Friday Brew Review – Smashed Pumpkin

It’s back, muthafugga, it’s back.

If you followed OL in the formative days, you know all about the glory that is the Friday Brew Review. If you’re new to this scene, let me clue you in: I like the taste of beer. I like the way it makes me feel. I like its ability to make my jokes funnier and women seem more attractive. So for your benefit, I will drink cold ones and describe the experience.

It’s pretty straight-forward.

So after a sabbatical that saw me averting death, deciding on a career, and becoming a more positive member of society, I’ve decided to bring back the Brew Review. Truthfully, I can’t guarantee that I’ll toss one up every week. But what I can promise is that when I do unholster the gun, I’m going to smoke every motherfucker in the saloon.

That’s right, I’m like a retired gunfighter, being called out of retirement for one more fucking showdown.

Okay hombres and mamacitas, I bet you’re clamoring to figure out what I’m drinking today. “Oh my Gods! What’s Krueger going to sip on for his triumphant return to inebriated reviewing? Will it be something seasonal?”

Psh. Is that even a question? We’re in the midst of fall, which is tantamount to the greatest celebration of the year. Of course I’m drinking a seasonal.

Today, with the crisp autumnal breeze dusting my face, I’m drinking Smashed Pumpkin from the fine folks at the Shipyard Brewing Company.

Although I’ve never tried it myself, I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead. From what I’ve been told, that beverage is essentially an intoxicating-liquid–pumpkin-pie. Sounds great — what’s better than dessert and tying one on?

However, today’s drink apparently ups the ante on the more well-known Pumpkinhead. According to the brewery;

Smashed Pumpkin is a big-bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aromas of pumpkin and nutmeg. The Pale Ale, Wheat, and Light Munich malts combine with the natural tannin in pumpkin and the delicate spiciness of hops to balance the sweetness of fruit.”

Touting that description, it seems that Shipyard is hoping to please beer drinkers who actually care about finding a brew that is well-balanced enough to be palatable but with enough different notes so as to make for a worthwhile experience. This notion is supported by the fact that Smashed Pumpkin is 9% ABV and comes in a twenty-two ounce bottle; reasonable portions are to be shared amongst a small group of friends.

Or, a single writer/teacher/comic nerd/thought-scientist.

Let’s do this.

Smashed Pumpkin jumped into my glass with little coercion. Well, I did tell her that my dad owned a BMW dealership and I played lacrosse at BU. But whatever. Anyways, the beer frothed up nicely, generating a sizable head that would undoubtedly tickle my mustache. That is, of course, if I could grow any facial hair. Damn you Puberty! HOW DARE YOU SKIP OVER ME?! I’M TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD! GIVE ME A DAMN BEARD ALREADY!!!


The ale smelt of fresh spices, almost as though I was walking through my kitchen as Nana started in on the Thanksgiving baking. Not overpowering , but noticeable — just as though the oven had been fired up and the pies were just starting to get toasty. Combining this with the glorious translucent orange hue, even the pre-drinking experience was worthwhile.

Taking a healthy swig of Smashed Pumpkin, I couldn’t help but feel my face stretch into a smile. This is seriously a perfect October beer. I can taste the sweetness of pumpkin and the spiciness of hops, and yet the base of BEER is still present. Although there are fruity cadences drumming about, this is by no means a fruity drink. This is a fucking ale for the men (and women) with the balls (and tits) to drink a serious brew.

Goddamn. The flavor just sings for autumn. I can hear songs of hayrides and apple picking and sitting on my front steps reading Bradbury by moonlight. Also, with the elevated alcohol content I feel my face getting hot, which is always helpful on those cool October evenings.

Grab a bottle of Smashed Pumpkin. Then call up your best friend and share the bottle as you walk about your city tonight. I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy yourself.

The grade: A

[PS — Pretty impressive that I didn’t make any of these references, huh? Oh, shit…]