The Pumpkin Beer Seasonal Sensation
Once the temperature drops and leaves start to turn, it’s time to break out America’s favorite six-pack of sugar, spice, and everything nice – pumpkin beer! Nothing says fall quite like pumpkins and beer, and American breweries have done a superb job at combining the two.
It might surprise you that pumpkin beers have only been a seasonal trend since 1995. Since then, they have caught the attention of beer lovers everywhere, in part because the flavor can be adopted to almost any style of beer. The blend of pumpkin-to-spice ratio differs from brewer to brewer. Some add hand-cut pumpkins to the mash while others opt for a puree or pumpkin flavoring. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg are then mixed in to add a bold flavor.
Calorie and Carbs Fluctuate
Depending on the brand and style pumpkin beers, like most other alcoholic beverages, can vary substantially in calories and carbs. Since beer is regulated by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)and not the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationmost products are not required to contain nutrition information. But there’s good news… Beer industry leaders including Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, HeinekenUSA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries, and the Craft Brew Alliance – which produce over 81% of the volume of beer sold in the United States – have agreed to voluntarily disclose information about calories, carbs, fat and protein on all of their labels. Check out the Brewer’s Voluntary Disclosure Initiative. If you’re going to have a sensational fall treat, look for the brands that contain this important information for your health. Most pumpkin beers have more calories and carbs compared to regular “lite” beer.
Know Your Limit
Calories and carbs aren’t the only components that fluctuate amongst various products. Knowing how much alcohol you consume is equally important for health. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americansrecommend adults over the age of 21-years limit alcohol consumption to 2 drinks per day (men) and 1 drink per day (women), respectively. What constitutes a drink? It’s 14 grams of alcohol. Check out my blog, “How Much Alcohol Am I Consuming?” for information on how to calculate the amount of alcohol you are consuming.