1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

2,364 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,364
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 31
Gots: 293 | 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: 2,364 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brez07
2.25/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Back in the day, I used to drink this by the case. Now, not so much. Reviewing a bottle that was left in my fridge from the weekend

A: Clear orange pour. Small head at first, but quickly fizzles to nothing

S: Artificial, overspiced pumpkin. Nutmeg and sugar completely overwhelm the nose. Almost hard to tell this is pumpkin

T: Watery pumpkin with some spice. Pretty sweet, but not quite cloying

M: Well carbonated. Light bodied. Touch of spice that lingers after each sip

D: Eh. Like I mentioned above, used to drink this all the time. Not sure what I was thinking. Pretty low on the pumpkin beer scale

Brez07, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of lakestclairgoose
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

well... it was purchased as it was the only "pumpkin" beer that was available cold at our retailer

after experiencing the likes of southern tiers pumpking, this flat out sucked

from the minute i poured it, and it looked like a budweiser, i had a gut feeling this wasn't gonna be good

overall, its drinkable, but there is nothing spectacular about it, its like a budweiser with some pumpkin spices added, very blah, just plain....

not a good example of a pumpkin beer

edit " whats funny, is this is one of the first beers that i thought was gonna be decent, then thought it sucked, then immediately though "i wonder what the BA reviews are on this".... and my tastes were confirmed...

lakestclairgoose, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
1.33/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes.

First, a quest. Why oh why oh why does this brewery continue to make a pumpkin beer? This is absolutely disgusting and awful, with one of the only worse pumpkin beers being by none other than...Shipyard. Second, why do people like this? There's nothing redeeming about it. Sure, it pours an inoffensive orangish color. Other than that, bleh. Rotten pumpkin that they've attempted to cover up with a crapton of spicing. Not sure, but this might make it worse. Disgusting spicy feel covering up the putrid rot that lies underneath. Unbelievably undrinkable, making nearly anything else seem like the epitome of craft beer excellence.

Thorpe429, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.05/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours like a standard yellow beer, carbonation is through the roof. Aroma is sweet, but kind of nauseating.

Taste was a struggle, very sweet, mouthful of carbonation, can't really say it tastes like pumpkin, and that's a problem when its called a pumpkin ale. Even moreso, there doesn't seem to be much of the traditional ingredients in a beer here (yeast, hops, malt). Plenty of water and funky Thanksgivingish spice to it though.

Beerandraiderfan, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

15th review on BA
Bottle poured to pint glass

App- Poured how Motts apple juice used to pour when I was a kid. Had a 1/2 in white head, left pretty quick. As the beer sits becomes very murky.

Smell- Really smells of pumpkin and nutmeg. Has a slight spice tinge to it.

Taste- It didn't give me the wow factor but didn't give me the F that some gave it as well. It was ok. You don't want to have an OK beer. I guess if you do make it a seasonal.

Mouth- Thin, light, as this beer probably should be for what it is.

Drink- I wouldn't probably buy it again but if someone offered it to me I wouldn't turn it down either.

FosterJM, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of antioch
2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My buddy brings a six pack of this over every time he comes by. He usually has one and then the rest sit in my fridge until we run out of other beers.

A: Pours a clear golden. Tiny white head that dissipates quickly with almost no lacing.

S: Smells slightly spicy with a bit of slight aroma of pumpkin.

T: Overly spicy and sweet, tastes just like a crappy pumpkin pie.

M: Light and overly carbonated, not much else to say.

D: Won't open another bottle of this.

antioch, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.
Pours a clear dark gold color. Some visible carbonation and a light white head. Has an aroma of pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The same elements are present in the taste, along with sugar, and then some hints of hops and grains. Light carbonation and smooth. A decent pumpkin ale; doesn't taste artificial like many do.

mithrascruor, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of feelmefoam
3.78/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see this beer is getting knocked a little bit... I don't know why, I like it quite a bit.

Pumpkinhead pours a light orange-honey color with a moderate amount of carbonation running up from the etching in my glass into a finger of white head. The head starts to fade after a minute or two, though, and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is probably the weakest part of the beer, it lacks complexity and intensity, two things I respect in a nose. The only thing I can really pick out is some faint pumpkin and a bit of bready malt, and they aren't the strongest.

