Posts tagged ‘Emporium’

Slashed Pumpkin – Shipyard Emporium (Ron Raike)

Happy Friday the 13th? Doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since our last post does it? Welcome to our first post of 2012! We figured we’d get a head start just in case we didn’t make it to next December…

All kidding aside though, we’ve got a treat here in the form of a special holiday edition Micro Brew from Shipyard Emporium’s head Brewer Ron Raike, and it’s certain to help keep you warm through the winter months.


Name:  Slashed Pumpkin

Place of Origin / Brewer: Florida, USA / Shipyard Emporium ( Ron Raike )

Beer style / ABV%:  Chipotle Pumpkin Porter / 6.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Twenty-two pounds of fresh pie pumpkins are baked, caramelized, and added in the mash, boil, and fermentations stages along with pie spices intended to balance the chocolatey porter. ( This may sound familiar from their offering “The Great Plumpkin“, and with good reason.) It is then finished with chipotle peppers to give it a mild Smokey burn.  Another nicety for some additional flair is the garnish of a deep fried Pumpkin Grit Fritter made with Anson Mills Organic Heirloom Grits, pumpkin, spices, and a drizzle of honey for sweetness.

Packaging:  N/A (Tap Only)


Color:  8

Our beer arrived with a nice cream colored head and a chocolate bar looking body.  No kidding, this beer was very still and solid looking and the perfect chocolate bar brown. – Brittney

Great coloration for a porter style beer.  The dark brown head caps a black body that mimics the husk of a dried chipotle pepper.  There is little to suggest that this beer is pumpkin flavored, it just looks very appealing. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 8


Aroma:  8.5

Spices present themselves prominently up front with strong essences of warm pumpkin pie in the nose, with allspice and cinnamon playing the most outstanding roles. – Tim

A sweet and spicy aroma with strong notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, over a caramel / chocolate pumpkin base, and just the slightest sting of smoky chipotle. – Mike

If smooth had a smell this would be it.  You can smell the creamy chocolaty goodness alongside a deliciously brewed porter with just a touch of that vegetal yet caramelized pumpkin and a hint of spice.  – Brittney

M- 9 / T- 7.5 / B- 8.5 / R- 8.5


Mouth feel:  7.5

The smoothness makes this medium bodied brew easy to drink, while the spicy back end keeps you sipping at this delicious pumpkiny porter.  It feels frothy as it expands across the palate really allowing the flavors to sink in.   – Rick

A full bodied creamy wash of foam that wraps the tongue and coats the throat. – Mike

M- 7.5 / T- 7 / B- 7.5 / R- 7


Tasting notes:  8

Sweet Pumpkin and rich chocolaty porter up front with the spices filtering through the foam pleasantly.The chipotle appears as a smoky quality that is quite pervasive, before dropping the hammer of spice into the finish. The sweet honey and salted butter of the grits in the garnish seem to help bring a bit of the pumpkin into the forefront as you drink on, and the palate because a bit more confused by the spice. – Mike

Smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of dark chocolate notes I want in a porter.  Deep and rich with the addition of Chipotle peppers presenting themselves on the finish. The spices get lost in the depth of the brews abundant flavor profile, but as it comes up in temperature, the roasted pumpkin notes present themselves and give the beer a resounding depth of character. – Tim

I’m a big fan of spice being invited to the party when it shouldn’t be and let’s face it, most of the time chipotle peppers are not on your usual list of ingredients when it come to beer.  It took a second to be noticed but the chipotle builds and really shines as the brew warms. Also, Porters can have a tendency to overwhelm my palate but this one sets a prefect table for savory pumpkin, sweet chocolate and spicy chipotle.  If the master cleanse needed a beer option this would be it. – Brittney

The pumpkin aspects are accented very well by the porter’s smoky qualities and the malty sweetness is just right without being too cloying.  It’s a unique addition to a pumpkin beer, but the chipotle spice gives this porter a great finish. – Rick

M- 8 / T- 8 / B- 9 / R- 7.5


Finish:  8

Pure chocolate smoke with a slap of pepper spice crawls down the throat leaving a trace of heat that builds with each sip, adding a nice southwest flair. – Mike

