Wick For Brains | Nebraska Brewing Company

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Wick For BrainsWick For Brains

Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wick for Brains is our classic and painstakingly produced Fall Pumpkin Ale. Instead of simply using spice, we use real pumpkin which lends a sweetness and pumpkin flavor not found in many Pumpkin Ales. Wonderful pumpkin pie spice intertwined in an Amber Ale creates a pumpkin sensation which is elegantly crafted. Notes of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Ginger and Allspice blend perfectly in this seasonal Ale. There are many Pumpkin Ales out there crafted by some wonderful breweries – we feel that ours stands among them and in some cases – stands apart.

Added by Hojaminbag on 11-10-2010

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 182
Photo of maddogruss
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: pours oranges Amber body with a small white head with minimal retention and lacing
S: sweet, pumpkin pie spice smell; clove and nutmeg a little
more evident
T: sweet, nutmeg and clove taste with a nutty aftertaste
M: medium bodied and fairly smooth
D: pretty good pumpkin beer; pretty easy drinking

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Photo of dacrza1
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

DATE: December 22, 2016... OCCASION: Christmas so close, and the new TV is up and functional in 4K... GLASSWARE: Hobgoblin pint... sallow orange amber body with zesty swirling bubbles... a fizzing white head flatlines to a thin halo... ginger, nutmeg, soft pumpkin and allspice invite a second breathe...mint tea and clove as well... some bread malts suggest the amber aspect... mellow, light-bodied and easily downable... its finish is lively... spicy, with plenty of pumpkin to spare as promised... the profile is nutmeg, allspice and pumpkin--as indicated, an organic, natural pumpkin ale that wins in its accessibility... not a beer that demands its own night, but one that at 6% ABV could accompany adults on a Halloween night...

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Photo of chinchill
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz can with an August 2016 canning date and attractive art.

Appearance: Pours sightly hazy, and golden with a decent head that has very good retention.

Aroma: Pumpkin, light spices including cinnamon and nutmeg. Approaches 8.

Taste: Conservatively spiced with baked pumpkin and biscuits.

Feel: Medium-light body and near medium carbonation.

Overall: OK.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nebraska Brewing Co. "Wick For Brains Pumpkin Ale"
12 fl. oz. can, ""Canned 07/22/16" and sampled on 12/07/16
$1.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of conscious: Orange in color with some haze - good color for a pumpkin beer. I guess the haze can be forgiven. Its creamy off white head is short lived and leaves only limited lacing behind. Aromas of pumpkin spice and sweetish, gently caramelish, bready malt. Balanced. The flavor follows without the spice becoming any more than it is in the aroma... perhaps a little, it is a spiced ale (cinnamon, ginger, perhaps all-spice). You don't normally taste the squash in a beer like this but I somehow feel there's an edge of it coming through adding just a thin slice of added character. Fruity with apple, kind of like apple cider, which also works in a pumpkin beer. A limited bitterness is all that's needed as the spices help to balance and dry it. Light medium in body with a smooth, moderate carbonation (which helps in spiced beers as the carbonic acid can elevate the spiciness). It's interesting in that it's not overdone, which is something I look for and praise in spiced beers, yet it seems a little bit underdone as well if that's possible - it is quite drinkable... Overall pretty nice. Not the best pumpkin beer I've had, but there is something charming about it. p.s.- as it warms clove appears; perhaps that's part of what I find interesting as you don't always get that in pumpkin beers.

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Photo of Bluecrow
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This can pour is a clear, pretty orange with minimal visible froth. The aroma from this can seems actually slightly sour (I would like a sour pumpkin ale), but the brew is not sour. It is light and crisp and gently spiced. The carbonation is palpable helps provide a clean mouth-feel. The finishing flavors are a bit cloying. This is a crisp and not-sweet pumpkin ale that many would enjoy.

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Photo of ChipChaight
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can from Noble Grains NYC on the UES
Pours a clear amber orange with fleeting white head, smells quite acidic with mild spicy ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin puree, a raw spiced pumpkin pie filling basically, tastes like very sweet and light pumpkin followed by mild nutmeg and cinnamon, slight hints of sourness throughout as well, this is a very light and dry beer. A very crisp pumpkin beer that has the beginnings or hints of a pumpkin sour, and come to think of it, a full blown pumpkin sour would be delightful.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Single can purchased from Total Wine and More. Pours an amber, golden hue with minimal frothing. Smell reminiscent of pumpkin pie spices. Subtle and subdued flavor with hints of clove, nutmeg, butter, and caramel. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Found this on sale, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Bright orange pumpkin color with minimal head.

