1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,944 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,944
Reviews: 778
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 27.55%
Wants: 17
Gots: 133 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,944 | Reviews: 778 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kahlerbock


3.15/5  rDev +7.1%

My first beer from Maine. Pours a pale orange in color, but not a deep orange like a Marzen. Goes down easily/smoothly, almost like a 'Pumpkin Lager'. An easy drinking beer with a slight taste of pumpkin to it and a little bit of sweetness. If I want something with personality, then this wouldn't be it. But if I were buying beer for a Halloween party, I'd probably buy a six pack of this because many BMC drinkers would be okay with it. For me, maybe I'll drink one every Halloween or so, but I wouldn't go out of my way for this one.

02-04-2009 17:11:04 | More by Kahlerbock
Photo of tigg924


2.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Appearance: medium head, medium bubbles, clear yellow orange

Smell: cinnamon, cloves, and honey

Taste: cinnamon, cloves, honey, big pumpkin in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: light-sickenly sweet

Drinkability: The more I drink this beverage the less I like it. Mine tasted like bad honey. It is really sweet. The spices inside it make it feel like an autumn drink and I could have more than one then. I almost felt like I was drinking the innards of the pumpkin as it was being carved. I have had this before and thought it was not bad, so I may re-review in the fall.

01-21-2009 05:20:08 | More by tigg924
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev +9.9%

A: Poured a light, clear, golden orange color with a slight foamy light beige head that left hardly a trace of lacing.

S: subtle cinnamon/nutmeg with light pie crust hints.

T: The flavor was canned pumpkins with holiday spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor was clean and light and the spicing was well balanced and not overpowering providing just enough subtle hints to be appreciated.

M: thin with a fizzy carbonation while it provided a light lacing of pumpkin spices on the tongue.

D: Ok drinkability, a little thin, lightly spiced but could enjoy a few of these without being overwhelmed by the huge spiciness of other pumpkins. Worth a try for those who like the style and not a lot of spices in their beer.

01-18-2009 15:08:11 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of BeerMark


3.73/5  rDev +26.9%

Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co. pours a light bronze copper color. It smells of autumn spices that I happen to like a lot. Fall IS my favorite time 'o the year. The taste is of nutmeg and sweet spices. I don't detect a whole lot of pumpkin flavor here but that's ok. It is quite tasty just being itself. This beer is neither a hop head lover's beer nor a complex beer. It is, however a fine session beer that has a tasty little hint of nutmeg and other spices and that makes for some fine autumn evening sippin'. It's not world class but its better than the grade received so far on this site. Try it for the subtle spices.

01-11-2009 05:20:08 | More by BeerMark
Photo of mikereaser


2.42/5  rDev -17.7%

A - pours a rust orange color with no foam, just a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass

S - a bit of pumpkin spice and sweet malt

T - a bit of spice and a bit of a bitterness, other than that, maybe cardboard

M/D - somethings just not right. sweet up front and a weird bitterness in the finish, kind of makes the inside of your mouth pucker or do weird things. Not very drinkable in my opinion

01-11-2009 03:52:11 | More by mikereaser
Photo of beveritt


1.4/5  rDev -52.4%

Presentation: Poured from 12 brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Received this in a Winter mix pack, best before February 2009. Label depicts what looks like a statue of the headless horsemen with a cartoonish pumpkin head and a pint of beer.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of nearly white head. This settles quickly, leaving just a few random bubbles. The bubbles are large and soda like, evident of force carbonating? These themselves eventually go away. The beer itself is yellow with a very slight chill haze. No activity. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Kind of a too sweet pumpkin smell, like the pumpkins on your porch a week after Halloween. Makes me very hesitant to taste it.

Taste: Tastes like spiced water. Cinnamon and nutmeg abound, with no malt or any other flavor to give it a base.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is decent, a little on the thin side.

Drinkability: This is awful. There seem to be two types of pumpkin brews. This flavored with spices typically associated with pumpkin pies or fall feasts and those flavored with just pumpkin. This one is the spices, without any other contributing flavors. Terrible.


01-05-2009 00:55:51 | More by beveritt
Photo of dabudah


2.63/5  rDev -10.5%

12 oz. bottle from Cost Plus "Winter Brews" mix pack.

Appearance: Hazy straw-orange color with a thin head which dissipated quickly, lingering at the edges.

Smell: Strong pumpkin pie spice aroma with some bready malt notes.

Taste: Very slight bitterness with a hint of spice, taste not as strong as aroma would indicate. Slightly sour (intentional?)

