Catawba King Don's release 9-6-19; two versions

Yes, pumpkin ale season is back. This year, Catawba's got more Dons than an average Mafia movie, as King Don's Pumpkin Ale returns for a 22nd year and Emperor Don's Imperial Pumpkin Ale makes its stately debut.

• King Don’s Pumpkin Ale (5.5 percent ABV)

King Don’s uses five separate barley varieties, fresh pumpkin, and an assortment of spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove, nutmeg) to create its complex flavor profile. The flavors meld into this wonderfully smooth orange-hued beer and seasonal favorite, which traces its roots to the old Cottonwood Brewery in Boone, where head brewer Don Richardson perfected his pumpkin ale in 1997. 

A few years later after Cottonwood had sold, Don generously agreed to lend his pumpkin beer recipe to his friend Scott Pyatt, co-owner of Catawba Brewing. Catawba has continued to faithfully reproduce Richardson’s recipe as an annual limited release, under the King Don’s name to honor its original brewer. 

• Emperor Don’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale (7.8 percent ABV)

Same name. Bigger throne. King Don’s pays homage to the originator of the pumpkin beer in North Carolina, but Emperor Don’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale carries the crown to the next level. Bigger, bolder, and more regal than our original pumpkin ale, this new variant is everything you love about the King and more. After all, it’s good to be King, but it’s better to be Emperor.

The two Catawba pumpkin ales will be available in Catawba’s tasting rooms, followed by Catawba’s 5-state distribution.

Come out to Catawba tasting rooms Friday, Sept. 6, and join the tasty fun.  

Catawba WNC tasting rooms are at 32 Banks Ave., on Asheville’s South Slope, and at 63 Brook St., in Biltmore Village. Visit


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