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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,752 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1752
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 27.3%

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001)
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Ratings: 1,752 | Reviews: 772 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Chilly444


4.11/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Although this one lacks in character is really is my favorite fall beer. Its things like drinkability and personal preference that can go easily unnoticed. While this could certainly use some work, the pumpkin/nutmeg flavor really does come through in excellent fashion. If you drink it from the Keg (preferrably right from the source in Portland) you will notice the flavor (while light and airy on the toungue) really packs a deep punch in the body of this beer. My favorite beers tend to be stouts, my favorite so far being the Breakfast Beer from Founders Brew, and the Dogfish Head Miles Davis Bitches Brew. So that being said I can understand why people who are used to loving a deep flavor, lacing, and body would most likely hate this sweet bubbly ale. I would advise you to give it an honest try. This stuff is an all day ale thats perfect for pairing with fall food/deserts. It is certainly a friendly beer both for your mouth and wallet. If you guys don't decide to drink it then thats fine....just means more cases for me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2014 16:37:23 | More by Chilly444
Photo of ChrisNYCLIDC

New Jersey

4.71/5  rDev +60.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite pumpkin/fall seasonal beer. I know it can be a bit sweet for some and the pumpkin flavor tastes a bit synthetic not exactly fresh, but I find it the most addictive to drink. Not a super dark or heavy ale taste for fall seasonal. A pumpkin beer that I dont get sick trying to drink more than one at once. Definitely a bit girly with the cinnamon/sugar rim, but the taste I've grown to associate with fall.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2013 03:02:58 | More by ChrisNYCLIDC
Photo of CAS56

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Here's the thing - by itself it's not a great beer. But on tap with a cinnamon sugar rim on the glass it's actually pretty nice. I don't pretend to be an expert but I like what I like, and this I liked - better than a lot of other beer I've had lately (like Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA yuck!)

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2013 19:09:29 | More by CAS56
Photo of Botulizard


2.01/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Held up to the light, it appears pale yellow- not unlike an AAL. At a normal glance, it's orange-ish. No real head, just a thin foam cover. No lacing on the glass at any point.

S: Pumpkin meat. It's not as spicy as I'd like it to be at all. There's also a faint smell of some ambiguous, plastic-like chemical.

T: Pumpkin pie with very mild, faint spice. The faint chemical-like smell also translates to the taste. No taste is very strong, and the beer's very watery.

M: Very thin, light carbonation. Watery.

O: It was OK enough to not be a drainpour (mostly because it's REALLY rare for me to actually pour out a beer), but it's quite lacking on all fronts. I don't think I'll be drinking this again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2013 21:37:59 | More by Botulizard
Photo of cfspartan


2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A watery, overspiced experience tasting a mix of a bad beer with a bunch of cloves and nutmeg. Not as strong a pumpkin flavor as expected and much worse than expected with its rampant popularity. Heavily carbonated and just disappointing. I've had it on several occasions and have noted some surprising swings in consistency.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2013 02:50:19 | More by cfspartan
Photo of RaulMondesi


2.23/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Did Budweiser brew a Pumpkin Ale or is this Shipyard? Mang... this stuff is nasty! Just grab some olive oil, faccocia, and some of this vinegar swill and you got yourself a meal! Light like a bulimic gymnast and about as tasty as a first date with Adel - this thang is rank!

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2013 00:36:38 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of Brew_42


3.43/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer's score might be slightly inflated due to sentimental factors. To me, Pumpkin Head means that fall is here in New England and it was the first beer that I enjoyed drinking,

Appearance- Pours amber with a hint of orange. Thin white head.

Smell- Smells like pumpkin pie spice.

Taste- Cinnamon and pumpkin are the main flavors.

MF-Slight carbnation.

O- As far as pumkin ales go it isn't spectacular but you can get it almost anywhere in Fall in New England so I often find myself ordering one. If you have a choice Punkin or Pumking are the way to go but its definitely worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2013 08:36:27 | More by Brew_42
Photo of JGargano


4.74/5  rDev +61.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one of my favorite fall pumpkin offerings. It has a nice balance of pumpkin flavor, sweetness, and a slight kick. It tastes "pumpkin-y" without being overwhelming. I can easily drink 2 or 3 before having to switch to something lighter. This is the beer I most look forward to around late August, and the one I drink most frequently throughout the season.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2013 18:39:50 | More by JGargano
Photo of AJ01923


1.58/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Still can't fathom how this seems to be Shipyards most popular beer while being their worst? Pugsley's is a much better version but when it comes to pumpkins, however if im looking for Pumpkin I steer clear of Shipyard. Still enjoy plenty of other beers in their lineup including Export and Chamberlain. Great brewery in Portland, worth a visit every time.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2013 02:44:57 | More by AJ01923
Photo of jkeymaginnis

4.88/5  rDev +66.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers ever. It is not too pumpkin-y and still tastes like beer without being weak. I love the color, and every fall I look forward to it with bells on. Unfortunately hard to find on tap outside of new england. I have love the feel and if you take your time with this beer you'll understand how good it is. Only down side is for some people it may be too "drinkable". I like that personally.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2012 01:13:24 | More by jkeymaginnis
Photo of tjsdomer2


2.8/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very light pumpkin ale. Almost looks like a light wheat ale, sort of a cross between Blue Moon and Goose Island 312. Overall, I like this for how different it is.