I like the taste of Pumpkinhead quite a bit, though. It starts off with a subtle amount of bready malts and a little cinnamon spice, which leads into a modest amount of pumpkin flavor towards the end of the beer. My only gripe is that it tastes more like pumpkin extract rather than real pumpkin, but it's still pretty damn good in my opinion.

The mouthfeel is light and zesty and works well with the pumpkiny spice of the beer. Good amounts of carbonation offset the light body, it works well the flavors of the beer.

Overall, I really liked this beer. I can't recall if I've had anything from Shipyard before, but if not, then this is a pretty good start. Pick this up if you're a fan of pumpkin beers and give it a try.

feelmefoam, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of drsyko
2.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A = Light golden, minimal head (just a bit on top) that quickly disappears.

S = Mild, spicy, my favorite part of this beer.

T = Not bad, but not great. Relatively forgettable, actually. Starts off very cinamon-y and nutmeg-y, ends with a wimper.

M = watery and thin.

D = Eh. Generally, I feel that this is a so-so beer, and there are much better pumpkin ales out there, both high- and low-ABV.

drsyko, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of JamesS
3.9/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange color (lighter than most pumpkin ales) with just a bit of lacing and some nice initial head. Very pumpkin pie spice scent, with a nice little hint of malt sweetness at the back. Very nice flavor, not as much spice in the taste as in the nose, and it matches well with the nice malt backing. Goes down very, very smoothly and nicely.

JamesS, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of ratrod53
2.25/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Like a vary clear yellowish orange color with little head that is gone with in a few seconds.

S- When I first smelled this beer it was just like a plain old beer. The second time I got this cidery with just a hint of cinnamon and pumpkin.

T&M- The taste was vary dissapointing for a pumpkin ale. This beer felt more like cider than anything. I got just a pinch of cinnamon taste. It had a little too much cabonation in it. PumpkinHead I feel was to watery, but with this type of beer I like a little more thicker beer.

D- With this beer I had no problem getting this down. Would I go back to the store and get it again, prolly not. Now if I was over at somebody's house and they handed me this and said drink up I wouldn't say no.

ratrod53, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of robhunta
2.58/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Orange color appearance, good head retention.

Malt scented, lacking in pumpkin & spice smells

Malty flavor, also lacking in pumpkin and spice flavors.

the mouth-feel killed it for me, at first I thought it was over-carbonated, i don't really know how to explain it but it was the opposite of smooth.

average appearance and smell, but the flavor and mouth-feel leads to low drinkability

Although this is only the second pumpkin ale I've tried, I found it lacking for a pumpkin ale. Just recently I saw that pumpkin beers are the top-selling seasonal craft beers, so I had to try. The first I had was Wolaver's, I absolutely loved it, and I'm not even a pumpkin fan, in fact I don't care for pumpkin pie. I then had to try Shipyard's Pumpkinhead since I had seen many great comments about it this fall, but I was not impressed, it lacked flavor and I thought the mouth-feel was downright poor.

robhunta, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of philbertk
2.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pumpkinhead Ale--Beer With Natural Flavor Added--2007 12 oz. Bottle. 4.50% ABV. 12 IBU's? (3.5 / 5.0) Fruit Ale--Pumpkin. 6-Pack $7.49. Sediment hint. Thin mild lace white head. Mild haze pretty bright rich gold color. Delicate pumpkin spice pumpkin front. Crisp zesty mild sweet golden caramel wheat hint tasty subtle pumpkin body. Clean quenching delicious balanced light pumpkin ale end. Sampled 9/8/2009.

Shipyard Brewing Company L.L.C.--Pumpkinhead Ale--Beer With Natural Flavor Added--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 4.50% ABV. 12 IBU's? (2.25 / 5.0) Fruit Ale--Pumpkin. Thin foamy fizzy thin lace white head. Clear thin bright fizzy yellow gold color. Mild hop sharp nutmeg pumpkin spice front. Thin textured dry light malt over spice infused tart body. Clean dry lingering all spice end. Weak malt unbalanced pumpkin spice brew. Sampled 10/16/2010. 6-Pack purchased for $7.99 @ Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 10/16/2010.

philbertk, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
3.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle shared with brewslut on 10/13/10. Poured into a half pint glass.

