Pumpkin ales were around before America — but they didn’t taste anything like they do today. That’s because early colonists largely used pumpkin (in place of scarce malt) for its sugar rather than its flavor. It took a while for the pumpkin ale we know today to emerge, but by the 1990s, as microbreweries began to take root in the U.S., pumpkin ales began to taste, well, like pumpkin. Today, they’ve become some of the most anticipated beers each year. While all of them contain some combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, the variety of this seasonal libation extends from pumpkin pie-esque offerings to ales with only the merest hints of fall. It’s the perfect Halloween beverage to partake in as you attempt to frighten your neighborhood’s trick-or-treating children.