Taste is pumpkin forward with minimal spices, but extremely well balanced and interesting. Not over the top on anything.

Mouthfeel is amazing...super smooth. Really surprised by this.

Overall, this is one of my top 5 pumpkin beers with well balanced flavors throughout.

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Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of pumpkins and pumpkin spices are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of pumpkins along with notes of nutmeg and ginger; the spices are most noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This pumpkin ale features pumpkins first and foremost in both the smell and the taste and isn't dominated by spices.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Taybeh
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

from a can into a spieglau ipa, nice clear bright orange copper with a white head that subsides quickly and leaves little lacing. nose doesn't have much spice, but a nice doses of real pumpkin. Pretty thin but smooth on the mouthful, and the back end brings some nutmeg and allspice that pairs with the pumpkin...lacks body, though.

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Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wick For Brains is a liquid jack-o-lantern - pumpkin orange in colour and lit up like a flashlight. One could guide their way through a dark room with these highlights! Flatness and perfect clarity enhance the natural glow and create the impression of a featherweight beer (even if it does clock in at 6.1% alcohol).

The aroma is hardly what I'd call 'perfumed', both because of its lack of spiciness and overall lack of strength. No scents of any kind will jump out the glass - you've got to go in to get them. What's more, the earthy, squash-y smell of actual pumpkin is more prevalent than anything you'd use in baking.

Only on the palate is it feasible to actually pick out allspice, cinnamon, or ginger... but even then it's a bit of a guessing game. Mind you, that's not such a bad thing - the old adage when it comes to spices says that if you can be sure of what's in there too much was used. There's nothing obvious in this one.

And while I'd prefer that to something that could be mistaken for a Bath and Body Works product, I also feel that a watery, diluted spiciness is nearly as bad one that's intense and overly saturated. This won't overwhelm after one bottle but will leave something to be desired.

Wick For Brains is fairly hollow as far as pumpkin ales go. One might argue the more restrained seasoning, lack of dessert-like sweetness and subtle presence of real pumpkin lend it more integrity than other pie- and potpourri-like examples on the market. Maybe. Or maybe it's just a bit more dull.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the better balanced pumpkin ales I have had - instead of relying just on the spices I believe this has real pumpkin added in the brewing process. Has more of a vegetable than a sweet feel to it, with a little acidity in there to keep it light and zingy. Solid medium mouthfeel. Overall thought this was nicely put together.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear medium copper in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some faint mahogany highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that quickly reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts, brown sugar, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg).

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel malts with a light amount of toasted malts and a moderate amount of brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by a light to moderate flavor of pumpkin and a moderate flavor of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice). Minimal amounts of bitterness is present in the finish and fades away quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness from the spices in the finish.

O: A little bit lighter than the average pumpkin beer which makes it very easy to drink. Enjoyable but a little more subtle in flavor and sweetness than others in the style.

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of off white head which settles into a thin patch.

Smell: A spicy, earthy, and sweet malt forward aroma with a scent of pumpkin spice and caramel. Upfront presence of pumpkin and spices including cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. Toasted malt with hints of caramel, toffee, grains, biscuit, and yeast. Some sweet hints of vanilla. Subtle earthy hops. A solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a spicy, sweet, and earthy malt driven taste with notes of pumpkin spice and caramel malt. Upfront notes of pumpkin spice with some nice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and allspice. Some sweet vanilla notes. Sweet toasted malt with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Light earthy hops. A solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent take on a Pumpkin Ale. Nice spice and malt mix.

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Photo of Beejay
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Medium amber with orange notes, and a white head that quickly fades into frog eyes, followed by a ring.

S: Sweet bread, brown sugar, pumpkin, and spices. There is a touch of vanilla in the finish.

T: Flavor follows the aroma, bready with vanilla, pumpkin and spice notes.. finish has a touch of sweetness in it.

M: Medium light, with moderate carbonation, slight cling in the finish.

O: Overall a simple yet tasty version of the style.. it is clean and easy drinking, the flavor of pumpkin is not too tame to be boring, nor overpowering or fake. Is it amazing... no. But tasty, certainly.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass

A- pours a clear Amber-orange color with a small fizzy white head that disappears completely, leaving nothing behind

S- typical pumpkin spice aroma, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, hint of cola. Malty undertones

T- sweet and malty base with highlights of cinnamon and nutmeg, slicing is well balanced overall

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and crisp finish

O- well balanced and easy drinking, nothing stands out but solid overall

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Interesting label art.

