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Swindon brewery turns pumpkins into a seasonal ale

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Cinderella’s fairy godmother might have decided that the best use of a pumpkin was to turn it into a carriage fit for a princess, but Arkell’s Brewery has found a much better use for this season’s pumpkins: beer!

The Wiltshire brewery has come up with its first Pumpkin Beer, brewed to help celebrate Halloween, which this year falls on Tuesday, October 31.

“Halloween doesn’t just have to be for the kids – why should the fun stop when you’re 18?,” said head brewer Alex Arkell.

Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage aside, many consider Halloween as a pagan festival, and its origins can be traced back to the ancient festival of Samhain, more than 2000 years’ ago, when the Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons.

On the festival of Samhain, Celtic druids would light fires to ward off evil spirits. More recently, pumpkins are scooped out and lit with candles.

Arkell’s prefer to celebrate the end of summer by using the pumpkin fruit to make beer rather than to ward off mischievous ‘spirits’.

“Pumpkin is sweet and we’ve spiced up our new brew with cinnamon and other spices to make a deliciously dark beer worthy of a time of year when we celebrate the end of summer and harvest, and the beginning of the long winter months,” said Alex.

Arkell’s Pumpkin Beer is brewed using real pumpkins prepared in the Brewhouse, with added spices and malt to produce a devilishly warming, malty beer. It will be available at most Arkell’s pubs in the run-up to Halloween.