The finish here is all about the heat from the Chipotle peppers.  Touches of smoke and the slow burn from their inclusion provide this beer with a real show-stopping quality—with the heat building on itself and really waking up the tastebuds and warming you up on cold winter nights.  The beer is garnished with a pumpkin grit fritter that provides a nice addition of both fried goodness to cut the porter and creamy consistency to supplant the chipotle’s heat. – Tim

It’s a complex finish that gets spicier as your taste buds settle into it throughout the beer.  The spice settles on the back of the tongue and throat allowing your taste buds access to the sweeter bits of the roasted pumpkin. – Rick

M- 8 / T- 7.5 / B- 8 / R- 8.5


Flavor balance:  7

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

As directly intended, this beer is more about overall sensory balance, it has a lot of elements to like about it, the spice comes on in the nose, the pumpkin presents in the body and the chilies have their way with you in the end.   It might not seem harmonious at first, but it gets the added points for running a gamut of flavor profiles. – Tim

There may be a touch of cinnamon, but it’s an after thought to the chipolte which stands out as the dominant spice for sure.  Regardless, it’s a great balance of roasted pumpkin flavors with a bit of spice that could quickly get out of hand if the pumpkin was sweeter or the pepper spicier. – Rick

M- 6.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 8 / R- 7

–         Sweet / Dry balance:

This brew starts sweet at the tip of your tongue and ends with a spicy kick at the back.  The spice really helps quell the sweet start of this brew lending to more attention to detail. – Rick

Not only balanced on sweet to dry but also on the added challenge of bringing in spice. – Brittney

M- 7 / T- 7 / B- 8.5 / R- 6.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?

The spicy profile here is the only thing holding this back from being an extremely session worthy ale. Of course, being a bit of a hot head, it’s not going to keep me from another round. – Mike

As long as I have a glass of water around to combat the heat when it might build too much I would love to have a couple rounds. – Brittney

Here is where the chili really rocks this beer.  The beauty of this 6.8% ABV brew is that, it’s not heavy, the immense flavor profile doesn’t overpower your taste buds, and the heat from the peppers keeps sending you back to cool down your throat.  I could drink a lot of this beer. – Tim

M- 7 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 8


Overall:  7.83

M- 8.00 / T- 7.50 / B- 8.17 / R- 7.75


The Great Plumpkin Ale – Shipyard Emporium (Ron Raike)

I must admit, for a brief second Monday afternoon, my ego got the best of me. Perusing the Facebook page and the bevy of brewers we’ve friended since inception, we had finally achieved beer nerd-vana. “The Great Pumpkin Ale” it read. Sure, that could be any Charles Schulz fan paying tribute, but that couldn’t be. It was based in our hometown. It had to be us. Right?

Sadly, upon further inspection, our eyes (and perhaps our egos as well) had mercilessly omitted a crucial letter. It read upon deeper review “PLumpkin”. Now, had we been better acquainted with Shipyard Emporium’s in house brewer Ron Raike, it’s entirely possible he could have been taking a heartfelt shot at us. Reviewing beer isn’t exactly a low calorie affair. But we’re going to just try to forget our folly, and, well, drink this tap dry. We recommend you make it down to do so as well, and make it snappy, because as a part of their house brew series, Shipyard Emporium is certain to run out of this one before the week is out.


Name:  The Great Plumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Florida, USA / Shipyard Emporium (Ron Raike)

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 7.2%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  18 lbs of pie pumpkins are baked and caramelized in the emporium’s bakery, and are then used in both the mash and boil to add flavor, texture, and sweetness. Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, and a new spice to our equation, Mace, are added to create a uniquely spicy and aromatic finish. Then it’s garnished with a skewered toastette covered in roasted and candied pumpkin seeds.



This is where we usually get to talk about the bottle, the design of the label and anything else that is included that the brewer might think is important.  With Plumpkin our “packaging” was our local Shipyard emporium.  Our “label” was a chalk drawn tap handle with small gourd atop.  Our “anything else that the brewer might think is important” was well, the brewer. – Brittney


Color:  8

Dark and ominously cloudly ale with ripe orange accents and visible carbonated core forming a misty head. – Mike

Such a great dark amber color that is full of life.  There’s no head or lacing to this draft pour, but the bronze color is so bold it reflects the massive amounts of pumpkin that were used to make this brew. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 6.5 / B- 7 / R- 9


