‘Tis the season when pumpkin flavor extract creeps in more than a few of our favorite things. Every year, the list seems to grow longer, with the availability creeping up earlier and earlier in the year. On the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, Charles Passy blames Starbucks for the “meme-ification of pumpkin.” The coffee juggernaut brought out the Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2001 and it has only become more prominent as the years have gone by. Proof of its cultural clout: This week, reports of a possible Pumpkin Spice Latte shortage sparked widespread panic on Twitter.

Those of us who prefer our pumpkin in a beer have less to worry about. Pumpkin ales are literally everywhere. And while the The Daily Meal and Brew York rightly point out that most of these beers can’t possibly use fresh pumpkins given how early they’re released, the question of which beers are actually worth trying warrants some exploration.

Over at the Awl, writer Victoria Johnson put sixteen contenders through their paces in a bracketology-style showdown (she calls it the “Spiced Sixteen”). The winner, DC Brau’s Epic Fermentation Without Representation, was available only as a limited release. But based on the chart, Southern Tier Pumking, Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, and Harpoon UFO Pumpkin are among the top picks for your October boozing needs.

[via The Awl]