Over the past few years, pumpkin beer has become a very popular selection during the autumn, and with it comes a growing movement of farm-to-keg brewing. Upon closer inspection of the combination of health benefits of eating pumpkin and drinking beer, it is safe to say that pumpkin beer and farm-to-keg brewing practices create a perfect green marriage.
A close look at the history of pumpkin beer reveals its use dates back to the American colonial period, largely due to the wide availability of pumpkin — a native plant — with its fermentable sugar. In addition to its popularity as a potent potable, pumpkin beer was considered a health tonic. During the 19th century, the popularity of pumpkin beer waned in response to the successful development of foreign trade, which fostered the availability of hops, herbs and barley in the United States. Pumpkin beer briefly made a minor comeback during the mid-1800s, however, principally as a flavoring agent for beer. Modern pumpkin beers usually focus on the spices associated with pumpkins, namely nutmeg and cloves.
Fast forward to the 21st century and the green movement, which focuses on plant-based diets as a source for nutrients, local family farming with crop diversity to protect the environment and support of local businesses with low-carbon footprint that support neighboring communities and reinvest in the community, and we see that farm to keg brews fit perfectly in this scenario. Additionally, we find that gourds, in general, and pumpkins, in particular, are very popular because of their nutritional benefits, which include, reducing the risk of cancer, enhancing moods with its tryptophan that produces serotonin, and boosting the immune system with its Vitamin C, just to name a few. When combined with beer, which offers major health benefits when consumed in moderation, such as increasing bone mineral density, reducing the occurrence of kidney stones and reducing the risk of cancer due to its antioxidants, we have formed a perfect union that should make the green movement proud.
The growing movement today reveals local breweries contracting with area farmers to purchase whole pumpkins, which they use to make pumpkin beer. This is more efficient and less costly than using the canned pumpkins, which previously served as the major source for the product. This definitely is a win-win situation for the farmers, breweries and consumers.
We here at LGBG invite you to celebrate the season with some pumpkin beer. There are numerous varieties to try. If you are planning a Halloween party or a football party this weekend, consider giving your pumpkin double duty as a decoration and as a keg of beer.
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