sunday stills: Get your pumpkinhead now



We had left Maine in late September sunshine, heading for Boston on the last leg of our journey before returning to the UK. We arrived mid-afternoon after mooching around Portsmouth. The sun lasted long enough for a fine view of Jamaica Pond, and then the rain moved in. By supper time it was cold and dreary and we did not feel like walking far from our B & B. We wandered a couple of blocks up and down Centre Street, looking for somewhere to eat. Nowhere beckoned, but at least the red glow of Costello’s sports bar looked welcoming. And it was welcoming. A query about the best brew on offer very quickly led to this:


DA-DAAH! A round of applause for Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.

I have to tell you that this was a whole-body experience. The rim of the glass came coated in caramel, sugar and cinnamon, which then proceeded to dribble down the sides. And all over our hands, which then required clean-up trips to the rest-room. But never mind. The ale was delicious, and required further sampling, and more de-sticking, and finger-licking. To hell with it. Who needs supper.

I now discover that this ale was created first in 2002, and that the Shipyard Brewing Company had its beginnings in Kennebunkport Harbor ME. In 1992 entrepreneur Fred Forsley joined forces with English master brewer, Alan Pugsley and started Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brew Pub. This was the birthplace of Shipyard ales, but so popular were their English and seasonal ales, they soon had to move production to bigger premises in Portland ME.


The other thing you need to know is that Pumpkinhead Ale is strictly seasonal, and only available between August and November. So get yours now. It is described as “a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spiced flavor”. 

I’ll second that, or even third it. But just to finish off, and continue in the seasonal vein  (since autumn has definitely come to England a month early), this last photo was taken at a farm shop just outside Kennebunkport. It’s the sort of quite understandable confusion that might arise after a beer or two. Chin-chin!



copyright 2014 Tish Farrell



Sunday Stills

21 thoughts on “sunday stills: Get your pumpkinhead now

  1. It’s amazing what kind of creativity exists in the beer and wine industry. Here in Virginia, micro breweries are popping up and soliciting farmers to grow more hops. Fresh hops (or wet hops) is particularly desirable and only available during a brief window in late summer/early fall. What I’ve never seen here in the US (but what is very common in Germany) is the “new wine” and accompanying festivals. It’s more like a sweet grape cider, fizzy and beginning to build alcohol. That goes well with onion cake….

    1. That sounds delicious, Annette – the onion cake and grape cider. And yes, it’s great that brewing is being so inventive, probably as it always was before mass production, and the notion of consistency was sold to people.

      1. I think that’s the key – moving away from mass production and into the real arts and crafts of delicious food making: artisan baking, artisan cheeses, artisan beers and ciders, vinegars, you name it. It’s about time we reclaim healthy and tasty foods thru small-scale production and cottage industries.

  2. Hubby was walking past while I was reading your lovely post and asked : ‘What yummy things are those?” So he stood here reading it with me, with his mouth watering. LOL! Very interesting post and thanks for all the info Tish. I never knew there was something like Pumpkin Ale and I am not that crazy about pumpkin either. Hubby loves it though. I love the cinnamon bit. 😆

    1. Hi Sonel. Glad it hit hubby’s taste buds. I never managed to find out if there really was any actual pumpkin in the beer. I couldn’t taste it anyway. Just a scrumptious beer with ‘sugar and spice’ and lots of dribbling!

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