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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,081 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,081
Reviews: 794
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 27.8%
Wants: 22
Gots: 188 | 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
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Ratings: 2,081 | Reviews: 794 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of McGIPA
1.3/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this is literally the worst beer I've ever had....def the worse pumpkin ale in the world...when you first pop the beer cap the smell isnt so bad...pretty descent spice smell....then you take your first sip...it taste like bud light with pumpkin spice, except at the end the aftertaste is a lot like tap water...$9 down the drain...DO NOT waste your money on this...for the same price you can get a 4 pack of Dogfish Punkin', a bomber of ST Pumking, Smuttynose, or Post Road...why oh why did I choose this...) ;

McGIPA, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
2.85/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow I can't believe I haven't reviewed this travesty of a beer yet! I remember it faintly of mild lager tones and rotten pumpkin! Let us relive the past!

A - Wow it looks like a light lager. Very light amber mostly yellow tones with a TON of carbonation and head even with a soft pour. Wow...

S - Biscuit and malt with slight corn and very mild if any nutmeg but where is the cinnamon? In fact... where is the pumpkin on the nose? Curious I take a sip

T - Ow their is the cinnamon! For a brief second... Then turns into a MGD kind of taste with a metallic bitterness and everything! Wow I can't believe I was dogging other pumpkin ales when this one is so bad!

M - Very light and sharp with bitterness even more overbearing than Smuttynose Pumpkin bitterness, yet its not hops it's more like pain.

D - No more for me please! How did this even get into my beer place is beyond me. Is it that the guy was searching for selection but could only find the bottom? Or did he put this as a joke to get light beer drinkers into pumpkin? Maybe to make other pumpkin beers look better?

Regardless I take it they will be at my shop for an eternity and I question the reason this is even brewed.


DrDemento456, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of bierguru
3.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - golden color hint of orange along the glass realy no head off white in color lot of bubbles

S - pumpkin cinnamon hops

T - first taste is largely pumpkin but as you drink the beer it fades but you also taste cinnamon nutmeg and some bitterness

M - fairly smooth with some carbonation

D - its a very drinkable beer would have liked more pumpkin flavor but it was pretty good

bierguru, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of iSTOLEyourPOPE
4.85/5  rDev +64.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Easily one of my favorite beers. When served at a bar, make sure to get cinnamon on the glass. If your friends give you a hard time, knock them out with the empty 24oz.

It smells great. The spice is clearly there.

The taste is amazing. Good hit of cinnamon. To me, the cinnamon is stronger than the pumpkin, which is a good thing.

I just wish it was sold year round.

iSTOLEyourPOPE, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of avalon07
2.85/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing at all.

S: A sharp, rather pungent smell of pumpkin and cinnamon, but little else.

T: Tasted of pumpkin, cinnamon, and a trace of malt up front, but was watery and thin in the finish. Very underwhelming.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: A decidedly forgettable beer.

avalon07, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

'Tis the season to try pumpkin beers. 12oz bottle...

A: Kind of a copper color with hints of ruby. Tiny 1 inch white head that quickly fades to a lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: Smells of some spices and pumpkin blended upfront. A hint of molasses and sugars on the backend. Good.

T: Very heavy cinnamon upfront with watery pumpkin quickly followed. Kind of a dirty dish water flavor blended in. Eh. Some bubble gum and caramel in there too. Ok.

M: Very light bodied with low carbonation. Leaves nothing on the palate. Ok.

D: Goes down perfectly. No issue here.

All in all, this is not worth you time or effort. Get Pumpking or Weyerbacher Pumpkin first.

steve8robin, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of JoePat
3.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly darker than golden so clear I can see things through it. the head dissipates almost as soon as it is poured with no lacing.

The aroma is pretty heavy on clove and all spice and there is the slightest presence of cinimon.

The flavor has everything the aroma has but it is missing any maltiness that might resemble a beer. With all the spices this tastes more like a pumpkin tea.

The mouthfeel is very thin and litteraly feels like you are drinking water with helps with the drinkability.

JoePat, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of flanmedic51
1.9/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from bottle, an orange/clear appearance noted with no head present.

Smell overpowered with allspice and clove. A sort-of pumpkin pie smell.

Taste is waaayy over carbonated, exceptionally light and lacks really, any solid mouthfeel. Clove, cinnamon, and allspice overpowers the beer, which has an underlying bready/yeasty flavor and lacks any significant malty notes. Not a complex beer whatsoever and lacks so many dynamics that make a solid beer. Where's the actual pumpkin in the brewing process???

