Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

2,670 Ratings
Read the review
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 881 | Ratings: 2,670
Photo of JamesBondGA
2.62/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 268 characters

Photo of Raime
2.22/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

 1,091 characters

Photo of MinerBob
4.17/5  rDev +44.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice color with slightly above carbonation so it makes a good head. Good fall smell slight pumpkin and nutmeg with a nutmeg flavor. This beer is getting a bad rap on the ratings not a bad beer at all.

 202 characters

Photo of mromagna
4.18/5  rDev +44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Everyone wants to downgrade this Pumpkin Ale here on this forum. I'm losing respect for the reviewers with this one. It's a great Pumpkin Ale, and I've compared many. It's not overpowering with spices or flavor, but is always the one the enjoy the most. It's better than average, and extremely satisfying. It's a great Fall New England pumpkin ale. Not sure why all the hate for this, maybe it's too mainstream for those trying to be different. It's a great choice, and I come back to it every year. Thanks Shipyard!

 516 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a blonde golden color with a frothy 1 finger head.

Aromas of rich baked malts and a hint of pumpkin latte and spice. Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger. Very fresh, very clean.

So the taste...if there were a sessionable, easy-going, simple beer to bridge someone from Bud Light to craft beer during the fall season, this one would be it. In fact if I had a bar I'd serve it on tap for the newbies because of how easy it is to drink, unoffending, and still fairly tasty. That being said - complex it is not, nor is it loud or bursting with flavors. Some DMS and Corn to start, following with light trails of brown sugar, baked malts and then dusted with cinnamon, and some squashy, pumpkiny gourd flavors.

Feel is super light, super easy...if there's a day in October where it hits 80, this is the beer to have. (In Nebraska we get that from time to time, it's our Indian Summer)

Overall, what can I say. It's a shitty beer but it does a great job at connecting dots between macro, session, and craft. I can't say anything more. Totally 100% great for that. As a beer overall though, don't expect to be blown away.

 1,116 characters

Photo of k17miller
3.38/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reasonable pumpkin aroma. Can taste a hint of spices. My bottle felt a bit over carbonated which detracted from the flavor. Overall, decent beer. Not my favorite pumpkin, but drinkable.

 186 characters

Photo of Antg8989
4.42/5  rDev +52.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

DON'T BUY INTO THE BAD REVIEWS. For over 2 years I've avoided this beer like the plague, simply because of what I've read on here. I really don't understand it. In my experience with pumpkin beers, I've found that the overwhelming majority of them are one and done for me. This one is different; while the flavor is there, it is far from overwhelming. I bought a six pack of these and will easily finish them in 1-2 weeks. My rating is based solely on pumpkin ales, not beer in general. Give this one a try.

 507 characters

Photo of PearlJam420
3.85/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not sure why there's so much hate for this beer. I picked a six pack of this up and am enjoying one as I write this review. Bottled on 08/11/2016. I'm a huge fan of Shipyards Smashed Pumpkin so I decided to give this a try. Pleasantly surprised. I'd call this Smashed Pumpkin Light. Delicious and much much easier on the wallet then most overpriced pumpkin beers. I'm talking to you Southern Tier...

 399 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.19/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

My bad for expecting a pumpkin beer to smell and just just like pumpkin pie. While there is some pumpkin (squash), the taste is more about the spice, notably cinnamon. That's better than those that just taste like squash, but would be nice to have some of both tastes.

 270 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks like a standard light lager, yellow, 1/2" white head.. Aroma was sweet earthy pumpkin and some kind of almost mold like thing.

Taste was sweet more than pumpkin, none of the normal things like cinnamon are there. Same with the normal beer ingredients, doesn't have or mesh with hops or malt.

Eh, everyone agrees, this beer doesn't do it.

 351 characters

Photo of gandres
2.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
Appearance: Deep amber, very clear, no head, a lot of lacing
Aroma: Not a lot of aroma
Taste: Not a lot of taste, no follow through
Mouthfeel: very fizzy, carbonated
Overall: Good beer, but will not repeat buy, nor suggest to be bought

 270 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.8/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Potent as hell when it comes to cinnamon and nutmeg. There's not much room for pumpkin flavors in the forefront, but it's decent enough in the background. The major drawback is that, because the flavor is so strong and sweet, it can become a bit of a chore after the halfway point.

 283 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Nothing special or out of the ordinary, another pumpkin pie spice beer, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light bodied, overly sweet aroma, flat metallic taste.

 155 characters

Photo of dwillie733
4.27/5  rDev +47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not sure why everyone is rating this one so low. As a pumpkin beer, while a little strong, it has the aroma and taste of a good pumpkin beer. Had this one in Hartford MA and would have again

 190 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
2.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed on 12/12/2015.

The smell is almost like pumpkin pie. Not a lot of the aroma carries through to the taste, as it seems very bland (for the style) to me. Mouthfeel is extremely thin.

 192 characters

Photo of sjdevel
3.39/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Crystal clear light copper color. Not very bubbly, but there is a few streams of bubbles to create a bit of lacing.

Sweet and herbal spices. Some caramel notes, but mainly spices (nutmeg / cinnamon).

