Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

2,674 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 2,674 |  Reviews: 881
Photo of ItsBeer4Me
2/5  rDev -30.8%

Photo of Scotchboy
3.08/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served up in a pint glass.

A: Pilsner gold, mostly clear with ample carbonation and minimal white head.

S: Sweeter dessert notes, pie, pumpkin, hints of spices, vanilla, whipped cream, hint of lemon and brown sugar. Honestly doesn't smell that bad to me, sweet and artificial, but not bad.

T: Right in line with the nose. Really not bad...there are flavors of pumpkin, sweet vanilla, lemon, spices, and brown sugar...really no off flavors or vegetable notes. It is overly sweet, but not undrinkable.

MF: Crisp light mouthfeel, again pilsner-esque, with moderate carbonation and a clean but sweet finish.

O: It is sweet, no doubt, and artificially sweet at that. It is not a beer that smells or tastes like 'pumpkin pie in a bottle'. But it is also totally drinkable when paired with dessert. I didn't have a problem finishing 12oz. YMMV.

 854 characters

Photo of craigmj7
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of ryko
3.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Photo of Dodo2step
2.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P- Als of Hampden

A- a clear pale straw yellow color. Minimal head and it doesnt hang around too long.

S- allspice and vinegar malts.

F- pumpkin pie flavor with salty malts. It is like eating a pumpkin pie with a kolsch beer.

M- a light bodied feel but the pumpkin lingers too long and doesnt have the crispness i would like. No nutmeg or clove or allspice in this.

D- an average beer but not a great pumpkin ale. I would pass on this one if i were you.

 458 characters

Photo of mgironta
2.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Mardrommar
3.25/5  rDev +12.5%

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

Best before: February 2013; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Just under an inch of off-white creamy head that doesn't stick around for too long; Light amber in color with a very clear appearance; No lacing to be had

S - Just the faintest smell of pumpkin here; Get more notes of perfume, banana, clove, wet grains and diacetyl than pumpkin really - it's all faint though; Not too bad overall, but not where it needs to be for the style

T - Wow, there's some off-key, weird stuff going on here; There's just a bit of pumpkin and pie crust flavor here, but it's meshed with other fairly off-putting flavors - light diacetyl, phenols, perfume, stale candy corn and bubble gum, wet grains, faint artificial spices and artificial sweetener

M - A bit above moderate carbonation; Light bodied and lacking in body; Leaves a bit of a syrupy and artificially sweet tasting coat within the mouth

O - Alright, this isn't a completely terrible beer, but it's nowhere close to something I could drink on a consistent basis. Sticking strickly to Shipyard, the Smashed Pumpkin is definitely the better pumpkin ale option, but I personally could pass up on either. I can see why others might enjoy this beer more than myself, but for me, it strays too far from the style and it's off-key flavors just isn't my thing.

 1,299 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.47/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

enough already people, this isnt that bad! as the latest thread on the forum is out to set right. listen up! it pours a soda looking way carbonated pale orange color with a decent white head. no respectable BA can give the appearance less than a 3, its just not below average in appearance, it isnt. the smell is a little heavy on the cinnamon, fine, but it too cant be scored worse than a 3. im giving it a 3.5 because i pick up some nice malty sweetness that i like in the fall, and some vanilla and earthy squashy notes that i think blend well together. in any event, worse than a 3 in unfair to the style because this smells like a pumpkin ale stright up. as for the taste, its an evolution in the mouth. the cinnamon and spice hit up front is strong, maybe off putting for some, but i think its a nice aggressive move. the good news for all is that it fades fast into a very very authentic squashy flavor, real pumpkin is used in this beer, no doubt about that. if you dont like pumpkin, why buy a pumpkin ale? everyone likes southern tier pumpking because its authentically squashy, well, so is this one. a little bitter maybe yeah, but its real vegetable in there. its not meant to be a can of pumpkin pie filling people. the feel cant be scored worse than a 3 either, its maybe a bit overcarbonated, i agree with that, but the body is a decent medium and the finish turns dry after a few seconds without all the lingering sweetness of so many pumpkin brews. this isnt the best pumpkin beer on earth i understand that, but it is pretty decent. having this brew scored in the 60's is offensive to me, and to the pumpkin ale style. get it together BA!