Smell: Light fruity notes with some hay. A bit adjunct-like.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Since this is a pumpkin ale, it is therefore natural that this tastes like...cucumber? I swear that's the main flavor that I taste, backed up by some cloves. It's almost like they are going for a pickle beer here. (Now that would be an interesting idea.) This is just weird. I like some of the flavor notes, but the cucumber-ness is plain out different. Mouthfeel is generally speaking pretty good. Very crisp, but there's a sourness from the cucumber that I don't like.

Overall Drinkability: One of the strangest beers I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2012 17:16:14 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of phpfunk


3.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really like this beer, I was introduced to it last year by a family member. It is a lot lighter than most beers I drink but I feel it's a great seasonal beer that tastes very close to pumpkin pie.

Most other pumpkin beers have nutmeg, coriander, etc but you can just taste the spice, somehow this to me taste the closet to drinking pumpkin pie that I can find.

This isn't a beer I would like year round but when I see it I buy a case or two for Autumn.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2012 01:02:39 | More by phpfunk
Photo of thecheapies


2.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark gold, or light amber. Looks very sudsy. Meringue head supported by cascading bubbles. Lighter than many.

Cinnamon sugar, allspice, and a faint pumpkin aroma. Nutmeg notes are here and there. Malts are very crackery, like unleavened bread. A sweet suggestion of hops.

Very heavy-handed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pie spices. Graham cracker notes are there, but it's hard to match up with the cinnamon. Sweet, but not sugary. Tastes like a spiced pie crust. Vegetable flavors get crossed up. There are few hops and not much real pumpkin flesh flavor. A shell of a real pumpkin beer.

Drinks easy. No real booze note. Decent suds. And, the body is medium-thin.

Not so good for a pumpkin beer, and that's easy to recognize. They got carried away with the pumpkin pie spice additions and masked the feature ingredient. Probably one and done on Pumpkinhead for the year.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 04:36:37 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Rifugium


1.63/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a clear golden-orange, with a thin white head; no retention or lacing to speak of. Smell of cardboard and vague pumpkin juice. Taste was kind of sickeningly sweet right up front with an artificial, plastic-y pumpkin flavor, light spices and some hints of butterscotch. Not very good at all. Very light mouthfeel, almost felt like a Corona. Just way too sweet and artificial tasting, without the body and flavor it takes to make a good beer. Kind of the "beer juice" feeling you get from a typical adjunct beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2011 01:54:54 | More by Rifugium
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap pint while visiting Buffalo at D'Arcy MsGee's.
Orange colored liquid topped by a short lived white head o ale in f big bubbles (was not served with glass rimmed with cinnamon brown sugar, as others have mentioned).
Smelled of pumpkin, and some other cinnamon and clove spices.
I thought it tasted really good. Flavor of pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin and other spices were not too overpowering or artificial tasting. Balanced level of malt, and sweetness.
Mouthfeel was average, body was on the thin side as well.
Overall, this is a decent pumpkin beer. I liked it, but at the same time one was enough for me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2011 16:26:20 | More by BigBry
Photo of viaingo


4.47/5  rDev +52.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Type: Pumpkin Wheat Ale
Color: Golden
Body: Fizzy. Very carbonated. It may ward people off but I am accustomed to it.
Head: white and disappears quickly
Taste: spicy but not overpowering. You can certainly taste the cinnamon and pumpkin. A bit tarty but light.
Aroma: I am a spice guy so I love the overbearing spice smell to it. Its like a spicy pumpkin pie. Delicious.

If you add brown sugar and cinnamon to the rim of your glass this beer is complete. This review may sound like a fan boy reviewing his favorite brew and I don't care. This beer symbolizes many traditions in the North East. Shipyard delivers around the country so if you have the chance to try this amazing seasonal beer please leave your review below.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2011 02:01:59 | More by viaingo
Photo of Cadebro


2.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served from draught into a pint glass.

A - Golden colored with a thin white head.

S - Smells of biscuit and spices.

T - Brown sugar and spices. Aggressively flavored, almost artificially so.

M - Thin and bubbly.

D - Easy to quaff one, too sweet and spicy to drink more than that.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2011 02:07:34 | More by Cadebro
Photo of Ilovesuds

New Hampshire

1.4/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Everywhere I go I see box after box of pumpkin beer. Folks talk about Shipyard Pumpkinhead on tap with the rim dipped in brown sugar as the height of fall beer enjoyment. Nothing about this appeals to me but I figured I should give one a try.

My wife and I stopped at a nice Haverhill pub called The Peddler's Daughter. Had the barkeep pour me a draught (less the brown sugar). Appearance was light brown and fizzy. Smells like a Yankee Candle. I was scared at this point.

Tastes like you dumped an apple pie spice bag in a glass of beer. No pumpkin flavor. It was so bad I left half the pint and ordered a Harpoon IPA to get the taste out of my mouth.