A - Poured a slightly hazy pale golden body with just a hint of orangey amber coloration, lots of active carbonation bubbles and a slim white cap that reduced to a thin ring around the rim of the glass.

S - Typical pumpkin pie spices (clove, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon) dominate the nose with just a smidgen of pumpkin essence and vanilla in the background.

T - Roasted pumpkin meat is replaced by a melange of pie spieces, especially nutmeg and cinnamon. Tinge of floral hop bitterness in the backend paired with a touch of vanilla sweetness.

M - Thin bodied with a slight oily texture and mild bitterness. Finishes with a semi-dry spiciness on the palate.

D - Nothing offensive, but overall this is a pretty run-of-the-mill Pumpkin Ale. Pumpkinhead is a spicy affair

ffejherb, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of micmillon18
2.3/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had a few friends rave about how great this beer is. Thought I'd give it a shot when I bought the Shipyard variety pack. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Shipyard hags listed a born on date on the left side of the label.

A - Pale yellow color. Would have expected something darker from a pumpkin ale. Could have easily mistaken it for an adjunct lager. After an average pour, the head dissipates quickly leaving minimal lacing. Whats left of the head sits lightly on top.

S - Smells of pumpkin and cinnamon, though not overly powerful. Somewhat faint.

T - Tastes of pumpkin and cinnamon. Starts out kind of nice but goes downhill from there. Very bland after that, almost so much that you forget that this beer is supposed to taste like pumpkin. Tastes like a light beer in some ways. I'm not sure if I just happened to get a bad bottle, but theres not a ton going on here. I've had some great pumpkin beers, most notably Dogfishheads Punkin Ale, and this one's flavor just doesn't compare.

M - Medium carbonation. Light in terms of mouthfeel, though very fuzzy towards the end.

D - I could easily have another though I'm not sure I'd like to just because it doesn't really taste like a pumpkin ale. It feels like this was created for the light beer drinker who might want a dash of pumpkin added to their beverage.

Pumpkin beers are (at least in my opinion) supposed to closely coincide with the season in which they're introduced. In other words, they're meant to warm the pallet when the weather is gradually getting cooler and the leaves are turning all sorts of colors. There's just nothing warming about this beer, nothing autumn, and most importantly, just not a lot of pumpkin. I'll look elsewhere when it comes to buying a pumpkin ale in the future.

micmillon18, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.23/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured out a light copper and did not provide any substantive head. Smelled of allspice and cinnamon and light vegetable.
Tasted exactly like the smell a minute sweetness accompanied with a flavor of pumpkin bread spices. Not very complicated. Mouthfeel was that of a coors light with similar body and carbonation, this lacked charm. Drinkability, well it is fair to say you could pound all six yourself and not be unhappy about it. Frankly its a beer that can keep a beer advocate happy for maybe one and people unfamiliar with quality micro or craft beer entertained far beyond that. I gave four away to my roomates, and one to my girlfriend, all dug it.

JoeAmerican77, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of yesyouam
3.13/5  rDev +5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shipyard Pumpkinhead is a clear, lively pale golden ale with a soft, dense white head that quickly fades. The aroma is of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. It has a lively light body and a clean finish. It leaves the mouth a little gritty. There's not a lot of flavor, but the pumpkin and spice are prominent. It's kind of like spiced cider, but not sweet. It's very light all around.

yesyouam, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of NODAK
2.8/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very potent. I'm wondering just how much nutmeg and allspice are in this thing. Very pumpkin pie.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma. There isn't a lot of taste to it. Yes, there's some pumpkin tastes...nutmeg...cinnamon. But it's all very thin and watery. It isn't disgusting, it's just lacking. There's a bit of a hop bite on the back, with a little residual pumpkin and cinnamon lingering....but again, it's very watery. I'm actually very surprised at how restrained the flavors are here. It's like they've taken a decent pumpkin ale, and taken out half the flavor.

As far as pumpkin ales go....not that great. Not awful, but far from how good these can be.

NODAK, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of lavellen
2.28/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was a purchase made with my six pack of Pumpkin brews and definitely the worst of all. It is silly to call this a pumpkin beer to begin with because it basically just tasted like cinnamon. I take that back, Cinnamon and Miller Lite. Basically a waste of my money and time. Sad but True.

lavellen, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of GallowsThief
2.35/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a light golden color with a tinge of orange. Very little head and almost no lacing.

