Red Racer vs. Shock Top

Redemption round (for me, I mean) — Red Racer vs. Shock Top

Redemption round (for me, I mean) — Red Racer vs. Shock Top

It’s the semifinals of Bad Rider’s pumpkin battle, and it’s time to explain the rules for our next section.

Since I never did track down the right number of beers for an even bracket (Kamloops was experiencing some weird beer stockage issues for much of early October, but that’s another, much whinier post), we’re headed into round two with five beers on the block.

Thus, I’ve decided my favourite of the competition thus far gets a bye.

So congratulations Phillip’s Crooked Tooth! You move to round three. Phillips was our first week winner and impressed me with its balanced mix of spices and pumpkin. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a tough one to beat when we reach final three.

As to the rest of our brews, best wishes and spices.

The Challengers: Shock Top Pumpkin and Red Racer’s Spiced Pumpkin Ale 
(Click through to see the original matchups that brought these two to our semifinals.)

I’ll be honest, this was over in a sip.

As I mentioned last time, Shock Top is not my bag. Too thin, too chemical, way too sweet, it’s here in Round Two by the virtue of another beer’s failure.

If you’re in the mood for a pumpkin beer and you have the choice between these two contenders? For the love of Good and beer, pick Red Racer.

The craft option is only medium-sweet with a darker, more caramel edge to its sugar. It’s mild on the spices, as is Shock Top, and the pumpkin is a little one-dimensional compared to some beers in its class, but it’s a thoroughly solid pumpkin offering. I’d recommend it on mouthfeel alone, over Shock Top.

Will it stand up to our other two finalists? That’s a question that’ll have to wait for the finals.