 1,656 characters

Photo of HollyHops
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of 4Socialanxiety
3/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of RockinRob925
1/5  rDev -65.4%

Photo of wattoclone
3.37/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I first tried this in my home state of PA and thought it was smooth and refreshing, but rather weak for a pumpkin ale. Then on an excursion with the wife to Rhode Island I tried the Pumpkinhead on draft at a restaurant near our hotel. It was served in a goblet with the rim dipped in cinnamon sugar. It was superb when served this way. The waitress told me this was the "brewery recommended serving method". Wow, I thought I have to try this at home. Well I did and found it was like a different beer. Ever since I have tried this serving technique with other substandard pumpkin ales, but alas, it only works for Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale. Apparently this beer must be brewed with the expectation that local New Englanders will dip their glass in cinnamon sugar before serving. Yes, it is a good pumpkin ale, just weak by comparison to most other craft pumpkin ales. It just needs a little kick from the cinnamon sugar.

 919 characters

Photo of MrBoh
1/5  rDev -65.4%

Photo of Spencer1607
2/5  rDev -30.8%

Photo of LdeBeer
5/5  rDev +73%

Photo of BOSMECH
3.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a six pack in bottles after my local distributer said he could not keep it on the shelf.

A Poured a clear copper with a small white head.

S Has a pumpkin, allspice, and nutmeg.

T It is not too overpowering with spice flavor but just enough to enjoy the fall season flavors.

M Not over powering with the spices but just right and very smooth and has that slight ALE taste with it.

O This is a good drinking seasonal beer that I could have again.

 453 characters

Photo of Lob
3.25/5  rDev +12.5%

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

I picked up a bottle of Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale last week for $1.39 at The Lager Mill. I am on the quest to find a new favorite Pumpkin Ale, my favorite one, Screamin Pumpkin from Michigan Brewing Company isn't made anymore since the brewery closed, so I hope this one turns out good, lets see how it goes. No visible freshness date, 2012 release. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it's a little cheesy looking, but I have seen worse. It poured a slightly orange pale golden color that took on more of a dark gold and orange color when held to the light and it was a little hazy. It had a half a fingers worth of white head that quickly died down to a really thin ring that faded to nothing and didn't leave any lacing at all. This beer doesn't look too good, the color wasn't the worst, but just about everything else sucked.

S- The aroma starts off with a slight bit of sweet grainy malts that quickly gives way to a big cinnamon aroma with just a slight bit of pumpkin pie aroma, but it's mainly overpowered by the cinnamon. The aroma wasn't good, it was one dimensional and cinnamon, I wanted something that smelled like pumpkin pie, not watered down Cinnamon Schnapps.

T- The taste seems to be a slightly similar to the aroma, it starts off with some medium sweet malts that impart a thin grainy flavor that is slightly bready. After that comes some muted pumpkin pie flavors with a little bit of pumpkin and spice showing up, the cinnamon is still the most recognizable spice, but it's not nearly as dominating as it was in the aroma. Towards the end come a little more sweet watery grainy, no bitterness at all, and it had a watered down grain and slightly spicy aftertaste. The beer did not taste good, the flavors were very light and muted and pumpkin aspect wasn't good.

M- Smooth, crisp, fizzy, prickly. light bodied, with a high amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was not good, it was thin and watery and the carbonation was way too high and prickly, it was very similar to a Bud Light, not good.

Overall I thought this beer wasn't good and it wasn't a good example of the style, everything about the beer seemed off, nothing was offensive, but nothing was good either, not good all the way around. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down fairly smooth and was crisp, but the flavors couldn't hold my attention for one second and the mouthfeel was too light and highly carbonated so one is more then enough for me, there's no way I would want another one. What I liked most about this beer was that I learned my lesson and won't confuse this with their Smashed Pumpkin ever again. What I liked least about this beer was just about everything, but the taste and mouthfeel stand out as being the worst. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it's cheap, but it's still not worth the price, I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone I liked, it's just not worth it. All in all I was not a fan of this beer, this was my first experience with Shipyard and it did not make for a good impression, I still want to try their Smashed Pumpkin, but it will have to be pretty good to make me want to revisit this brewery any time soon. My next favorite Pumpkin Ale was not to be found here, the search continues, hope I don't get anymore duds like this one.

 3,326 characters

Photo of Jeffreytmoore
5/5  rDev +73%

Photo of phpfunk
3.67/5  rDev +27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really like this beer, I was introduced to it last year by a family member. It is a lot lighter than most beers I drink but I feel it's a great seasonal beer that tastes very close to pumpkin pie.

Most other pumpkin beers have nutmeg, coriander, etc but you can just taste the spice, somehow this to me taste the closet to drinking pumpkin pie that I can find.

This isn't a beer I would like year round but when I see it I buy a case or two for Autumn.

 456 characters

Photo of UnoMasBelgian
2.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Stoutlad
2.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of redfox405
4/5  rDev +38.4%

Photo of Larrydoherty
3.5/5  rDev +21.1%

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
2.89 out of 5 based on 2,674 ratings.
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