Appearance : Pours a Sunkist/Minute Maid/Fanta orange out of the can straight into the weizen glass, creating a still orangey but mellow blonde glow. The head is small but what's there sticks around for a bit, leaving mossy cream on the top and sticking to the sides loosely.

Aroma : Smells like a grocery store during a fall batch season. Pumpkin, cinnamon, pecan, clove, with a bit of oatmeal raisin cookie as well. It takes some effort to get a nose though, so a little bit of a dock there.

Taste : It drinks easy, and the front half is spiced generously with nutmeg, allspice, and stale cinnamon; the back gives way to some rotting pumpkin, burnt malts, and scorched black syrup with a burnt version of the spices before it. The finish is kind of literally hard to swallow.

Feel : Very easy drinking - heavily and excitingly carbonated, very refreshing, a balanced feel, and a dry finish.

Overall : Wouldn't buy again, but it was nice to try. Pumpkin Ales are hit and miss, this one was unfortunately more of a miss.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: A very clear bourbon amber. No head. No lacing. Very full if it wasn't so damn clear.

S: Good pumpkin aroma. Green, vinous stems. Lots of cracker malt.

M: Very light, well attenuated. Dry throughout with a finish of a marzen.

T: Flower like herbaceous quality not unlike squash blossoms or sweet potato tempura. Some clove spicing, mace, light brown sugar, light lemony hops.

The seasonality of pumpkin beers makes this a very competitive category. This beer is light, floral, and a little hoppy. Not how I prefer my pumpkin beers.

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Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear, orange-brown with minimal head. Taste is pumpkin pulp, cinnamon, and light clove and hops. Hits all the major style points. Not a bad pumpkin ale, although there are others I prefer in the style.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: pumpkin pie spices - mostly cinnamon and nutmeg;

T: pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices; mildly bitter finish;

M: light to medium bodied; low to moderate carbonation; very dry finish;

O: the best pumpkin beer I've tasted - simply because it's the 1st I've ever tasted that actually tasted like pumpkin. Most of them only taste like pumpkin pie spice.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.09/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not a bad beer, just not a great one. The pour was a very clear orange color with little head at all. The carbonation was relatively low. The aroma was very similar to a wheat beer with some added seasonal spices. It was an overwhelming odor either. Very subtle in the taste as well. You don't get a huge smack of anything. It was very mildly spiced and balanced. This might be a good introduction beer to pumpkin ales or vegetable beers. I just didn't quite get as much of a kick as I like out of the pumpkin ales from this one. I will say the more it warmed up, I did like it better as it sat in the glass a little. Not a bad beer, just not a great one.

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Photo of dank203
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

great pumpkin; full flavored without being cloying, or over spiced. fresh pumpkin flavor with spice balance. low IBU's, medium/full body with just enough thickness. a lot of flavor without excessive alcohol content

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Photo of JamesMN
3.06/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No canning date.

Appearance: Dark caramel in color with decent clarity and a disappointing lack of head. Just a couple off-white bubbles on top and some effervescence sticking to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Soft pumpkin pie spices with a hint of a butter-like crust element.

Taste: Pretty typical array of pumpkin pie spices with a general sweetness from what is likely an amber ale base recipe. The hops aren't really a factor. Would have liked to get more of the pie crust that was in the aroma but it doesn't come through in the flavor. A bit shallow in the flavor department but not quite watery. The can states 6.1% ABV. Weak finish and aftertaste of ebbing spices.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium in body with average carbonation and okay drinkability. Nothing special here. Almost tepid at times.

Final Thoughts: A completely average pumpkin ale. Not even par for the course. Although there weren't any major technical flaws, there are so many more better options available. Would I drink it again? No.

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Photo of donspublic
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into a pint shaker. 1 finger head dissipates pretty quick. Not picking up much other than a little spice. Taste, you know it is pumpkin. Nice mixture of pumpkin to spice. Will mix this in with pumking throughout the fall

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Photo of Lilbeck23
4.79/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When it comes to a Pumpkin ale this one does not steer you wrong! The aroma, taste and easy contour makes it an overall delight to kick back and enjoy the fall! Pumpkins stand no chance when it comes to the easy sipping of this seasonal ale!

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Wick For Brains from Nebraska Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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