Category Archives: Pumpkin Beers

Dogfish Head’s Shippy Shipperton is My Homeboy

Dogfish Head Shippy Shipperton

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I’m a big fan of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and its founder Sam Calagione. The number one reason for that: Its quality brews.  I buy a lot of Dogfish beer, but I also support the company in a number of additional ways. I frequently recommend the brewery to those who might not be familiar with it. And I purchase a variety of Dogfish products, including glassware, t-shirts, soaps and shampoo, even Christmas ornaments.

One of my favorite things about Dogfish is its sense of humor. For example, I always crack up when I look at the Dogfish logo on the four pack of its Halloween-themed Punkin Ale and on the Punkin four pack—note the fangs. And whenever I place an order, the return address on my package makes me crack a smile.

Dogfish Punkin Ale logo


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Why I Hate Pumpkin Beers (And You Should Too)

Pumpkinhead with Shipyard Bottle

Pumpkinhead drinks Pumpkinhead!

Okay, the headline on this post is a bit of an exaggeration; I don’t really HATE pumpkin beers. They’re okay. Sometimes. When you’re in a certain mood and you haven’t had one for a while. And you’re just glad it’s fall because the summer is too damn hot.

I hate what pumpkin beers represent. Pumpkin beers are the Christmas decorations on store shelves in October of the craft beer world. They’re the Halloween candy in supermarkets in August. Pumpkin beers represent the gimme-it-now, I-can’t-fucking-wait mentality that’s discoloring all corners of American life today. (Where do you even get pumpkins in July? That shit’s not natural. Are all the pre-fall pumpkins for these brews hydroponically mass-produced in some remote warehouse all summer? Flown in from some distant, more temperate locale?)

If you really like the taste of pumpkin beers you’re probably glad they arrived earlier than usual this year—I first started seeing them in Boston in early August. And that’s fine, everyone should drink whatever it is they like to drink, whether it’s canned Bud Light with Lime, Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella or Shipyard Pumpkinhead.

But something is lost when you can have pumpkin beers four months a year instead of just two. Brewers first started creating seasonal beers to be enjoyed in certain atmospheres, in certain temperatures and with certain seasonal foods.

I understand why brewers want to release popular fall beers earlier and earlier each year; people will buy them, and it’s another way get drinkers to choice that brewer’s beers over competitors’ offerings. So I don’t necessarily blame the brewers. But the next time you sip a pumpkin brew in late July or an Oktoberfest in August, you’d do well to stop and consider how—and why—that brew might taste better a few months down the road.


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