Review: Pumpkinhead, Shipyard Brewing

Shipyard Brewing Co. — Portland, ME 

  • Style:  Pumpkin Ale
  • Bitterness:   Not specified
  • ABV:  4.7%
  • Malts:  2-Row British Pale Ale, Malted Wheat, Ligh Munich
  • Hops:  Hallertau, Willamette
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description: "Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and a subtle spiced flavor." — Shipyard Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Today, I'm tasting a pumpkin brew from the other Portland. Recently, I've been noticing more of Shipyard's beers in Oregon. I'm not sure how long they've been distributing here, but I'm always glad to get my hands on an East Coast brew! I'm tasting Pumpkinhead as part of my series on fall seasonal beers.

The tasting:  Golden straw in color, clear, with white head that dissipates very quickly. Aroma is extremely spicy—nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. Flavor is dominated by the same spices. The malt flavors don't emerge beyond the onslaught of spice. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor and overall hop bitterness is minimal. Pumpkinhead is light bodied, has a crisp, effervescent mouth feel and finishes with lingering spice. 

Rating:  3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  I've profiled at least a dozen pumpkin beers during the last two years. Pumpkin itself doesn't have much of a flavor and I'm usually left contemplating if I can actually taste it. In this beer, there was no question. I clearly could not taste the pumpkin. All I could taste was spice. For me, when it comes to spice, less is more in a light bodied beer.

Have you tasted Pumpkinhead? What's your favorite pumpkin beer?

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  1. We just did a pumpkin beer tasting yesterday for the blog and Shipyard was one of them. It isn't one I'd buy again, but wouldn't turn it down if someone gave me one. Great review.

  2. I think this is my favorite of all the Pumpkin beers I can get my hands on at Total Wine. I'm from Kelso, currently living in Los Angeles, so I have no access to likes of everything Elysian puts out.

  3. Oaked Jacked Imperial Pumpkin from Uinta/Crooked Line Series (Utah)

  4. Chatoe Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale is the best one I have had this year. Tastes more like a beer than pie...which, based on other examples of this style, is difficult for most breweries to do.


Thoughts? Tell me what you think.