Beer > Candle

By Rebecca Firkser and Margaret Eby
Updated October 25, 2018
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Credit: Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Every October, I make grand plans to carve a pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern. And every October 31st, I forget to do it. The afternoon of Halloween may seem too late to carve a leering face into a pumpkin that’s going to sit on your stoop, but it is not, however, too late to make a Keg-O-Lantern. Not familiar with the concept? It’s exactly what you’re thinking: a pumpkin carved into a keg that dispenses beer. Or punch. Or juice. Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or want to drink alone while watching Corpse Bride for the 12th time, a Keg-O-Lantern is the vessel for you.

Ostensibly the fall edition of a watermelon keg, the Keg-O-Lantern involves an extra arts and crafts-y step—which, in my opinion, is the most fun part. More on that later.

1. Rinse off the pumpkin and slice off the top along with the stem, just as if you were making a real Jack-O-Lantern. Use a large spoon to scoop out all the pumpkin's innards. If you’d like, save the seeds for toasting. To prevent stringy bits of pumpkin or a strong pumpkin flavor in your drink, scrape the walls of the pumpkin to expose the lighter, dryer flesh. Rinse out the pumpkin with water and flip upside down to dry.

2. To turn Jack into a keg, you’ll need a tap. I used this one. Make a hole on the bottom side of the pumpkin, where you might carve a mouth in a Jack-O-Lantern. The tap I used comes with pieces to help pierce through a watermelon, but you may need to help it a bit this time, as pumpkins are more firm than watermelons. As always when working with doodads like this, read the directions of whichever tap you’re using to be safe. Attach the rest of the tap according to the directions.

3. Now, the craft part: Use a permanent marker to draw a face on the pumpkin, in an area of the pumpkin that makes the tap into a mouth. We went with the “dizzy face” emoji, but you could do whatever you want.

Fill the pumpkin with beer (or whatever liquid you’d like to drink) and stay spooky, friends!