On Tap is a regular column featuring our recommendations on the most unique new draft beer offerings from local pubs.

Our Recommendation: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 7% ABV

Where: Appetites on Main, Main Street, Exton, PA

In writing about the top ten pumpkin beers recently, it became apparent that Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is the most popular among beer connoisseurs. One of the biggest local fans of this beer is Michael Troupe, the bar manager for Appetite’s on Main. He invited me to stop by for a glass.

“Every year, I ask my rep when will the Dogfish Head Punkin come out,” Mike said with a smile. “I look forward to the release each year.”

Why do you like it so much?

“It’s like eating pumpkin pie, but it’s better because it’s beer.”

Last year, I tried the Dogfish Head Punkin in bottles and felt the pumpkin spices were a bit overpowering for my taste. As I tried some of the tapped Punkin at Appetites, I was surprised by how light the style was in contrast to last season’s bottles. I asked Mike if he thought they changed up the recipe this year.

“It appears they did tone it down this year,” Mike replied. “But it’s still hoppy, it still has that typical hop profile.
As for the off-spelling of Pumpkin? Punkin Ale is named after the infamous Delaware “Punkin Chunkin” – where contestants compete to see who can hurl pumpkins the farthest using various mechanical means.

While punkin chunkin may go far, Punkin Ale doesn’t last long. “We were able to get three kegs, and we’ve already gone through two of them in the last week,” Mike said as he shook his head. “Dogfish Head–they always leave you wanting more.”

Appetite’s on Main plans on tapping Southern Tier’s Pumpkin next and will also have Brew Works’ Devious Pumpkin Ale tapped soon.