Aroma:  8

Cinnamon, Nutmeg and allspice blend well with the defined pumpkin fragrance. But, the standout here is the inclusion of Mace (which is the outer membrane of the nutmeg seed–not the self-defense spray!) adding something very distinct and aromatic to the brew that other manufactures are definitely missing. – Tim

It all hits you right away, the roasted pumpkin, the slightly more complex spices, sweet caramel, a touch of alcohol and back to the roasted pumpkin again.  The impressive part is that is all goes one step further. Yeah we expect pumpkin but you can actually smell the sweetness and slight smokiness from roasting. – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 8


Mouth feel:  7.5

This ale is super smooth for having such a full bodied appearance.  There’s almost no tingle from the carbonation, so you’re able to taste everything this beer has to offer.  – Rick

Despite appearing pretty fizzy, it’s less bite and more slightly foamy cream with a lot of body mass. – Mike

M- 7.5 / T- 8 / B- 7.5 / R- 7.5


Tasting notes:  9

Poured on draft at the Shipyard Brewpub this in-house concoction leaves visions of wicked jack o’ lanterns dancing across my tongue making The Great Pumpkin Ale a nearly perfect blend of the spice that is prevalent in Pumpkinhead and the depth found in Smashed Pumpkin. Shipyard would do well to get this recipe into mass production for 2012.  The brewpub even goes one extra step, offering a fantastic crusty bread garnish with sweet caramel and savory chili dusted pepitas that when consumed in conjunction with the brew and a lush nutty depth to the overall experience. – Tim

Deep roasted pumpkin explodes on the palate while the malty spice keeps the ale dry and pleasantly sweet. The shining star here is definitely the smokey roasted notes though, and the garnish offers such a dramatic change in flavor profile, giving a completely different aspect to the ale. Try the first half without it, and then kill it with the toast. It’s a trip. – Mike

If you could take all the great things from a few of the other pumpkin beers that have been more popular year after year and put them all together in one, you would have Plumpkin.  You get the real pumpkin flavor that so many others strive for; you get a complex grouping of spices that doesn’t overtake the taste.  It’s sweet and clean and delicious.  – Brittney

There is so much pumpkin in this beer it almost sounds like overkill, but they’ve managed to really grasp a great pumpkin flavor without being overly sour.  The spices are delicate here as well, making it boldly sweet in a great way, without resulting in a spicy profile.  Vanilla and caramel come to mind as well, making for one tasty brew. – Rick

M- 9.5 / T- 9 / B- 8 / R- 9


Finish:  8.5

Long and refreshing, the spice is abundantly present, but not unpleasantly so; particularly since it settles into smooth pumpkin at the very end. – Mike

A soft lingering finish with a touch of hoppy perfume.  Couple this with the garnish and you can really savor the strength of flavors on display in this beer. – Tim

This is one smooth ale.  It finishes sweet and smoky that compliments a great pumpkin flavor.  Paired with a roasted pumpkin seed and caramel garnish, the flavor profile becomes uniquely bold and smoky and overall, stands out in a crowd of pumpkin ales. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 9.5


Flavor balance:  8.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

With 18lbs of pumpkin roasted and added to the mash you better believe you can get the pumpkin in this small batch wonder.  But for me it keeps coming back to that special something added by the inclusion of Mace.  A very balanced beer with a meaty, profound body and a magnificent mixture of spices.  – Tim

The pumpkin is overloaded here, but with great flavor.  The spices are just enough to make it nice and sweet on the tongue. – Rick

M- 9.5 / T- 8 / B- 7.5 / R- 9

–         Sweet / Dry balance:

I went back and forth dry to sweet and sweet to dry with each sip.  Certain characteristics made me feel like it was sweeter and others tended toward dry.  In the end I went with balanced. – Brittney

The caramelization of the roasted pumpkins adds a definitive sweetness to the brew but never an overt syrupiness or stickyness that would demand a crisper or drier finish to balance it.  It just lingers for a moment and then fades away.  Well done. – Tim

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 8 / R- 9.5

–         Multiple Drinkability?

While a good bit heavier than most session beers, this offering is so damn tasty, I’m probably going to drink more than I should. This keg is certain to go fast. – Mike

There are so many ways this is a winner that it would be hard to find someone that couldn’t find something they like about it.  – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 9 / B- 8 / R- 9


Overall: 8.25

M- 8.42 / T- 7.92 / B- 7.67 / R- 8.67