Boo-ze and brews for Halloween

Yes, when Charlie Brown and Lucy celebrate their golden anniversary, they just might toast each other with a pumpkin ale.

It's a seasonal production, brewed with pumpkin pie spices. East Coast brewers have a lot of fun with this stuff. And none of these will make you say "Boo!"

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, shown, is especially good, with just enough spice and typically refined style. Figure $1.80 for a bottle from the Portsmouth, N.H., brewer. For a brown ale with a rush of brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, try Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, from the spirited Delaware brewer. About $2.50.

Saranac Pumpkin Ale, made in upstate New York, adds cloves and vanilla and offers a fine medium-bodied amber brew. About $1.25.

In a 22-ounce bottle to match its big-impact approach, sample Southern Tier Imperial Pumking, easily identified by the crown atop the jack-o'-lantern. About $7. Southern Tier, of course, also is an upstate New York brewer.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale hails from Easton, Pa., and delivers a brew that's deftly and distinctively finished with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. About $5.

Not to be excluded from the seasonal festivities, Southampton Publick House makes a brew that's the liquid equivalent of a slice of pumpkin pie, whipped cream included. The New York house's Pumpkin Ale naturally uses pumpkin, plus cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. A 22-ounce bottle sells for $5 to $6.


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