Brewers love to celebrate the seasons, and people love things made from pumpkins. Smell a match made in heaven? We scoured shelves filled with pumpkin beers to find the best companion for your carving session this weekend.

Brewers love to celebrate the seasons, and people love things made from pumpkins. Smell a match made in heaven? We scoured shelves filled with pumpkin beers to find the best companion for your carving session this weekend.

Brewery: Dogfish Head

Beer: Punkin Ale

ABV: 7%

Pumpkin character?:

Like most good things, these pumpkin flavors come to those who wait. Instead of throwing out an initial nutmeg blast, smooth fall flavors unfold calmly after several sips.

Other flavors?:

Cinnamon, caramel and brown sugar drop in to say hello, and all play well with hints of Dogfish's trademark hoppiness.

Better than pumpkin pie?:

Pretty close. This beer should bring out the best in your favorite seasonal dessert.

Rating: 3 stars

Brewery: Thirsty Dog

Beer: Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 5%

Pumpkin character?:

Brewers add five varieties of caramelized pumpkin to each batch, but the flavor didn't really pack a punch. A pumpkin whiff appears, then quickly vanishes.

Other flavors?:

Subdued pumpkin flavor might entice those who tire quickly of these kind of ales, but it didn't have much else going on.

Better than pumpkin pie?:

Not even close. Stick with Thirsty Dog's year-round offerings like Old Leghumper.

Rating: 2 stars

Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Beer: Imperial Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 8%

Pumpkin character?:

Brewed with only pumpkin-paired spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves), Weyerbacher's brew has no real pumpkin flavor.

Other flavors?:

It's more like a quality Scottish ale, with a hearty bitterness and only a miniscule hint of pumpkin-pie-inspired spices.

Better than pumpkin pie?:

Not a liquefied replacement for the sweet treat, but it's certainly a well-developed ale.

Rating: 3 stars

Brewery: Southern Tier

Beer: Imperial Pumking

ABV: 9%

Pumpkin character?:

The brew is made with a pumpkin puree, so an abundance of pumpkin flavor is present.

Other flavors?:

Southern Tier's signature intense flavors are muted by pumpkin, but you know you're sipping a top-quality craft beer.

Better than pumpkin pie?:

Despite tasting more like a pumpkin cookie, it's just as good. Though the sweetness (and ABV) might get to you after a couple swigs.

Rating: 3 stars