Mouthfeel: Ciderlike acidity lends a dry mouthfeel. Light body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy drinking compared to some highly spiced pumpkin beers. Not sure if the acidity was intended but that would probably limit me to one of these.

12-29-2008 05:21:50 | More by dabudah
Photo of bunnyhustle


3.15/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours golden with fluffy, white head. Mediocre retention and lacing. Smell was pleasant with a little pumpkin pie aspect to it (go figure!). A nice mix of subtle pumpkin, some spices and a little biscuit/bread smell. Taste is bland at first but as it goes down I then notice the pumpkin and spices. This is my first of the style so I dont have much to compare too, but I thought it was good, not quite amazing. Mouthfeel was a little light and crisp due the higher carbonation. I have a feeling I would have really like this if it were a little creamier. Overall not bad, an easy drinker for sure.

12-27-2008 02:43:26 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.85/5  rDev +31%

Reviewed on 8/25/08. Bottle, best by 01/2009. Pours a light orange with lots of carbonation and a thick, foamy white head that persists. Aroma of luscious pumpkin pie and the usually spices (lots of nutmeg and a huge cinnamon presence). MMM, this smells good! Flavor of a lot of pumpkin with an initial spritzy carbonation bite, some sweet malt in the finish. One of the better pumpkin ales, as it really tastes like pumpkin!! Nice malt backbone too so that it's not watery. Very drinkable and tasty, I'm really surprised by such low ratings of this!
8/4/8/4/14 (3.8/5)

12-23-2008 19:23:44 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of DoubleJ


2.1/5  rDev -28.6%

Christmas is almost here, so why am I drinking a pumpkin ale tonight? While most brewers are now way ahead of the season, I feel I'm far behind the season. Time for me to get to work and on to the beer:

The body is filtered in this washed out orange colored beer. The head is soapy and fizzles very quickly to thin white spots on top. The aroma reminds me of baked pumpkin pie with an odd alcoholic bubblegum note. It's a decent nose, I can live with it. Taste...wait, this is beer? Seems more like something I'd add liquor too. Thin pumpkin extract flavor underneath this liquid of nothingness. Some faint spices too. Mouthfeel is thin with more carbonation than I need, though it's better than being flat I suppose. As for drinkability...I'm dumping this 2/3's full from my window upstairs.

12-23-2008 03:36:02 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of magictrokini


2.58/5  rDev -12.2%

First time with the pumpkin beer. Orange-brown pour with a bubbly head. Aroma is close to gingerbread. Taste is the same, with the pumpkin coming out. Spicy and sweet, but watery. An okay little beer. I see some people killing this beer on this site. Its not that bad. I find it amusing that these same people crush this beer, that has ACTUAL flavor, while loving the brackish, stale organic nonsense.

12-16-2008 17:37:47 | More by magictrokini
Photo of billyhongkong

New York

1.2/5  rDev -59.2%

quite possibly one of the worst beers i have ever had. please avoid this beer at all costs. i was in the grocery store and wanted to buy some smuttynose pumpkin ale which i was very happy with but all they had in the way of pumpkin ale was this so i purchased it hoping it would be as good as the smuttynose. when i drank it i think i cried a little bit... and then threw up in my mouth a little bit. it makes me sad that the people who brew this beer actually think this is worth selling

12-15-2008 07:07:51 | More by billyhongkong
Photo of thain709


2.78/5  rDev -5.4%

A - A cloudy golden color...very little head that went away rather quickly

S - Pumpkin...spices...and...malts

T - Pumpkin flavor of course...not too bad...but there's something else there that just leaves a bad taste in my mouth

M - Very light and thin

D - Not a big fan of this...I've had pumpkin ales that I have liked before...but not this one

12-12-2008 19:24:21 | More by thain709
Photo of mjd83goblue


1.88/5  rDev -36.1%

Poured only slightly darker than a typical macro lager. Little head fizzled away quickly. Gave it an extra half point just because I like the name and label.

Nothing ale-like about this beer at all. Seems to have followed the following formula:

Ale (or lager?) + nutmeg & cinnamon = pumpkin ale

Nothing remotely pumpkin like about it. You could make this yourself at home by stirring some spices into a macro lager and save 3 bucks on the sixer.

Drinkability is its the only redeeming factor, might be alright for a Halloween 'session'.

Won't be buying this again, and certainly not worth the $9 for the sixer.