S - Has a fairly light pumpkin smell. Brown sugars and clove come to the nose.

T - More sweet that I expected. Not overbearing but you certainly get some sugary taste. Tastes like the smell with just overtones of pumpkin.

M - Well its thin for sure. A good bit of carbonation.

D - Drinkablee sure but there are better pumpkins.

GallowsThief, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of mjrod2142
2.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Perfect Pint glass
16 oz draft in a standard pint glass

This beer was a huge seller when I worked at GPS Wine & Spirits, but I've waited forever to try it. I did have it last season from the tap in a bar, and I recall enjoying it. Granted, it was probably my nth beer at the time so my judgement may have been paired.

A friend brought some bottles over and I was happy to give it another try. The beer pours out very crisp and clean looking, almost like a cider. There were lots of bubbles racing up to a sudsy head that quickly dissipated. The beer appears much lighter than I expected.

I picked up some sweet caramel and honey in the aroma along with the standard nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Not all that impressive.

The pumpkin pie flavor is more prevalent than in Dofish's Punkin Ale, but not overwhelming. The beer feels and drinks very light, almost like a cheap light beer out of a can. After settling for a bit, it felt slightly richer in the mouth and the pumpkin flavor was average and non-offensive.

Nothing about this beer really impressed me and I'm still surprised by how light it is. It's not what I was expecting at all and I don't care to have it from the bottle again, but give it a try if you see it on tap.

mjrod2142, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of roadhouse
2.35/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle to pint glass

Appearance is a pale gold, way too light for a pumpkin ale. Decent white head to start and it actually does retain a bit throughout.

Aroma is...my god, yuck. First impression was of chemicals almost like some weird type of old candy, then I pick up a sweet cinnamon and nutmeg traditional of the style.

Taste is pretty offensive really. It starts out sweet which is kind of enjoying but then right when I swallow it is a big burst of wateriness and nothingness with spices added. Imagine if you add nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice to water and drank it. That's the taste.

Mouthfeel is almost alright except for that wateriness and the carbonation level is weird, too low I suppose.

One of the worst attempts at this style I've had to date. Debating on whether or not to finish it.

roadhouse, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of dstanmyer
2.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A much more spicy ale when compared to most. There is a definite strong taste of nutmeg and cinnamon though it lends itself to an somewhat unpleasant finish. A bit fizzy and not as close to true pumpkin as one would hope. The color and appearance of this beer is surprising in how light and thin it is.

dstanmyer, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of shredsofautumn
3.15/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased in Easthampton, MA on 10/06/2010 into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Straw yellow, slight pale hues that near border on orange. But really, it just looks like Coors Light when you look at it :(

Smell- slight malt, slight pumpkin flesh aroma, minimal smell of spices, but the scent is still there...once again... slightly.

Taste- Man, this one has gotten less and less tasty as years go by it seems. (maybe i'm gaining a refined taste for fine beers). Tastes like a light beer infused with pumpkin flesh and a hint of cinnamon and clove. Honestly, it's not bad, but it's not great. Average on all accounts for a trendy seasonal like this.

Mouthfeel- Just so light... I'm surprised they don't call it Weight Watchers Pumpkin Ale.

Drinkability- All this being said, The drinkability is pretty good if you want to knock a few back. Light in body, light in flavor. I like these on Fall BBQ afternoons.

Now it may seem like I've been knocking on this beer a lot. That's true. I consider it one of the trendy pumpkin ales alongside Michelob's Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale. It's not bad.. it's really not. It's just not what I've come to expect from a pumpkin ale after sampling Dogfish Head & Southern Tier's offerings of pumpkin. I did rate it fairly decently because it has a pretty good drinkability if you want something to wash down some hot food in Fall.

shredsofautumn, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.63/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Wow, after picking up this turd I'm considering to cease getting impulse buys at the beer store. I was first startled by the medium gold color and how airy the foam was. Then the foam disappeared in seconds, weird. The aroma had a fair amount of cinnamon without much else. The taste has cinammon that turned sour then turned to water. The spice was the only thing noticeable, no malts or hops, and it was rather unpleasant. This was a drain pour.

DesMoinesMike, Oct 03, 2010
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
70 out of 100 based on 2,364 ratings.