I confess I’ve never attended the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, Elysian Brewing Company’s annual celebration in honor of the seasonal treat. But I’ve always been curious. A whole festival devoted to pumpkin beers seemed almost insanely on-theme, do people like them that much?
That’s what I asked head brewer Dick Cantwell while writing this article for our October issue. Cantwell explained that brewers both local and from far away see the festival as an opportunity to test the creative waters. “It’s a chance to show just how serious and ridiculous we can be,” he told me. Other brewers talked about loving the freedom to create small batches of brews that didn’t necessarily suit everyone’s tastes. There’s over 50 beers this year including an Elysian-Tom Douglas Restaurants collab and a custom brew from Denmark.
Having outgrown the Capitol Hill brewpub where it has hitherto been held, Great Pumpkin happens in Georgetown this year, at Elysian’s brand new brewing facility there. It takes place on October 8 and 9.