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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,756 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1756
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: 1,756 | Reviews: 772 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bosoxfan20


2.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a light golden copper with a white head that doesn't stick around too long. Translucent almost. Doesn't look like a pumpkin ale at all really.

S- Fruit esters, some squash, with a woodsy core. Lots of nutmeg.

T- charred malts, spicy cracked pepper. Touch of hops brings some balance to the table. Pretty rich, but the sweet notes seem a bit contrived and artificial. Touch of cinnamon, but just not enough natural pumpkin.

M- light and drinkable, but not at all like the style indicates. Much too light for a pumpkin/fall beer.

O- A summer style pumpkin brew? Taste was a bit fake, but not totally terrible i guess.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 03:25:05 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of upton7418


1.64/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Held up to the light, it appears pale yellow to orange with a small head that disappears quickly with no lacing

S: smell is cider like to a light almost synthetic pumpkin pie spice smell not at all what i expected from a pumpkin ale

T: not very pumpkiny at all not much of a taste but carbonated water. in all honesty i felt like i was drinking a pop (soda) and not at all a pleasant one. there is also a carbonated pumpkin pie spice taste as it warms. what little flavor is there does not really mesh well. NO malts or hops come through in this drink

M: Very heavy pop like carbonation in the beginning but dissipates fast leaving a lightly carbonated water like drink...

O: It was dissappointing and i dumped about 3/4 of it out. I will not be buying this one again and would rather drink a Dr. Pepper if i want something that tastes like pop (soda). I was expecting a little malt and pumpkin pie spice, my least favorite pumpkin beer to date.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 01:21:08 | More by upton7418
Photo of sommersb


3.5/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 09-25-2013
Freshness: Best by 03-2014
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, twist-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Single from Pour Vous, Hendersonville, TN

A: Clear and golden beer with a white head that fades fast. I don't get any lacing.

S: Pumpkin aromas, along with spices like clove and allspice.

T: Fruity and spicey with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkins.

M: Light bodied with high carbonation, the finish is fruity with pumpkin pie spices.

O: A pretty good pumpkin beer

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 03:10:15 | More by sommersb
Photo of Chirpie


3.88/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Let's throw this out there... this beer doesn't takes like pumpkin. Using that metric, I could see why there's a fair bit of disappointment surrounding this brew.

But otherwise, sue me, I like it. I tasted this out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip. Appearance is kind of underwhelming. The way it tastes and smells, you'd think it'd be a little less clear and a tad darker.

It's a spice bomb all the way. If you aren't a fan of it in the first 5 seconds, you're not going to get much else as you finish the bottle. Cinnamon all the way.

As a pumpkin beer, it sort of is a fail, but as a brew I like, I think it's better than that. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 01:00:04 | More by Chirpie
Photo of Cylinsier


2.81/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz can

Pours a hazy golden, half inch of white head dissipates to a film.

Smells of mild citrus tartness and mildly wheaty malts. Some cinnamon peaks through. No hint of pumpkin.

Tastes of mild citrus and light grassy malts, maybe a hint of dryer papery malt character. Again, no pumpkin.

Lighter body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

All in all, this isn't a bad summery ale. But this is supposed to be a pumpkin ale. Where's the pumpkin? Did they forget to add it to my batch? No evidence in the appearance, aroma, or flavor. While the beer itself is fine, you'd never know it was supposed to be a pumpkin ale. .

Serving type: can

09-26-2013 00:16:40 | More by Cylinsier
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 AndyAvalanche


2.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Comes out golden/yellow straw, like a valley in at harvest time. Excellent clarity and a thin white head with small fizzy bubbles. Little bit of lacing and glass retention. Gets a lot of credit for being horrible all around, but a decent looking beer. Slightly darker and more full looking than an average macro-ale.

Smell is adequate for the style, a bit too sweet for my liking. tough to distinguish, but there are some toasted malts in here; it's just really masked by all of the pumpkin pie spices. Smells more like pumpkin pie with a dab of whipped cream.

Really not a fan of the taste. It at least SLIGHTLY smells like beer, but it doesn't taste like it. Like a lite lager with the same pumpkin pie spices.

