By Daniel Bordage

Beer: Dominion City Galloping Hessian Pumpkin Brown Ale

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 5%

Pairing: A “Halloween” beer with music that either has a spooky feel , words in the title, or band name that conjures up Halloween themes.

About the Beer: This beer is made in Ottawa, Ontario, by Dominion City and the commercial description goes as follows:
“Named for the headless horseman who would crawl from his grave and strike fear into the hearts of the townspeople of Sleepy Hollow, this beer pours a dark reddish brown and features rich nutty flavours balanced against notes of dried fruit, roasted local pumpkin and baking spice. DCBC Terroir Series L 02”


I tried it for the first time at the Hintontoberfest. I met Josh and I could tell he was very proud of his Pumpkin Brown Ale. I must say I don’t blame him. It was my favourite of the day. It also turned out to be my favourite pumpkin beer of this season. It’s inspired my Halloween playlist this year and the logo won me over with its Scooby-Dooesque design. I love it!

The Music: We had a contest this week via Twitter for someone to send me an Ottawa band that has a song or music that would pair well with a Halloween beer. We had a few great submissions and it gave me insight on a few Ottawa bands I didn’t know existed. After hours of listening, the winner is Geoff Cass who suggested Bearshark’s “Devil’s Knockin'”. He wins a free craft beer delivery from Brew Donkey! I thank all that participated in our first contest.

I find making Halloween playlists to be my favourite to do. I open up my music library and search for ghost, haunted, or any other common words associated with Halloween. It becomes apparent that many songwriters have ghosts in their past or are haunted by something. I could do a full jazz, indie, or hip hop playlists alone. And in Metal, well, the list would never end. So I decided to do a mix of it all. Taking you on a musical haunting as if my head was cut off like our headless horseman… The full playlist can be found here.

Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, better known as Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-American actor, famous for portraying Count Dracula
Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, better known as Bela Lugosi, the Hungarian-American actor famous for portraying Count Dracula.

Nouvelle Vague – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Halloween is my second Christmas after Beau’s Oktoberfest and just before real Christmas. Bela Lugosi is my Santa… Here’s the original Bauhaus version of this song here.

Radiohead – We Suck Young Blood, A Wolf at the Door, I Will, or Bodysnatchers

Take your pick out of those four. Radiohead seems to be a perfect band for Halloween. I went with “A Wolf at the Door.” “I Will” almost made it as it’s so haunting and beautiful.

The Yips – Blood Meridian

This is a great band from Ottawa with one of my favourite tracks on this list.

Sufjan Stevens – They Are Night Zombies

The backing vocals sound like the famous shower scene in Psycho.

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

Witches brew beer in those cauldrons, right? At that point of the brewing process, is it called a monster mash?

Califone – Bottles and Bones

It’s a great song for a beer and music pairing. Bottles… Bones… come on. It writes itself.

The Growlers – Graveyards Full

Growlers… Graveyards… come on… It writes itself (part 2).

The Creeps – Ghost

Ottawa’s own The Creeps. Everything they do would do well on any Halloween playlist.

Dirty Ghosts – Ropes That Way

Off their Metal Moon LP.

Royal Bangs – My Car is Haunted

If you’ve seen the movie Christine, then you know what I’m talking about.

DJ Shadow – The Organ Donor

This song should be on all Halloween playlists…

MF Doom rhymns will haunt even your best dreams.
MF Doom rhymes will haunt even your best dreams.

Danger Doom (Danger Mouse & MF Doom) – The Mask

MF Doom is famous for always wearing a metal face mask. He lives Halloween and collaborates with Ghostface Killah in this song. How could it not make the list?

Gravediggaz – Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide

The entire 6 Feet Under record from the Gravediggaz would make this list.

John Maus – Quantum Leap

If Dracula had a band, this would be the first single. It sounds like he’s singing in a castle and the creepy butler is playing keys next to him.

The Horrors – Gloves

The Horrors… enough said…

Happy Halloween and keep drinking great beer!

Honorable mentions

Metric – Monster Hospital

Pantera – Cemetery Gates

The Horrors – Jack The Ripper

Dead Kennedys – Halloween

Contact me on Twitter @danielbordage or at for suggestions, comments or just to say hi.