkins are ready to be carved, but you won't find any ghoulish faces in these gourds. These pumpkins are being cut up to make something more adult friendly -- beer!

It's all done by brewers at Shawnee Craft Brewery in Smithfield Township.

"This is always a fun time of year when we look forward to making our harvest saison. It's a Belgian-style farmhouse ale that includes pumpkins that we grow right here on our own farm," explained general manager Jason Startari.

The brew team harvested hundreds of pumpkins earlier this week, and once the piles are brought in, that's when the fun begins.

One by one, and by hand, the pumpkins are cut up. None of the pumpkin is wasted. The flesh is used to make the beer, and the seeds you'll see right at the bar.

"We cut them up to about little two inch chunks like that and we will throw them into all the malted barley and we use a little bit of wheat in this particular recipe, too," said brewer Ian Deetrick.

"The beer is not supposed to be pumpkin pie in a glass. It's more starchy and we get the sugars from the pumpkins and it's more subtle, more drinkable. In fact, we can enjoy it all throughout the year, not just this time," said Startari.

Every batch has 60 pounds of chopped up pumpkins.

Startari expects to have nearly 1,500 gallons of the fall brew on tap this year.

But this season's growing crop was a little different. With the dry weather, growing these orange giants was no easy task.

"It wasn't a great year for pumpkins," said Startari. "It was very dry which makes a nice year for golf, not necessarily pumpkins, but we still got a great yield and plenty of pumpkins, healthy pumpkins, that we are excited to use in our brewing process."

Glasses of this pumpkin saison will be ready to go by the third week of October at the brewery and other local taps throughout the Poconos.