Autumnal Squash Ale

As an alternative to brewing a pumpkin beer I brewed a fall seasonal beer with a medley of squash (acorn, buttercup, and delicata) and barely any spices (1/4 tsp). This beer was brewed for Thanksgiving Day to pair with a pumpkin cheesecake. The dessert itself had all the traditional pumpkin spice flavors, so it was nice to have a refreshing gourd flavored ale to pair with the dessert that wasn't overly spiced.

With this batch I also tried a new technique for the squash (pumpkin, etc.) addition. In the past, I've always added the cooked pumpkin meat to the mash. This time I added the cooked squash with five minutes left in boil. As I'm drinking this beer right now I'm happy with the results. The squash flavor is more present in the aroma and flavor with an aftertaste of honeydew melon. Great clarity with orange, copper color. Pairs well with the pumpkin cheesecake.

The grist bill was fairly simple with three malts. Pale malt, Munich malt, and Aromatic mashed warm at 152*f for a malty balance for the squash. Six pounds of assorted winter squash (three pounds cooked) added with five minutes left in boil. Bittered with super galena hops and spiced with Chinese Five spice at end of boil. Fermented with US-05.


  1. I did a mixed squash saison two years ago, with no spices. I did the half mash half boil method as well. The beer got infected with brett and I decided to add some souring bugs and dregs of sours. The beer finally came around and lost its diacetyl and has turned into the a beautiful golden colored sour beer.

    I like your idea of a more neutral yeast profile to let the squash shine, the Chinese 5 spice is also interesting, how did that flavor come out in the finished beer?

  2. Jeff,
    The flavor from the squash in the finished beer tasted like melon rind. It was good.