Pumpkinhead Ale
Shipyard Brewing Company

Pumpkinhead AlePumpkinhead Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #372
Ranked #48,551
3.03 | pDev: 26.73%
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Pumpkinhead AlePumpkinhead Ale
Notes: Pumpkinhead is a crisp, refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spice flavor. To celebrate the fall season, we enhance the pumpkin flavor with a proprietary blend of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg.

A proper pint of Pumpkinhead is served in a pint glass rimmed with sugar and cinnamon and often accompanied by a shot of spiced rum or vanilla vodka.
Reviews: 904 | Ratings: 2,784 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Amendm
Amendm from Rhode Island

3.14/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

An easy pour from a 12-oz. can nets a finger of off-white creamy foam with long retention. Clear and light pale orange color with fine rising bubbles, golden yellow in bright light.

Pumpkin spice greets the nose with canned pumpkin in the background. Toasted wheat (Wheat Thins) and sweet malt merge with faint hops. A slight musty fruit smell sneaks in.

The taste mirrors the smell, semi-dry and moderately spicy yet lightly bitter. Pumpkin taste leeds as sweet and toasted malt flavor keep things honest. The finish is quick and Lager-like, clean and almost crisp. That musty taste reappears during the aftertaste while spice lingers with pumpkin pie crust.

Light body with average carbonation, balanced and easy going down. There was no lasting lacing and that musty smell/taste doesn't belong.

Nov 10, 2019
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent light copper color with a fast receding head, Smell is pumpkin, spices ,apple, Taste pumpkin,spices.Feels incredibly carbonated and crisp with a super light finish. If you don't like pie in a glass this is for you. Overall somewhat watery but workable Pumpkin beer. Not cloyingly sweet on any level. Very thin bodied. I at first did not realize this was a wheat beer. Will adjust accordingly.

Oct 22, 2019
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MattBeer from California

1.67/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This beer was terrible. Immediate drain pour. It looked the part, but tasted like a piece of pumpkin bread that had been left to ferment. I know you might expect that flavor profile from a pumpkin beer, maybe? But every other pumpkin beer I've had has been much better.

Oct 13, 2019
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nikij from California

2.69/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

L: A golden color with not much head and no lacing really.
S: It smells strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg.
T: Very Syrup-y with a lot of cinnamon.
F: Light and smooth.

Def not the best pumpkin ale..

Oct 12, 2019
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VoxRationis from New York

3.86/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a custom taster; no production information.
A: Pour a crystal clear, golden color with a two finger, white head, but low retention and almost no lacing.
S: Sharply tangy with aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves.
T: Semisweet and tart. Flavors consistent with the nose. Bitterness very much in balance.
M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: A very enjoyable, dry version of the style.

Sep 23, 2019
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

2.96/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit of pumpkin smell after first being opened and poured. Poured with a couple fingers of frothy white head that took its time dissipating. Pale gold color, pretty clear. When cold, tastes a bit like pumpkin, but pretty bland. As it warms, the pumpkin is still present but more cinnamon at the end of a drink. Drinkable, but quite bland and not something I would buy to drink again compared to other pumpkin ales.

Sep 10, 2019
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +44.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle - is that a twist-off?! seriously??... purchased single off shelf... poured into a Belhaven pub pint)

L: polished-clear, pale amber-gold liquid (?!?); not much foam on the pour... bit of a collar persists; absolutely no lace... this color is really throwing me off, shifting my perspective on the style... looks more like a finely-filtered Pumking??

S: pumpkin pie spice - interestingly, this may be the most pumpkin-pie smellin' pumpkin ale I ever smelt, pretty remarkable...

T: unsurprisingly, pumpkin pie, crust and all... WOW!!... how the hell did they pull this off?!... not terribly sweet; wheaty, doughy aftertaste; nutmeg well ahead too, but at the perfect balance with the other spices

F: subtle syrupy slickness up front; highly carbonated, almost effervescent... in the end, far from laborious or languid upon the lengua... rather tight and crisp, almost like an ice beer

O: astonishingly, my first time having this... this is truly pumpkin pie in liquid form, and I dare say criminally underrated, but clearly an outlier... sure, it lacks expected malt depth and a modicum of dessert-y sweetness, but barely... and good heavens, did they nail the spice combo and gave it the proper, drinkable, foundational support... remarkable brew... would I get it again? - NO - but I'll surely tell all of my experience (1456)

Aug 21, 2019
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Gajo74 from New York