No real presence of hops or bitterness. There is an instant sweetness with a bit of savory vegetable and pumpkin flavors. There is a slight hint of caramel malt. Flavors are mainly vanilla and spices. As some of the flavors mellow out, it leaves me with an after taste of cream soda.

Very low medium side for mouthfeel. Not thick or oily feeling as some I have had and no dryness to speak of.

This one is drinkable, but there is a bit too much nutmeg and it is too sweet. This is a dessert beer that would be good with a slice of pumpkin pie and maybe along with your Thanksgiving dinner. I won't buy this one again as there are many pumpkin beers out there that are well above and beyond this one.

 946 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/2/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, brown sugar, wheat, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of pumpkin/spices and light-moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, brown sugar, wheat, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness. Light herbal/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, brown sugar, wheat, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin/spices and light-moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a nice pumpkin/spiced pale wheat ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of pumpkin/spices and light-moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth, crisp, and clean to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,504 characters

Photo of dacrza1
1.91/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

DATE TASTED: November 20, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Hobgoblin pint... OCCASION: a Shark Tank double feature... APPEARANCE: pale orange body that sports reasonable bubbles; the white head holds steady while thinning out to a hazy, uneven circle... AROMA: cinnamon and nutmeg are up close and personal--where is the pumpkin? the label says as much, but the maltiness is a bit off-putting... PALATE: thin, fizzy at the start, and swift in its finish... the sizzle about the tongue is easy-drinking, but also not befitting an ale...TASTE: bland, malt-heavy lagerish profile with some spiciness but no pumpkin detected; a medicinal finish is prevalent; not memorable or strong in its profile... OVERALL: I pounded at least eight of these at Sara and Brett's wedding a few weeks ago, and it was nice having something with a little dimension to drink at a formal event; at home, in a controlled environment, this beer needs an experience to qualify its drinking; otherwise, it is a flat, weak, slammable seasonal ...

 1,003 characters

Photo of rapayn01
3.61/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I didn't mind this. I'm not a fan of pumpkin beers loaded with pie spices. This isn't. This Shipyard product doesn't have much head and the taste is basically lager with pumpkin. I like pumpkin flavor so my rating is higher than the rest of the community's.

 257 characters

Photo of mnj21655
2.12/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear pale golden color with notes of copper. About a half inch of short lived light khaki head which quickly dissapears leaving on a thin rim of bubbles and no lacing. Aroma is pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and artificial sweetness; not.much in the way of actual pumpkin. Taste is much like the aroma; this just seems to be a basic lager with artificial spices and pumpkin added. The taste is more focused on pumpkin but the artificial notes remain. This beer is overwhelmingly cloying and very sweet, no balance. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Overall I do not find this to be an enjoyable year. I've given it a try a few times before giving it this formal review so I feel comfortable reviewing this beer. I found it far too sweet with artificial taste and aromas that didn't sit right with me.

 875 characters

Photo of MountainGoat13
1/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Other than the apparently ruined / wrecked Southern Tier Pumpking we just tasted and dumped out - this is probably the single worst beer falsely marketed as "craft" I have ever tasted. Being in Maine, I figured the regional breweries would have a lock on pumpkin w/o over doing it (which seems impossible, even for Dogfish Head) - but I was wrong.

This beer tastes like a standard corporate lager with weak / thin pumpkin flavor added. The color was terrible - the palest of ambers that immediately hinted at how bad the beer would be. Head was fine, but quickly disappated and it smelled - and then tasted like a pumpkin soda (which would've been great vs. this). Taste was, like most pumpkin beers, over-spiced, far too sweet,and thinner than thin. Overall this is among the two worst "craft" beers I've ever purchased. I dumped out the other 5 beers after suffering through the first one.

Having made pumpkin beers for several years and never (ever) using spices - I cannot see how any brewer on earth, other than AB (etc) could sell a beer like this with any type of conscience. Hard to figure this out how a beer this bad is possible - and how it seems to sell.

 1,180 characters

Photo of pstam87
2.53/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This tastes like an adjunct lager mixed with pumpkin spice. The look of this beer is pretty bland, barely any head that fades away quickly. The smell is faintly pumpkin spice mixed it with standard adjunct lager smell. The taste follows the nose with a bland hint of pumpkin spice followed by an adjunct lager taste. Overall this is one of the worst "pumpkin" beers I have ever had.

 382 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
2.96/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure how this ended up in my mouth. Knowing it was about as commercial, girl-oriented as it gets for an "ale", I still picked up a single. Shipyard has some truly decent brews, but this is not amongst them.

Pale amber pour with no head. Smells of alcoholic scents of pumpkin pie spices. Smell itself seems fake. Tastes pretty much the same, with almost an adjunct beer quality.

This stuff is barely palatable. Worst of its genre.

 435 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
2.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours yellow-gold. Smells of sweet cinnamon and clove, and maybe a few other autumn spices. The taste is pretty sweet with a little spice kick throughout. Thin body with medium carbonation.

 189 characters

Photo of Real_Thirsty_Guy
1.69/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I didn't get a good look at this beer, it was bottled and I knew just about how much I'd like it when I was dared to try it...which did not lend itself to giving it much of a fair chance...
It doesn't smell, taste, or feel like a beer...I really can't understand the novelty of loading up beers with this much garbage...couldn't even drink it!

 343 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
2.89 out of 5 based on 2,670 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.