The Great Pumpkin Beer Finder

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 09:15

It was the first Halloween in my new neighborhood. We'd moved there after we had kids, since we had certain....needs. More space. A yard. A school that didn't suck. One of the nice things about the neighborhood was that it did a pretty good job around the holidays, Halloween in particular. Lots of neighborhood lawns decked out with all of their semi-creepy finery.

So it was in that first year that I looked forward to taking my daughters out trick-or-treating. You see, where we lived before, trick-or-treating really kind of sucked. Few people stayed home in their apartments to service the trick-or-treaters, and buzzing to get in and walk up three flights of stairs for a single Snickers bar is really not an efficient use of your time. 

When I began the route, it was nice nodding to some of the other parents around as our kids hopped from house to house. And that's when I noticed something. Pretty much everyone had cups in their hands, sipping along while their princesses and batmen bounded up the stairs to the front door of the next house. Most of them had poured themselves a cocktail to take along for the ride. Brilliant, I thought!  Trick or for the whole family! Needless to say, the following year, I came better prepared.

With all that said, when choosing an approriate trick-or-treating beverage, the coaching I would offer is to choose wisely, and in moderation. Sure, there are 9% and 10% holiday beers available out there, but while taking your kids house to house, you really don't want to get schnookered and be THAT guy. And so, I present for your humble review, The Great Pumpkin Beer Finder.

This visualization, done again with the awesome data available from the folks at BreweryDB ( and visualized with Tableau, shows a nice little way to explore some of your finer choices for a good holiday eve. Choose which area of the country you're looking for (drink locally, my friends) and then choose what kind of evening you're settling in for. Trick-or-treating with the kids? Go for the "A Little Smashed" level (< 6%).  Costume party with your college buddies? Go for the "Totally Smashed" level (8%+). Or find something in between.

So please enjoy the visualization, enjoy Halloween, and enjoy some local Pumpkin Beer. And make sure you bring an extra large cup with you.


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