12-10-2008 03:35:41 | More by mjd83goblue
Photo of cleeze


3.43/5  rDev +16.7%

I know a lot of people bash on this brew but I love it...

Appearance is a golden alomst orange(maybe because I had pumpkin on the mind) Kinda weak looking.

Smell is straight up pumpkin, and it taste just like pumpkin pie, im telling ya, pumpkin pie in a bottle right there.

Drinkability is good. Easy beer to drink all night long

11-26-2008 23:35:15 | More by cleeze
Photo of irishtjb11


2.53/5  rDev -13.9%

used to be a big fan of this beer but havent been too impressed with it. it pours to a pale yellow, filtered ale. the head is the most dissapointing one i think i've ever seen on an ale ever. poured almost entirely vertically and it barley overflowed the glass. this was after i poured a typical pour it was left looking like a flat cider. the smell is not impressive really at all a blend of pumpkin style smells but with no defined smell that comes through. would like a focus on just one flavor with compliments oppossed to the onslaught one has to deal with. mouth feel is super light and crispy that of a cider not a beer. drinkability would be pretty low but do able. just seems too sweet with no real direction in style or flavor. seems like a careless attempt to take part of the pumpkin ale style with no real clear focus.

11-26-2008 01:41:36 | More by irishtjb11
Photo of coldmeat23


2.93/5  rDev -0.3%

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Very light amber color. More yellow than orange. Tiny head that dissipates very quickly. No lacing.

Smells of nutmeg and maybe some cloves. Slight malts, buried down deep.

Good pumpkin flavor, even if it seems artificial. Cinnamon and hints of nutmeg and cloves. Decent malt notes.
Much better than the nose led me to expect.

A little bit creamy, but in the end, this is too thin and weak for my tastes.

Drinkability: no thanks.

11-24-2008 18:16:10 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

2.25/5  rDev -23.5%

A: Pours a mostly golden hue with a shortlived and small white head that leaves no lacing. Rather unimpressive appearance.

S: Lots of sweetness and spice--mostly cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. It's kind of strong, but not very complex and comes off as a bit artificial.

T&M: This is really bad. There's another reprise of spice and some sweetness, but the underlying actual beer is awful. It tastes like a cheap macro lager or weak golden ale. The flavor isn't merely bland, it's a tad bit offensive. As far as mouthfeel goes, it's sorely over-carbonated and doesn't hold up well. Light body is weak, too.

D: Tastes so bad it's hard to drink. Overcarbonation hurts, as well.

11-21-2008 02:39:53 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.35/5  rDev +13.9%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Octoberfest mug.

The color is a clear orange with two fingers of foamy white head and some slight lacing on the glass.

The smell is a little pumpkin in the nose. There is a bit of brown sugar but way back in the background as I try to pull more to describe.

The taste is more pumpkin in flavor. There is more to the taste then the aroma and I was happy to find some nice brown sugar and a touch of maple here as well. A nice fall it has a little bit of a leafy, earthy flavor.

The feel of this beer is a bit light. It has some body but does not feel like a heavy beer where it goes down.

11-19-2008 02:08:05 | More by Duhast500
Photo of Dogsgogrrrr


3.08/5  rDev +4.8%

Appearance: Poured a light copper color, expected of a pumpkin ale.

Aroma: Whiffs of nutmeg, pumpkin, nothing too impressive.

Taste: Very decent taste of pumpkin compared to others, nutmeg, and other spices, flavor hangs around.

Mouthfeel: Very light, somewhat carbonated for a pumpkin ale.

Drinkability: Drinkable, but sustains the flat aftertaste that many pumpkin ales fall victim to.

Not a terrible choice if you're jonsin' for some a pumpkin ale, but not an ale you should go after if you want a great beer.

11-16-2008 00:02:31 | More by Dogsgogrrrr
Photo of Crazy4LegMoose


1.6/5  rDev -45.6%

A: Pale yellow with slight orange tint. Very fizzy head like a soda.

S: Pronounced floral hop nose with a hint of pumpkin pie like spices

T: Very light fizzy beer with pumpkin spices added. Very little malt taste and hops accentuate spices. Pumpkin flavor tends to vary from bottle to bottle and is very inconsistent even in one six pack. Had a six pack of these and each one seemed to have a different amount of pumpkin flavor. Do they need to be slightly shaken to get the pumpkin flavor to mix into the beer? Did I leave the spices in the bottle?

M: Very thin and fizzy like a combination between a macro lager and a soda.

D: Very drinkable beer due to the light fizzy feel. Spice variation makes it hard to keep coming back for the flavor.