It's a horribly cheap attempt and I'm assuming, a cheap hop and yeast strain in making this beer. Shipyard has A LOT to work on before I buy anything from them again. Continued dissapointment.

flanmedic51, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of mlazzaro
2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Twist off bottle.

a- good carbonation. light, crystal clear amber color. white healthy head.

s- smells of cinnamon and spices more than pumpkin.

t- malty sweetness into very full spice flavor. (as in nutmeg and cinnamon and allspice and such) pumpkin is sort of unnoticeable. tastes alright though, clean flavor and well made. just tastes like pumpkin pies spices more than the fruit itself.

m+d - thin body. kind of watery. would only really want one or two of these. not bad though.

mlazzaro, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of terrapinfan88
3.53/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a Norms Beer and Wine Pint. orange yellow, nice carbonation, one finger head that dissipates rather quickly into almost nothing.

Smell: Great I spent a lot of time smelling this beer a lot of subtleties here. Some pumpkin, apple cider, cinnamon nutmeg.

Taste: All around average, nothing really jumps out at you, you can taste a little bit of everything you can smell.

Mouthfeel: the carbonation is Crisp and refreshing, no hop bite or bitterness or anything like Pumpking.

Drinkability: There is a lot of drinkability here. You get a taste of everything in the beer and half way through the swallow you are ready for another gulp. The carbonation and light bodied nature of this beer make it very potable. Great for tailgating or watching the game with buddies on the big screen when your gonna be pounding a few.

terrapinfan88, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of Sachsenfreude
2.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 6 pack of this at a gas station, when visiting New Hampshire. Very easy to drink in quantity, with a heavy but interesting carbonation. I'm not too familiar with pumpkin ales but this one tasted a lot like cinnamon to me. Not much hop or barley flavors, not sure if this is really even beer. All that said, it still tasted good and I finished the 6 pack in no time. I would buy again but only if I was in more of a cider mood than a beer mood. Not to say that this is comparable to a cider, just more so than beer.

Sachsenfreude, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of GRPunk
2.23/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Un-notched bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A- A moderate pour left a 1-finger, fluffy white head that drops to a thin film almost instantly and eventually just white edges. No stick on a glass that's usually helpful in that respect. Body was a slightly hazy, yellow-gold with moderate carbonation. It's almost lager-clean.

S- Pretty decent. It's about what I'd expect from a pumpkin beer, if not a little one dimensional toward the spice. The pumpkin spice leans toward the sweet components like nutmeg and ginger with some lighter, clove-like qualities. It became sweeter with warmth.

T- My first thought was "weird." It's almost watery, like a flavored seltzer. I'm picturing a stubby, "New York Seltzer" bottle from my youth with a pumpkin pie label. It's somehow lacking any "beer" quality.

M- Really thin and spritzy, backing up the seltzer qualities mentioned above.

D- Not too good. I was hoping for more from an East Coast brewery doing a pumpkin beer. You know, visions of Colonial American Patriots brewing with pumpkin. I'm not convinced there's actually pumpking in this brew. It may well be one of those beers brewed with pumpkin spice, especially considering the bottle describes it as "beer with naturaly flavor added."

Overall- I'm no pumpkin beer basher. I was hoping for a lot from this beer and it just didn't deliver. Glad I tried it, but I won't be returning to this one.

GRPunk, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier pint glass. it poured a pale golden color with a very thin white and spotty head to it. The head all but faded away after a minute or so.

The aroma is mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. A light, toasted malt flavor comes through a bit as well. The taste shows the same cinnamon and nutmeg flavor that was found in the nose. Not much else going on in it. The spices are decent though, a lot like pumpkin pie.

The mouthfeel is light and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is average at best. There just wasn't much to it besides the cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

billab914, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of ExtraStout
2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It pours lager yellow with maybe a bit more copper. There is a thin white head that does not last too long. Little lacing and ample carbonation.

This is not what I expected. It didn't look, smell, or taste like an ale. It was just too light. I did like the spiciness of the beer - nutmeg and cinnamon (pumpkin pie), but if it had been backed up by a more robust platform I would have enjoyed it more. 1 beer maybe enough for most.

ExtraStout, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale gold color, slightly hazed and a cap of frothy white head, little retention and lacing. Smell is good, pumpin pie spices with a hint of brown sugar sweetness. Taste is slightly muddled, not much coming through except the basic pale, straw like malts, hints of spices and brown sugar sweetness only nod slightly towards pumpkin pie. Light bodied, heavily carbonated and spritzy. Years ago it was the first pumpkin beer ive ever had, with many other beers in the style sampled over the last few years, i wanted to revisit this beer. Its really not as horrible a beer as some make it out to be... a good pumpkin beer its not, a good beer, yes.

rfgetz, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
3.13/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

As with most pumpkin beers, this smells just great - cinnamon, nutmeg, spices. I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but the flavors in this one don't overwhelm - I think that was helped by the thinner, very carbonated body - it seemed to usher the pumpkin flavor out quickly. Beer seemed more like a fruit beer with a pumpkin aroma. It was not unpleasant, just unexpected. A refreshing finish.

chickenflea, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of a74gent
2.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This isn't good pumpkin beer.

