Toasted Pumpkin Ale / 603 Brewery

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As summer weather finally fades into the New Hampshire sunset, your taste choices may also begin to change with the seasons as well. With Octoberfest right around the corner, fall sports take root and focuses shift toward cooler climate. So today we look at 603 Brewery’s Toasted Pumpkin Ale in 22 oz bottles.

603 Brewery started in Campton (above Plymouth), but is now located in Londonderry, NH. They offer year-round beers as well as seasonal beers matched to the calendar. At 30 months old, 603 Brewery has made a momentous mark in the NH craft beer scene. Each of their beers has something to do with a historical fact about NH. For instance, their 18 Mile Rye Ale is named for the 18 miles of Atlantic shoreline NH is afforded between Maine and Massachusetts. Cogway IPA is named for the famous Cog Railway that climbs Mt Washington. And their 9th State Red Ale is due to NH being the 9th state included in the Union as America began.

603_Toasted Pumpkin_smlToday, they are a 30 barrel brew house with beer exclusively sold in NH and distributed widely throughout the state in 12 oz cans, 22 oz bottles, growlers (half gallon bottles) and kegs for restaurants and taverns. You can find it in Hanniford, Market Basket and Case-n-Keg, Meredith and Laconia while you are out shopping. Visit their website at http://www.603brewery.com.

Toasted Pumpkin is an orangey golden. It pours elegantly into a pint glass with a thick frothy white head which lasts through most of the sampling. Your first sniff inside the glass rim will immediately tell you this is a desert beer. With the first sip, you are charmed by its real NH pumpkin aroma and flavor, with immediate notes of vanilla, nutmeg, coriander, allspice and cinnamon. There is a maltiness to this beer along with its complex flavors that keeps inviting you back.

At 8.2%, this year’s edition (completely redesigned from last year), has improved flavor and lusciousness. Many breweries try to get into the pumpkin beer rage… but 603 hit it out of the park on this one! This ale is available from late August to the beginning of October months but disappears once the last bottle is sold, so get yours soon.

Those drinking while browsing their social media like Untappd.com rate 603 Toasted Pumpkin in the 4+ out of 5 category. Although BeerAdvocate.com has not yet rated this year’s version officially, followers of 603 have rated it last year as high as 3.7 to 4.0 out of 5.0 which points out that you should try this before it leaves for the season!

Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to wickedbrews@weirs.com