Mouthfeel is okay. Light bodied, more of a light and crisp on the mouth for a summer style than fall. Taste only slightly lingers for a few seconds then disappears. Again, a bit too sweet. Good carbonation level though. Reasonably drinkable, just not my thing.

I remember having this on tap years ago and thinking it was ok, but Pumpkin Ales have come so far these days that this is just more of a seasonal crowd pleaser than anything else. Worth trying, I'm sure it's available to almost anyone in the US these days. Was looking for an easy pumpkin beer on my night off and had this in the fridge from some friends bringing it over. Not bad, not good, in-between.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 21:52:13 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of YardmanFTB


1.88/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Beer pours an extremely pale yellow with thin white head. This tells me two things: 1. The body is incredibly thin. 2. There is zero pumpkin in this beer. There is zero spice in the aroma. You can taste cinnamon, but it's as if someone took a budlight or smirnoff ice (dare I say) and sprinkled some cinnamon in there. Too me, this is barely beer and not what I look for in a pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 15:20:36 | More by YardmanFTB
Photo of ThisWangsChung


2.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can into a pint glass. I really hope this is as bad as the horror stories lead me to believe...

A: Pours a hazy golden color. The head is a one finger white shade with bad retention. That combined with nonexistent lacing means this isn't exactly a looker.

S: Let's see. Cinnamon and nutmeg notes? Check. Actual gourdy character? Check. Nothing that makes me want to retch? Uh...check! As a complaint, the pumpkin pie character seems weirdly artificial, like some saccharine pumpkin-flavored candy. So while we're at it...too sweet? Check. I really don't hate the aroma, though; in fact, I actually like it.

T: The flavor is a big step down, and it's not good, but it's not the sheer terror I expected. It starts with a light note of allspice, before turning into some weird pumpkin-flavored candy finish. It's dawning on me - this tastes more like pumpkin-flavored cream soda instead of an actual beer. Like most sodas, it's quite sweet, to the point of being bothersome. Even worse, the sweetness is kind of artificial.

M: Light and fizzy. Just like soda, actually. All the carbonation tries to dry the palate out some, but all that sugary sweetness wins out. This combination really taxes the palate after a while: something so light shouldn't be so hard to imbibe.

O: I can actually see why this appeals to so many casual drinkers. It's pumpkin-y (read: spicy) enough, and not very beer-y, so mission accomplished. Beer geeks, though, needn't bother. I really wanted to hate this a lot more than I do. Still, that only means it's wretchedly forgettable instead of wretchedly awful, and I'm not really sure which is worse.

PS: I couldn't have been the only one surprised to see this pumpkin soda-- oops, I mean beer get tons of high scores from Untappd users.

Serving type: can

09-21-2013 03:02:55 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Cheld


1.89/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

After pouring into a glass, the beer appears to have a pleasant color and nice foamy head that dissipates to leave a thin white film over the surface. Not a bad start... Then you go to sniff it (or accidentally sniff it while taking a swig) and get a strong whiff of a frat house's bathroom upstairs from a bakery- a sickly vomit odor with a hint of beer, followed by cinnamon and cloves. Not the most appetizing. I found myself hard pressed to continue tasting after that, but continued nonetheless. After steeling myself for a taste as atrocious as the smell, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste- that's not to say it was good, but it wasn't horrible. It is somewhat watery tasting at first, followed by a blast of spices- namely cinnamon and cloves. Not sure I even tasted the pumpkin in there. Definitely not something I would try again, and can't say I recommend it.

Note- I took a taste of a friends who drank his out of the bottle. That is much preferable for this beer as it doesn't open up and release it's rather foul aroma.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 04:39:44 | More by Cheld
Photo of teromous


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

A: Very clear medium gold body with a white head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: There is a faint smell of pumpkin pie spices. It is very light but sweet smelling and pleasant. I don't pick up any hop aromatics or any scent from the malt.

T: I get cinnamon right off the bat. There isn't a whole lot more. In the aftertaste there is this nice very light doughy flavor, but the flavor is predominantly cinnamon. It finishes very clean, but disappointingly so, because none of the other spices really come through even in the aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel is far too thin. It's carbonated well enough, but there is just no body to this beer at all. It feels like I'm drinking carbonated cinnamon water.

