Wick For Brains
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room

Wick For BrainsWick For Brains
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #360
ABV:
5.4%
Score:
81
Ranked #46,174
Avg:
3.56 | pDev: 11.8%
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
198
From:
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
 
Nebraska, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  3
Gots
  44
SCORE
81
Good
Wick For BrainsWick For Brains
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 198 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a clear orange amber color with a one finger head of lightly tinted orange foam. The head fades rather fast leaving a tiny bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is massive of a raw pumpkin smell mixed with some light spice of cinnamon and nutmeg. Along with these smells comes some aromas of a cracker and bready malt, giving it a almost raw canned pumpkin puree smell.
Taste - The taste begins with a sweeter bready and doughy taste mixed with a moderate showing of a caramel and brown sugar sweetened pumpkin taste. As the taste advances some flavors of pumpkin seeds as a moderate showing of some confectioners sugar like sweetness comes to the tongue. All the while flavors of nutmeg and clove, as well as a touch of cinnamon, come to the tongue, leaving one with a sweet, but raw pumpkin like taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. Overall, the feel is pretty decent for the sweeter pumpkin flavors of the brew.
Overall – An alright pumpkin brew, but nothing too special.

Aug 24, 2020
Photo of Beerboe
Beerboe from Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I got a 6-pack on clearance Nov. 15. I had the beer last year but just remembered that I had enjoyed it. I like the can artistry and the full-aperture pull tab. The smell is of a pumpkin and spice ale, but not overwhelming.

The taste is the same, with subtle spices, which I like better than too much cinnamon, clove nutmeg. I like the roasted pumpkin and floral hops. There is no "disagreeable hop flavor" at all. I like that it's made with pumpkin, not just pumpkin spices. It could use a little more pumpkin in my opinion, but having less probably makes it more drinkable.
Mouthfeel is good, not too thin and not a lot of carbonation, which I don't care for. It's pretty smooth and easy to drink.
In summary, if you're looking for lots of sweet pumpkin pie flavor in a can, you should look elsewhere, but for an easy drinker with some (enough) pumpkin taste, this fills the bill.

Nov 17, 2019
Photo of JohnDee
JohnDee from Texas

3.02/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, medium amber in color with an off-white head. Mild aroma—malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, slight vegetal scent. Pumpkin and spices don't really come through in the flavor as they are overwhelmed by a disagreeable hop flavor. Light to medium bodied.

Sep 11, 2019
Photo of JohnDon
JohnDon from Texas

4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A pumpkin beer with real pumpkin taste. Taste - you can taste the real pumpkin used, with subtle hints of cinnamon and spices. Feel is light and slightly carbonated. Overall a very enjoyable and drinkable pumpkin beer. (Also a fun can top to open.)

Sep 30, 2018
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Copper to light orange in color with just a hint of sediment is present. There's a fingernail of beige about the size of a nickel on top. The aroma is of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. I'm tasting pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and dulled cinnamon. The mouth is heavily spiced and lightly gritty.

Dec 17, 2017
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BlunderfulGuy from Nebraska

3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank one month after canning from a fancy schmancy full-aperture can that let's me smell the beer fairly well without bothering our busy waitress for a glass. I obviously couldn't see much other than the can label, which I will say is nice.

Light fermented pumpkin, hint of ginger and spices in a clean, classic amber ale aroma. Subtle spices compared to the typical cinnamon clove nutmeg pumpkin beers.
Caramel, oat crackers, fresh and roasted pumpkin, floral hops throughout. Light bitter and biscuity finish, long pleasant lingering pumpkin pie spice. Definitely made with pumpkin, but not a spice bomb.
Mouthfeel is as expected for an amber or pumpkin ale and pretty smooth to me.

Refreshing, both for a long day with a pizza and overcast weather and for a pumpkin beer. I like it even though I've tended to lean more towards sweet pumpkin pie overload in the past.

Oct 01, 2017
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maddogruss from New Jersey

3.31/5  rDev -7%
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

Feb 13, 2017
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
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...

Dec 23, 2016
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Dec 23, 2016
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Dec 07, 2016
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Oct 06, 2016
Photo of ChipChaight
ChipChaight from New York

4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Sep 11, 2016
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783 from New Jersey

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.

Sep 05, 2016
Photo of IowaBiertrinker
IowaBiertrinker from Iowa

4.2/5  rDev +18%
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.

Feb 07, 2016
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
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

Jan 02, 2016
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Dec 20, 2015
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Nov 26, 2015
Photo of Barnoloid
Barnoloid from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

Nov 07, 2015
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Nov 03, 2015
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Oct 30, 2015
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Oct 22, 2015
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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

Oct 17, 2015
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Sep 30, 2015
Photo of orcrist_cleaver
orcrist_cleaver from New York

3.51/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Sep 20, 2015
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Sep 20, 2015
Wick For Brains from Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 198 ratings