3.14/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden orange with visible carbonation. The head dissipates but yields a thin ring of lace.
Aromas of pumpkin purée, cinnamon and nutmeg. All throughout, there is a backdrop of wheat malt.
The taste starts of rather clean and watery. A thin and seemingly artificial flavoring of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices begins to develop amidst a soft wheat malt flavor; they taste somewhat at odds with each other. No bitterness and a tiny iota of peppery hops flavor.
Medium to light bodied, rather thin overall, crisp and with a mostly clean finish.
Not particularly impressed by this one as it’s unbalanced and rather bland. Not good as a stand alone but passable with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Nov 27, 2018
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Tone from Missouri

3.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear gold color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of slight pumpkin, pale malt, hint of cinnamon, hint of nutmeg, and a hint of citrus hops. Fits the style of a Pumpkin Beer. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of slight pumpkin, pale malt, hint of cinnamon, grass, hint of nutmeg, and a hint of citrus hops. Overall, good appearance, but poor blend, too carbonated, and mostly spice and grass.

Nov 18, 2018
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jeffdr123 from Florida

3.28/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Oak and Stone. My least favorite of the pumpkin beers. But that's just because it's wheat based. If you're a Witbier fan, this might be just your thing. Much lighter and crisper than other pumpkins.

Oct 12, 2018
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depechemode1983 from Texas

3.24/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a clear pale gold color. The head is white and thin with little retention. No lacing.

The nose is reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla. It smells like a store bought pumpkin pie is all I can say. And that isn't a bad thing. Its fairly aromatic as well.

The taste falls short. Its a watered down version of the nose with cheap beer corn sweetness.

Feels god. Its light, its smooth, its crisp. Session pumpkin feel.

Sep 28, 2018
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lukaspodolski from New Jersey

2.93/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

L: Light brown with short white foamy head
S: Mild gourdy and wheat-like smell
T: Pretty mild for a pumpkin ale, nutmeg stands out. Otherwise not much of well balanced body at all. Wheaty and hoppy.
F: Mildly carbonated, more watery than anything
O: Different than any other pumpkin ale I’ve had, stronger on the spice flavor than the pumpkin flavor. It sits on the lower end of pumkin flavored brews. Overall, not that impressive.

Sep 21, 2018
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.42/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. No dating information found.
Clear, deep gold colored body. Minimal foaming with initial pour, with the result being a skiff of head and a thin ring. No lacing.
Smells of wheat malt, and the spices of cinnamon and nutmeg.
In the taste is the zing of the wheat malt, and minor notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Not sweet at all.
Thin mouth feel. Okay carbonation.
Rather thin ale, with some fall aroma and taste notes of spices associated with pumpkin dessert dishes. A lot of pumpkin beers are sweet, this one is not.

Sep 17, 2018
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PMakowski from New Hampshire

2.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 Oz Bottle poured into glass
Look - Very generic looking beer. Straw colored with basically no foam and no glass lacing. Weak.
Smell - Aroma is of pumpkin, pumpkin bread to be more specific. Not quite pumpkin pie, not much in the way of cloves. It actually reminds me of the smell of pumpkin ice cream, a dairy note.
Taste - Very little pumpkin flavor unfortunately, mostly the spices dominate. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger especially. It actually tastes more like Apple Pie in my honest opinion. It has a very cinnamon taste to the point where it almost takes like a cinnamon apple crumble. No hops or malt really come into play. Medium-high carbonation. I would say it's a drinkable beer but the flavor is strongly spiced, and so for me I don't want more than one of these

Overall, i had high hopes for this, but this is not a good beer. It doesn't have a pumpkin flavor, end of story. It has no backbone either, which is the biggest issue i have. After the spices hit the palate, its just a watery mess.
Grade is a C-

Sep 11, 2018
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citizennsnipps from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is the symbol that fall is here, although they are being released sooner than before. It is a nice pumpkin brew that doesn't over do it with cinnamon or other flavors. If you want to go that route, I recommend Smashed Pumpkin. If you're planning on putting a few of these back, definitely have a more crisp backup plan as the flavor can wear on you after a couple.

Jul 22, 2018
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basaywhat from Illinois

2.8/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle. Light copper clear pour, moderate foamy head. Aroma is pumpkin spice, pumpkin bread. Pumpkin bread flavor, subtle hop bite. Moderately carbonated.