O: Overall I was very disappointed in the beer. I wouldn't recommend it, even if a person is looking for a pumpkin beer in a pinch. It just doesn't have enough flavor or body.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 20:12:39 | More by teromous
Photo of usechopstix4soup

New York

3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a nice yellow-orange hue, head was decent and sustained for a while before I started drinking.

Like many here, cinnamon is a strong scent that preludes this beer and I really can't figure out why. Maybe it was added on as a smell supplement that ended up overpowering the pumpkin.

Taste is overwhelming cinnamon, a drink from this beer is kind of like taking your first bite of Big Red gum, same sort of jaw clenching cinnamon taste. However, I do detect some other flavors in here that seem like squash and pumpkin.

It's on the thinner side as far as bodies go, which makes it very drinkable. Not a bad beer, although I've had better pumpkin ales, I'm sure there are worse.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 05:02:55 | More by usechopstix4soup
Photo of Furlinator


3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours hazy gold with very little head and almost no lacing.

Smell is of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice up front with buttery bread later.

Taste follows the smell. I'm not detecting much pumpkin in there.

Crisp and tart mouth feel with high carbonation.

Not bad. But, as others have stated here, there are many better examples of pumpkin ale out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 20:04:43 | More by Furlinator
Photo of brewbattles


3.74/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We did a blind taste test between this beer and other pumpkin ales to determine which one is the best pumpkin ale for the season. The beers were Shipyard Pumpkinhead, Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, Buffalo Bill's America's Original Pumpkin Ale, Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale, and New Belgium Pumpkick. Check it out:


Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 12:36:05 | More by brewbattles
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

2.98/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a mostly clear light golden with a one finger white head. Just a little bit of visible carbonation.

S: So much spicing upfront on this beer it is a little off putting. Not really a nutmeg or allspice, more of a cinnamon.

T: As with the aroma the flavor is focused on the spice. A bit over powering it doesnt leave much room for pumpkin. Some malts get through on the backend. Bit of a medicinal tone.

M: Light to medium body with average carbonation. Isnt too thin.

Overall a little off in the spice department. Hard to pickup much of the pumpkin. Others on the market come through a little better.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 23:33:14 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of BeerWizard


2.41/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this in a mixed six from Cost Plus from their seasonal selection. I vaguely remembered having it a few years ago and thought I didn't like it, but decided to try it again for good measure. Pours amber with a smallish white head. Looks OK, nothing to write home about. Smells like your typical pumpkin pie spice beer. Flavor is just, blah - nutty, artificial "pumpkin" and spice. I'm not sure if there is any natural pumpkin component to this beer, but I quickly remembered why I didn't like it the last time. Tastes basically like pumpkin soda. Will say it got better as I drank it, but would never get it again and would not recommend. However, the liquor stores around here seem to buy truckloads of it so someone must like it.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 20:27:22 | More by BeerWizard
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

2.88/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation bubbling from the bottom of the glass and some amber + orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy white head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon) along with lighter aromas of pumpkin and brown sugar.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of sweet malts with some notes of brown sugar followed by the light flavor of pumpkin. All of that is followed by the light to moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Unfortunately there is a slightly artificial pumpkin pie filling flavor to this beer which makes it one I would not want to have multiple of during a single session (even though the ABV is low and mouthfeel is light). A touch sweeter than I prefer my pumpkin beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 00:29:39 | More by dbrauneis
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 smakawhat


3.14/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Dude you are drinking pumpkin ale? what the hell? Is this as bad as they say? We shall see.

So far off the pour looks alright. Sort of macro brass looking yellow, but wit a little more deeper orange to it. Head comes out real flat cream white, but settles with some good retention of three fingers, and a small collar. Not bad.

Bouquet smells like a typical pumpkin ale, but with a bit of grainy character. Slight pumpkin and clove and simple squash sweetness. Bready a bit with crust sense, seems alright so far.

Palate is a bit fleeting though. Weak malts and a little watery but not too bad. Mild pumpkin like spices, with a bit of macro tasting backbone. Much of the pumpkin flavor seems to be in the aftertaste, with a bit of sharp stinging clove spice to match that dominates.

