Yes, I missed Halloween. Then I missed Thanksgiving. Now I am determined not to miss Christmas and get some reviews of these two pumpkin-flavored beers out of the way before I have to start thinking about Easter brews.
Shipyard Brewing Company Pumpkinhead Ale hails from Maine. It’s a relatively light lager, with an aroma, color, and body a lot like a Mexican lager — no real hints of pumpkin here. That hits you on the finish, with a sort of pumpkin pie character that comes on after the super-light brew. Not sure how I feel about it. I love Mexican beer and I love pumpkin pie, but this doesn’t do much for me on either front. Certainly drinkable, though. 4.7% alcohol. C / $9 per six-pack / shipyard.com
Shipyard Brewing Company Pugsley’s Signature Series Smashed Pumpkin is a bigger beer in every way. At 9% alcohol, it’s got more kick and a bigger, bolder body. And there’s more of that pumpkin character to it, too. Altogether it’s more pleasing, with a dessert-like quality that combines a glass of port with a pumpkin cheesecake. A considerable improvement. B / $8 per 22-oz. bottle / shipyard.com