Wick For Brains
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room

Wick For BrainsWick For Brains
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #360
Ranked #46,169
3.56 | pDev: 11.8%
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Nebraska, United States
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
Reviews by dsa7783:
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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
More User Reviews:
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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
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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
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Walnut from Missouri

3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 10, 2016
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tcbro023 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 11, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

One of the last in-person trades that I made with tone77 before his departure from our area included this CAN. I miss having him come by to drop off all sorts of different beers for me as I would load him down with CANs in return. The CANQuest (TM) abides.

From the CAN: "World Class in Every Glass"; "Our classic and painstakingly created fall pumpkin ale. Real pumpkin lends a sweetness and a true pumpkin flavor not found in many pumpkin ales. Wonderful pumpkin pie spices intertwined in our amber ale create a rich pumpkin seasonal. Elegantly crafted."; "CANs: Infinitely Recyclable".

First of all, this used one of those stupid 360 degree openings, so there really was not a Crack! and I could not upturn it for a Glug! It is a s**tty CANcept that is really a step backwards in CAN engineering. When you are left with a sharp, throwaway piece, you may as well go back to pop tops. Once deCANted, the head quickly dissipated before I could do anything. Color was an orangish Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity (what else?). Nose had a pronounced cinnamon spiciness. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin. Taste was spicy, prevalently cinnamon, backed up with perhaps nutmeg or allspice. The finish was gaspingly dry with the spices really doing their part. It was like liquid alum! Man, I was ready for a glass of water upon finishing this beer. Not bad, but needs work on presentation.

Jan 11, 2015
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ejimhof from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -15.7%

Nov 02, 2012
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Gagnonsux from Texas

3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Oct 15, 2015
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allengarvin from Texas

3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 3.75 Clear amber with a small white head.
S: 4.0 - Pleasant caramel malt with moderately strong cinnamon scent.
T: 3.75 - Medium malt with a lot of cinnamon. No pumpkin detectable. Other spices have a light touch.
M: 4.0 - Nice creamy mouthfeel
O: 4.0 - Not the best PA, but I find it pretty tasty. Of course, I like cinnamon a lot.

Oct 23, 2014
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev +1.1%

Oct 19, 2014
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plaid75 from New York

3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white cap. There was decent retention and lacing b

The smell featured a full wave of cinnamon (think Dentyne).

The taste consisted of a rindy pumpkin flesh with that same bizarre sweet and cinnamony Dentyne element.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side if the style.

Overall a ho him experience. Weak in the spice category.

Nov 03, 2011
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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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psweendogg from Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oct 14, 2016
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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
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap 11/15/2010 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, pumpkin, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with fruity flavors of pumpkin and mild spices. The hops presence is very mild which is normal for this type of beer. The malt character is thin for the style but there's a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, there are definitely better pumpkin beers out there that I would pick first.

Nov 17, 2010
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falloutsnow from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brewery on 9/9.
Thought this was a top pumpkin ale last year, when enjoyed at the brewery in Papillion, NE. How does this year's shape up?

Arrives in a standard pint glass with a 1cm head, fairly clean white in color, that fades to a thin top of white foam on the glass. Leaves some lacy spots, but not much, on the glass after a sip. Body is a dark orange-copper color, transparent, visibly carbonated.

Fairly mild scent, but with noticeable pumpkin and sweetness in the aroma. A bit of nutmeg lurking in the background. Mostly average.

Taste is primarily of sweetness and pumpkin, which imparts a fairly malt-forward beer that's fairly bland. In the back are the spices: nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. A bit of cloying sweetness in the aftertaste. Taste following scent, this is just above average.

Medium bodied with carbonation levels that help this along on the palate. Finish could stand to be drier; I remarked to a friend how refreshing this would be if it had a dry, biscuit-like finish.

A bit disappointed by this year's Wick for Brains, relative to last year's. While I still think this is an acceptable pumpkin beer, this isn't as enjoyable as the previous year's was. It's still much better than other options available (Shipyard, Buffalo Bill's).

Sep 09, 2011
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Hellpop65 from Kansas

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Nov 15, 2014
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ksimons from Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -7.3%

Sep 09, 2014
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can. Poured out a clear golden color with a white, bubbly, small head. It smelled of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Tasted of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and some toffee.

Nov 27, 2014
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jaxon53 from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Sep 28, 2014
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Gmann from New York

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes on 11/4, on draft at Rattle 'n Hum

Pours a clear golden orange color with a nice tight white head.

The aroma is of light pumpkin, with some nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. A nice bright aroma.

The taste is of pumpkin, nutmeg, and allspice. Seems to have a sour oak flavor but from what I read, this beer is not barrel aged. There seems to be an odd spice or sweet element I can't quite put my finger on. At first I thought this was a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin but its not. Not sure what this flavor is coming from.

The feel was light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. It drinks crisp.

I thought it was a good pumpkin, though it has some odd flavors to it.

Nov 25, 2011
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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
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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
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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
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Griffith from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Sep 21, 2014
Wick For Brains from Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 198 ratings