It's that time of year again, when everyone "ironically" gives into their basic-er instincts and starts consuming everything pumpkin flavored while at the same time making sure everyone else around them knows that they know that they're being #basic.
I'm not a huge pumpkin beer fan, but I am a fan of drinking beer out of things so when I was perusing Pinterest instead of doing anything productive, I decided to look up a few how-tos on pumpkin keg making. I rationalized that it would be a worthwhile endeavor because I have a Halloween party to go to this weekend and would like to bring something to distract from my hastily-put-together, "clever" costume that I have to explain to everyone all night because I spent all my money on pumpkins and beer so I couldn't afford an actual costume.
As it turns out, there are a couple ways to make a pumpkin keg. One of them, however, is vastly more expensive than the other because it involves actual keg equipment, so unless you happen have a shank and faucet laying around, the way I tried is your best bet.
For a simple, 15-20 minute pumpkin keg, I recommend this Pinterest How To from Thrillist, which requires a pumpkin, a pumpkin carving kit (also known as a knife and spoon, in my book), something for the seeds, a pen or marker, a spigot, and a six-pack of beer.
Since my first attempt was going to be a practice round, I pilfered the spigot from our Brita rather than buying a new one, because who needs filtered water when you'll be drinking beer from a hollowed-out gourd? However, you can find a plastic spigot on Amazon for a little over $5 if you prefer drinking beer out of a hollowed out gourd AND having filtered water, fancy pants.
The preparing of the pumpkin is pretty familiar to most of us - cut a circle around the top of the pumpkin to be able to get inside. Once you've pried the top of the pumpkin off, see if your dog wants to try some slimy pumpkin guts.
Now begins the disgusting job of scooping out the seeds and slime from the inside of the pumpkin. Thrillist suggests saving those "delicious seeds" for roasting later, but no.
Everyone, just no with pumpkin seeds being something delicious to eat. We've all had roasted pumpkin seeds that one time that actually tasted pleasant and have been chasing that dragon ever since. While calling them pepitas makes them sound adorable, they're neither a suitable snack nor salad topping.
Once you have your pumpkin scooped out, it's time to cut the hole for the spigot. You want to make sure not to cut the hole for your spigot too big. I recommend cutting it slightly smaller than you need and then jamming the spigot into the pumpkin, which is soft enough to make it a pretty easy task. I found my spigot was a little too short to actual reach all the way through the pumpkin enough that I could attach the nut to keep it anchored in place. I ended up scraping away a little more of the flesh on the inside until I could get the nut secured.
At this stage, you are almost finished. One step I wish I would have done that I will make sure to do the next time I make a pumpkin keg is to rinse out the inside of the pumpkin with some water to remove any remaining pumpkin pieces. I had to pour the first couple beers through a strainer because I had some errant pumpkin chunks make it through the spigot and finding chunks in your beer is a truly disgusting experience.
Now that you've inserted your spigot and hopefully rinsed out your pumpkin, it's time to add the beer! I chose Hazelnut Brown Nectar from Rogue because I'm not a huge pumpkin beer fan. I wanted something with autumnal flavors that would be complemented but not overpowered by pumpkin flavor.
The last step is to add the beer. If you're wanting to fill the entire pumpkin, you'll probably need at least 12 beers. I only put four beers in mine because 1) I didn't want to have to drink six beers out of a pumpkin when I wasn't sure I was even going to like one beer out of pumpkin, and 2) I wasn't entirely sure my spigot was completely secure and didn't want to end up desperately trying to stop a six-beer tsunami.
The end result was pretty good. The Hazelnut Brown Nectar is on the sweet side and the pumpkin flavor was a subtle complement to it. If I have time before my Halloween party, I may even decorate my next pumpkin keg to give it a little more pizzazz. If you're looking for something a little different and a lot of fun for a Halloween party or even a cool Thanksgiving dinner touch, I recommend giving the pumpkin keg a shot.
In fact, I'd say you'd be out of your gourd not to try it.