I was very disappointed with this beer. I am a big fan of the pumpkin beers and look forward to the season. Thought I had this particular one at a restaurant a few years back, that is why I bought the six pack. Wish I had saved the money.

11-13-2008 19:31:18 | More by Crazy4LegMoose
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev +36.1%

I guess the mob has spoken on this one and thus everyone will review accordingly. The beer is thin and light, so what? Its got plenty of flavor. Anyway, on to the review.

Pours light orange, almost yellow. I would prefer it to be darker and slightly more pumpkin in color but its very clear and has some decent foam. Retention and lacing are lacking so it averages out to be alright.

Aroma is very pumpkin pie-like. Cinnamon, clove, possibly corriander. Very inviting. Its hard to judge the aroma fairly after looking at the beer as its easy to assume that a light looking beer will not have any flavor or smell. No hops, no alcohol.

Taste is equally enjoyable. Heavy on all that aforementioned pie spices, though not much actual pumpkin flavor. Again, no alcohol and ho hops. Slight bitterness though.

Body is light, medium carbonation, very smooth and goes down easy. I would guess this would be good for the non craft beer drinker that likes pumpkin pie. A step up from Jacks for sure.

11-13-2008 07:09:21 | More by t0rin0
Photo of becktone


3.08/5  rDev +4.8%

From notes 10-10-08

Eye: Very poor in appearance. In my opinion, the beer is by far too golden in color. Clarity is really nice on this one, however the color is an orange tinted golden yellow, there needs to be a more complex malt bill in this beer, if only to give it some interesting color...might help with the head formation and retention too. The head, well...there isn't one, just a ringer round the glass. there is some white in the middle of the glass, it actually resembles the rebel "sign"-for lack of a better word-from Star Wars, you know that round thing, almost a circle but with the top cut out, a symmetrical shape-a point in the middle then cutting down before swooping back up to meet the outer edge of the circle to form a point. Anyway, it is extremely thin, and I'll not even call it a head.

Nose: Strong aroma that hits the nose once this beer is poured. Very strong notes of a mix of clove and allspice. Also some diacetyl in there as well. Not really much more than that. Pretty average aroma if you ask me. To me, pumpkin ales are like redheads, they're either really hot or they're the ugly tree itself. There aren't too many that are okay. This beer is closer to the ugly tree than to being a smoking hot redhead, however it is prettier than many of the other pumpkin ales out there that I've sampled.

Tongue: Sweet malt character is noticable. However, most of the flavor is that strong mix found in the aroma, clove and allspice. Some cinnamon in the finish which gives it a slightly dry finish. Also some ginger in there as well. The second most prominent flavor I'm getting is a mix of the sweet malt and some ginger, reminds me of ginger ale. Overall watery quality, however, it is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had. Sure it doesn't stand up anywhere close to Pumking, Wyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, Schlafly Pumpkin, or DFH Punkin, but it's prolly the next best...even though the next best is the less of evils, the best looking ugly redhead standing with all the other ugly redheads, which is where she belongs, but she is the best of the worst...

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This one finishes dry, is light on the palate and has higher carbonation than I expected. Much like a soft drink, but not as thick and not nearly as highly carboanted. This is an easy beer to drink, but I'll not recommend this one over any of the others mentioned. This is an okay pumpkin ale, but in my opinion it is not anywhere close to being great. Sure its one that I'll prolly drink again, but there are many more that I'd rather over this one.

11-09-2008 17:05:51 | More by becktone
Photo of stumac


3.6/5  rDev +22.4%

This brew pours a clear golden orange color with a quickly fading decent sized white head. the nose is very pleasant. lots of nutmeg spices, subtle pumpkin aroma, smells like I'm visiting an old Aunt's house in the Fall season and her house is filled with the smell of potpourri. I also get brown sugar. Great aromatics! The taste is basically the same as the nose but also with very delicate spices bouncing off your tongue. Light bodied and low carbo make for easy drinking. I would say this is a great sessionable Pumpkin beer

11-08-2008 20:42:23 | More by stumac
Photo of scottg


2.17/5  rDev -26.2%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear gold color with a very thing white head that dissapears immediately with no lacing. Aromas and flavors of pumpkin pie spices: nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove, cinnamon but no real pumpkin to speak of. Lacks any real malt or hop flavor. Light body, highly carbonated like seltzer water.
Not quite sure what they were going for here, very dissapointing.

11-08-2008 14:59:11 | More by scottg
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,944 ratings.