Nothing that great but nothing horrid either.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 23:30:04 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Bear1964


3.81/5  rDev +30%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a Pint glass showed a nice golden brown color, the head came and went fast. The aroma was cinnamon, nutmeg and sweetness....taste was very nice since this is a pumpkin ale...I tasted the sugar and spices of pumpkin pie along with a solid ale behind it. Mouthfeel was medium with low carbanation which allowed more depth of flavor, overall a great fall/holiday beer which I could see drinking while I have Turkeys on the smoker, a house full of family and the games on TV Thanksgiving Day.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 21:01:06 | More by Bear1964
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 HankAaron


2.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Got recommended this beer from some friends, first time trying it.

Got a strong aroma of pumpkin...

Good fall beer... definitely would like it more if I liked pumpkin flavor more...

I recommend this beer cold, which makes a lot of sense, but also had this warm because I forgot it on my table, and it was awful. (This didn't affect my ratings)

Also thought it was a fair price for a 12 pack (around $11)

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 17:15:47 | More by HankAaron
Photo of Fergyx825


3.91/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lighter more yellow color. Not as traditional as most pumpkin ales are supposed to be. A little bit of head on the surfaces and around the edges of the glass.

Smell: A sweet pumpkin spiced smell. I really like this smell. It is more sweet than the other pumpkin ales that i've had. I'd say more cinnamon is definitely in this beer.

Taste: Not as sweet as it smells. But it is delicious. Spices are very obvious, and there is alot of pumpkin tasted in the beer. Can't really taste the alcohol in it either.

Mouthfeel: I can't complain about this at all. A medium thick beer with almost no carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall: This is one of my favorite pumpkin ales to date. Tastewise it knocks the others out of the park and the mouthfeel is stupendous. It smells great too.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 03:54:02 | More by Fergyx825
Photo of Darkmagus82


2.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice deep auburn –copper color with a two finger foamy off white head. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time as big bubbles pop within the foam, leaving a tiny level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a heaviest of a roasted malt smell mixed with some caramel notes. Along with these smells are some light aromas of roasted nut, apple, and a bit of spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a crisp roasted and slightly bready taste. Upfront there is some caramel sweetness and a little bit of a spice. As the taste advances it temporarily sweetens up a decent sum as flavors of apple join the caramel. Soon the caramel fades as the apple maintains it strength drying out the brew once again. While this occurs the roasted flavors grow stronger and are joined by a light toasted nut taste. With more spice flavors and a light floral taste coming to the tongue at the end, a rather crisp and lightly roasted flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to lighter side with the carbonation level begins just a tad above normal. Both accentuate the lighter fruit and caramel flavors all while creating a more crisp feel that is very good for the style.

Overall – A rather crisp and enjoyable brew overall with a nice blend of roasted flavors, light sweeter flavors, and spice flavors which overall create an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 00:43:06 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.58/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with label notched at best before March 2014. My first beer from Maine's Shipyard Brewing Co., and my second pumpkin beer of the year, following Southern Tier Pumking. Always excited to try a new pumpkin beer.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, slightly hazed, brassy orange color with under a finger's worth of white fizz that settles quickly to a ring. Lots of carbonation bubbles rushing topside. No lacing. Looks pretty unimpressive.

S - Smell is pretty good. Lots of authentic pumpkin pie aromas: cinnamon, cloves, oregano, buttery pie crust, pumpkin puree, brown sugar.

T - Taste resembles the nose with a crisp, carbonated cherry soda-pop edge to it. Pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, oregano, cloves, some grains / wheat presence, & marashino cherries. Not the best tasting pumpkin beer I've ever had, but it sure is drinkable.

M - Feel is crisp and carbonated with some pumpkin pie / cinnamon / clove spice lingering on the palate. Carbonation is ideal for the style.

Overall, definitely a distinctive pumpkin beer. There is something about it that really stands out to me, although I can't pinpoint it. Mostly spice forward, leaving the gourdy vegetal pumpkin tastes in the background. Very highly drinkable and approachable with a practical 4.70% abv. I got this beer as a single in a mix a six pack, but I would definitely have it again. I look forward to trying more from Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 20:29:50 | More by mfnmbvp
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,756 ratings.