A - this is too light. Too straw colored. It has a big soapy like head that goes away eventually, but yuck.

S - Not much here, some mild pumpkin pie spices which are appealing in the mildness as opposed to some others. Clove...

T - Not much...more pilsner flavored to me than pumpkin spices. A failure on flavor which should be the attraction to this beer style.

M - foamy mess...might be good if there was flavor to go with it, but so so over carbonated.

D - You could put these back fairly quickly, but you wouldn't necessarily enjoy it before, during or after.

Stay clear...this is a waste of your time.

a74gent, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of schoolboy
3.85/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I want to like this pumpkin beer. I will try throughout the drink. And I have to. It's a bit too much on the nutmeg or cinnamon side. And the color is too yellow to be pretty!

But really, it's a competent spice beer. Maybe I've just had enough of the style already, trying to find that great pumpkin taste I once had and liked (it was actually a test batch that the Crooked River brewmaster made that was never released).

On it's own merits, this is a drinkable beer. Great for watching the first real college football of the year. Now if Purdue could just make a game of it against Notre Dame ...

schoolboy, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of GrizzlyBrew
2.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Pours golden with absolutely no head. The beer is very bright (filtered to death!)

S - The nose is actually really nice with Ginger just jumping out of the glass and a little nutmeg spiciness coming through

T - Not a whole lot of anything - no malt character or sweetness, the spice that was so present in the nose is no where to be found in the taste. The bitterness is very low and I'm trying to discern if there's astringency coming from the spices (If I can't taste them, can they still lend astringency?!?!?)

M - Light-bodied to start with and carbonation further thins it.

D - Not really gonna happen...

S (Smellability) - nice, maybe could put in a potpourri lamp around the holidays...

GrizzlyBrew, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of almostjay
3.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I feel the need to clear the air on this beer a little bit.

I'm not sure what people are hoping for when they drink pumpkin ales, but most of the higher-end and/or "natural" attempts at the style come off as heavy, jumbled messes with MAYBE a hint of pumpkin spice. I am a big fan of the pumpkin flavor (nutmeg, cinnamon, spice, etc.), and in my opinion, Shipyard Pumpkinhead delivers the most flavorful "pumpkin" experience of any beer I have sampled (and they are many). I will concede the fact that the flavor does seem a bit "artificial", but I'm not going to snob my way into saying that this takes away from the fact that it is delicious.

I think the disappointment that has garnered this beer such a low rating overall stems from the fact that most people associate pumpkin ales with other big, heavy, spicy fall/winter brews. If that's what you're looking for, this isn't the brew for you (try the DFH offering, or maybe the Weyerbacher). If you are looking for something light and drinkable, and like sweet and spicy ales, definitely give this a try.

This is NOT a beer you let sit in a glass or drink a little warm to appreciate the nuances. It's a nice, very flavorful pumpkin session beer that I personally look forward to every year. I save my snobbery for other styles!

almostjay, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of cpl78
4.18/5  rDev +41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great seasonal beer if you are into the pumpkin ale thing. I can enjoy 2 or 3 then I'm ready for something else. I have not had any other fall seasonal beers yet, but I'm sure I will get to them. Pumpkin Head by Shipyard is a fun, good beer with the taste like a Fall candle would smell.

cpl78, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.03/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On draft at The Pony Bar in NYC.

Clear bright orange with no head and no lace. Aroma is artificial pumpkin with fake spices. Unfortunately, this beer met my low expectations. It's all artificial and overly sweet with nothing natural about it. The feel is thin and annoying. The beer has no body or malt backbone. Ugh...I sent it back.

Huhzubendah, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of aepb1
1.73/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Hazy yellow-orange with a tiny white head that fades instantly to nothing...

S- Cinnamon like pumpkin pie but nothing else

T- Mostly pumpkin spice and even then mostly cinnamon...

M- Thin/light with way too much carbonation

D- Maybe this would be ok as a warm cider

aepb1, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of jenks216
4.3/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

well lets start off to say I really like pumpkin ale. This was recommended by a good friend of mine and I thank him for that. I just moved from MA to Minnesota so I will not be able to have this for some time. Right off the bat the smell gets you.. smells just like a pumpkin pie and that can be great for some people. the pumpkin taste is all there in full form and is really easy to drink. Its a perfect beer for when the weather is starting to turn cold as this beer will warm you right up.This beer really hit home for me, reminds me off good times and good company.

jenks216, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of UncleDads
1.4/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Recommended to me by a friend. last beer advice i take from him.

A- not good. looked like a highly carbonated version of bud light.

S- smelled like pumpkin, i will give it that, but it was all artificial.

T- pretty bad. not your classic pumpkin ale. no malt flavor at all, very carbonated. might pass for a soda if it really wanted to.

Overall, not a good beer. i was hoping for a little more out of this one but it left me hanging for sure. i would never pay money for this beer.

UncleDads, Aug 25, 2010
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,081 ratings.