Jan 17, 2018
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VashonGuy from Washington

3.71/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've had a lot of pumpkin beers (I think is my 28th on BA), but never this one until now. It's a conventional pumpkin ale, with no tweaks, tricks, or anything fancy. That said, Pumpkinhead is a pretty good example of the style ... some pumpkin (squash) flavor, and lots of pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves). The body is medium, with light carbonation.

My favorite pumpkin beers have tended to be ones where the pumpkin/spices are an addition to a fine base beer, like a good stout. In this case, Pumpkinhead doesn't have anything else going for it, so it's a little on the bland side. Like pumpkin pie, in which the baker stuck to the basics, and didn't goose the recipe with rum, brandy, pecans, or whatnot.

If you don't like pumpkin beers at all, you won't like this beer. If you want some super amped up high ABV stout with pumpkin, you'll be disappointed. But if you just want a solid middle-of-the-road ale, with pumpkin and spices, Pumpkinhead will do just fine.

Nov 09, 2017
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The clear amber/orange beer pours out into a shaker pint glass with a 1/2" head of foam that soon recedes and disappears entirely. Before it is gone sipping creates a few small patches of foam on the side of the glass.

The aromas are very light, include some cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and remind of s pumpkin. There's also a light touch of malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the pie spices along with some sweetness from the malt. There don't seem to be any hops showing and there's no bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and the carbonation is very light but reasonably persistent.

This is an easily drinkable beer but not one I'll go out of my way to try again since there's not a lot of complexity here or much to remember. I guess that one of it's strengths is it seems it would fine be to have with food at Thanksgiving time.

Oct 11, 2017
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AlabamaWeather from New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +48.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really good lighter beer with pumpkin spice. To me this is a taste of fall and the only pumpkin beer i need in my life. Not too heavy, and very drinkable.

Oct 09, 2017
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edward_boumil from New York

3.61/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

doesn't look exceptional, yellow, little head. That being said, objectively it tastes good and is quite drinkable, brings the fall feel without frills. A little pumpkin sweetness with spices you'd expect in grandmas pie. Call it untraditional, call it base or whatever you want, objectively this is a pretty good tasting beer

Sep 30, 2017
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dcotom from Iowa

3.35/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a seidel. Crystal clear light copper color, with one finger of off-white head that fizzes away in short order. Aromas and flavors of straight-up pumpkin pie spice, without much depth or complexity to the base beer. Good carbonation, with a rather thin mouthfeel and quite a bit of fruity sourness on the finish. Nice flavor, quite light, and easy to drink. Although this is a flavored ale and not a pumpkin beer, it's worth a try if you like pumpkin pie.

Sep 25, 2017
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cacophonyofroaring from New Mexico

4.9/5  rDev +61.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Despite other reviews, I am here to bedunk the myth- the beer is good. It is the taste of autumn to me. While some might suggest my taste for it is purely nostalgia, I am here to objectively declare its merits as a solid and classic fall beer.

Aug 24, 2017
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dd53grif from Michigan

3.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Despite other reviews I think this is a different take on a pumpkin beer. Not very pumpkin-y but is different. I found it very good. Update - don't know if my tastes have changed since moving to MI or if Shipyard changed the formula before last year's batch but tastes different; wasn't as good as previous years.

May 28, 2017
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JamesBondGA from Georgia

2.62/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a golden color with an inch foam that quickly dissipates. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg, not really pumpkin. Tastes well nothing overwhelming. You get some hints of cinnamon and nutmeg but just barely. Ranks on the lower end of all the pumpkin beers I've tried.

Feb 21, 2017
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Raime from Greenland

2.22/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.25

Found a case of this on wholesale for $7.99 from my local liquor store. Even if it's bad that's a steal.

Pours a clear copper tint with a finger of head that quickly dies down into nothingness.

Smell is generic low ranking pumpkin spice as expected.

Taste is much more reminiscent of what would happen if they made a pumpkin edition of Budweiser. Adjuncts are high and mighty with touches of allspice and a small dosage of cinnamon.

Feel is absolutely atrocious. Dead flat on the carbonation with a thick body that almost feels like a wet hocker layered upon your tongue. Swallows inoffensive and the finish is rapid.

Overall at the price it's a good deal because it's still better than BMC offerings but overall this falls flat as a pumpkin ale. And that feel is just plan bad but I suppose if you swallow it quickly you wont notice. Given the low ratings, I wanted a reason to like this beer and I did not find it. Pass.

EDIT UPDATE : After about 15 of them I started to dislike the beer even more. Taste became cardboard like and the drunk was sloppy and nauseating for some reason.

Feb 20, 2017
Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 2784 ratings