I don't get it...

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2011 15:21:14 | More by Ilovesuds
Photo of KELPAK


2.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I was rather disappointed in this year's Pumpkinhead. Shipyard was once at the top of the mainstream pumpin beer world but this year it lacks body and pumpkin flavor.

relatively watery with a somewhat overbearing spice taste to it, not what i expected from Shipyard.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2011 17:03:54 | More by KELPAK
Photo of socon67

New York

2.05/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at High Rollers in Foxwoods Casino

A - Pours orange\amber with a white head that disappears quickly. No lacing.

S - Smells like pumpkin spice, but a bit too much. Reminds me of a cheap candle.

T - Just doesn't cut it. Vinegary and thin. I thought the tap was bad but I see previous reviews are consistent. There is a pumpkin spice flavor, but its artificial. Beyond that, no pumpkin flavor. Surprisingly bland.

M - A bit heavy on the carbonation. And that's all that keeps this from feeling overly thin.

O - Well its not Southern Tier Pumking. There are many very good pumpkin ales that this can be avoided. The depressing part is that is that the casual beer drinker is duped into thinking this is a good example.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2011 11:32:30 | More by socon67
Photo of MoreThanWine


3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered on tap and when the bartender asked if I wanted cinnamon and sugar on the rim I was stunned, hadn't had any beer that way, but went for it. Later I thought, hmm, that kind of interferes with reviewing the beer. But here we go anyway.

On tap it came with 3/4" head. The body is a clear burnt orange color. Smell is very mild, like a memory of a pumpkin pie. Taste happily is far less spiced than many of the other pumpkin beers out there and combined with the cinnamon/sugar glass rim it had a sort of sweet and sour aspect to it. But that's cheating isn't it. Without the rim, and in fact after the coating had long worn off, I was left with a fairly mainstream standard beer with mild pumpkin aspects. Average.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2011 08:43:20 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of Jesse13713


3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll be the first to defend this beer. For a pumpkin ale, its pretty average. But when i want a pumpkin ale that's light and spicy, i choose this one. Sure it can't match pumking or dogfish punkin. But its a solid light bodied brew.

Appearance - No head from the tap. No lacing or foam either. Looks very watery and plain. A transparent straw yellow and faint orange.

Smell - Light on the nose. Faint spice and light fruit.Not much else going on.

Taste - Despite its poor appearance and lack of smell, I enjoy the taste alot. Ill agree that its more of a bud light with spice in it, but the spice is phenomenal in my opinion. The best cinnamon I've tasted in a beer to date. This beer is refreshing on summer days that are soon to turn to autumn. Light nutmeg and faint pumpkin.

Mouthfeel and overall - very light and refreshing, especially in the final days of summer. Easy to drink and perfect for when you don't want a heavy pumpkin ale.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2011 02:04:37 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of jlindros


3.28/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at TGI Fridays.

Comes with a very light almost non-existant fizzy head, clear darker orange nectar colored beer.

Nose has some pumpkin, toasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie filling, spices, brown sugar, candy syrup, caramel, light malts, and i think DME.

Taste is some pumpkin, pumpkin extract flavor and syrup rather than fresh stuff, spices are there but less than I remember from the bottle, light toasty malt, touch bready as well, syrupy with quite a bit of sweetness and candy flavors, its a bit of a mess with all the syrups, candy flavors, and pumpkin as well as spices, malts are in the background and so are the very light spicy hops. Finishes sweet and syrupy, with lots of candy and some pumpkin.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall not as bad as I remember it from the bottle but not great either, its a bit of a mess with all the sweet additions, and some pumpkin.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 23:48:30 | More by jlindros
Photo of jersk8


1.25/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Was accidentally poured this when I asked the bartender for a Halloween Ale.
oh well why donyt you try it anyways. I usually avoid Shipyard products, but here goes. Looks like beer as it is brown with foam on top, but there the similarity ends.
it smelled like an old batch of pumpkin pie spice that had been in the cupboard too long. It tasted like a really bad pumpkin pie that had been regurgitated. Cloying, way over spiced and too pumpkiny. I heve nothing against this style BTW. Smuttynose pumpkin ale is a seasonal favorite, but this has no subtleties, balance or sense of overall finish. Gave it back and asked for the halloween

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 10:27:15 | More by jersk8
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.05/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

On-tap at BackBooth

A - Looks like a Miller Lite, or perhaps more aptly, a Blue Moon.

S/T - I like pumpkin- everything, in general. This has a lot of pumpkin in the smell and taste, and some very basic ale qualities too. Bland APWA + fruit flavor = occasional winner, usually a big-time loser. This is the occasional winner, in my book, as would be: Sea Dog Blue Paw, Ithaca Apricot Wheat and Abita Satsuma Wit. The Sea Dog comparison is particularly appropriate, as it is very similar to Pumpkinhead, seemingly just a juxtaposition of fruit/vegetable flavors.

M/D - Feels good, is easy to drink tons of.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2011 23:28:37 | More by ktrillionaire
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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,752 ratings.