Shipyard Brewing produces two pumpkin beers, Pumpkinhead, and Smashed Pumpkin.  While Pumpkinhead is their wildly popular pumpkin beer sold in 6-packs.  Smashed Pumpkin is the fall beer in their Pugsley’s Signature Series.  The 22 ounce bottle has a 9% ABV.  Low ABV pumpkin beers do not seem to have the same kick of flavor as those above 5%.

The brewery suggests pairings, cocktails and recipes for this beer right on the bottle.  I was intrigued by their suggestion to braise short ribs in this beer, and the idea of mixing with a stout for a “fall warmer”.  What totally confused me was their suggested pairing of sharp cheese and beer.  I was unable to fathom how this would work.  I went to the kitchen grabbed a chunk of sharp cheddar.  I do not understand this pairing, but it was delicious.  I never would have thought to pair cheese with pumpkin, but the combination worked perfectly.  I tried this on several other pumpkin beers, and it seems to work well in many cases.

My only complaint about this beer was the foil on the bottle cap.  The foil was stuck on the bottle cap and neck.  Either they used glue or overflowed the bottle when filling.  The last thing you ever want to do is have stray foil in your beer.

Tasting Notes:

Poured into a becker from the bottle, Smashed Pumpkin is copper orange in color.  Aroma and taste are very much reminiscent of pumpkin pie which is how I like my pumpkin beers.  Although Smashed Pumpkin has an ABV of  9%, the alcohol really is a background flavor here.  Make sure your bottle is the recommended 55F as the beer will come across more balanced than if served ice-cold.  Go ahead try it with the cheese…you know you want to.



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