Giant Hertford Pumpkin Becomes Halloween Beer


A Hertfordshire grower and two brewers have converted a 480 lb pumpkin into ~3,000 pints of delicious pumpkin beer for Halloween.

And a Halloween promotion of the beer at a local pub will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

Douglas Smith of Sweet Pea Salads, based at Foxholes Farm, Hertford, has teamed up with New River Brewery LTD, a local craft brewery based in Hoddesdon to produce a seasonal pumpkin beer.

The 480 lb giant pumpkin, which weighs more than two baby elephants, was nicknamed “Lily” and was converted by Hertfordshire based local craft brewers, Jeremy Alter and John Bourdeaux into an exciting new autumnal special, Pumped Up! in time for Halloween.

“What better way to mark our 50th brew than to create a really special beer using a locally grown and quite remarkable ingredient!” said Jeremy Alter.

Commenting on the fact that New River Brewery’s used grain is recycled as cattle feed at Foxholes Farm, John said “Putting a pumpkin grown on that land into our beer, seems to complete the Life circle perfectly” adding, “It feels like Cinderella in reverse – turning a pumpkin into ale!”

After the ceremonial cutting of the pumpkin, Lily was taken to the brewery and made into a very special beer named Pumped Up! Giant Pumpkin Ale, 4.2% abv. It is now available in casks for Halloween and throughout Autumn.

To make this special beer, the ‘Atlantic Giant’ pumpkin was first roasted and caramelised in an oven, before being added to the brew together with a special mix of spices to complement the flavour of the pumpkin.
The pumpkin was one of two giant pumpkins grown by Douglas. An even larger one – ‘Stella”– which had to be lifted using the farm’s JCB – was entered into a UK wide Biggest Pumpkin competition, coming 6th place out of 25 with a final weight of 624.1 lb. Stella is now on display at Foxholes Farm.

“The giant pumpkins have been a huge “wow factor” for kids at the farm – and it makes a change from the more usual salad leaves that I grow to sell”, said Douglas

To celebrate the launch, New River Brewery are donating a cask of Pumped Up! to Hertfordshire publican, Peter Tatlow of The Golden Fleece, Braughing, for a Halloween special promotion at the pub from Friday, 28th through to 31st October. Pumped Up! brew will be sold for £3.50 and all funds raised will go to Prostate Cancer UK.


Douglas Smith – The grower – 07791 396 538
Jeremy Alter & John Bourdeaux – The brewers – 07775 586 931
Peter Tatlow – The Landlord – 01920 823555