Style: Pumpkin Ale
Hops: Hallertau, Willamette
Malts: 2-Row British Pale Ale, Malted Wheat, Light Munich
Yeast: Top-Fermenting English
Brewer’s Note: “Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spiced flavor.”
The beers label is very iconic around the fall. The statue with a head replaced by a jack o’lantern is a nice touch, though it crosses between what appears to be a photograph and drawing of the pumpkin, which is a little weird. The fonts are a little dull, and the confusing text is a little too large on the sides of bottle, but overall the bottle’s label isn’t horrible. It’s not a keeper, but it’s not horrible.
The beer pours a golden orange with a big white finger-width head on top that lasts awhile. The body is clear and translucent, but is marked by numerous fierce streams of carbonation bubbles. On the nose, the beer smells sweet and spicy with a warming (but not overwhelming) touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, alongside a fruitier malt character, with light hints of biscuit. On the tongue, the beer tastes light and warmly spicy with a light hit of watery flavoring. The beer begins with fiercer spices and transitions into softer and warmer spicy notes with a blossoming of biscuity notes and watery finish that still rings with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg. On the mouth, the beer feels smooth but thin, sitting very watery in the mouth, though it does have some heavier notes to it. The mouth is left clean with a light spice tingle, and some torrents of spittle sitting on the sides of the mouth and calling for more. Overall, this is the classic pumpkin beer, whether you like it or not. It is easily accessed and available nearly everywhere and it is really not offensive to the palate. I feel like a lot of people like to hate on Pumpkinhead because of its mass-production ways, but let’s be honest, it is not bad. Is it the best pumpkin beer? No. Is it a little watery? Yes, but that helps with the drinkability. This is a decent beer that is readily available, and a nice introduction to pumpkin beers.