Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale & Pumpkinhead

Hey there, Drinkers

It’s still October (who knew?!) so that means we’re still drinking pumpkin beers and watching horror movies. And in true BAAM form, we’re sipping on a delightful beer from Dogfish Head while watching an awful movie. Truly awful. Like just straight up, not-accidentally funny bad. So let’s get started, shall we?

Now some of you might be familiar with a little movie called Alien (1979) or its sequel Aliens (1986). Oh you’ve heard of them? Good! Because Pumpkinhead (1988) is a terrible version of these movies. Set in rural Appalachia. And not scary. And dumb. And cheap. For real guys, this movie is the poor man’s ripoff of Alien. The poorly-named Pumpkinhead creature (something about the graveyard it comes from?) looks almost exactly like the Xenomorph and even sports the same cicada-like sound. And you know who our kinda sorta protagonist is? It’s BISHOP! FROM ALIENS. GGAAAHHHHH!

Oh and there’s a flamethrower too.

Before he was a robot, he was a hillbilly

Before he was a robot, he was a sexy hillbilly

So maybe let’s talk about what makes Pumpkinhead not an Alien movie.
1) It does not take place in space.
2) Pumpkinhead is a demon, not an alien. A demon that is summoned by a gross yet spritely witch.
3) There are city kids, all of whom are annoying and you don’t care about.
4) Pumpkinhead is dumb and inconsistent. It likes to pick up its prey, drop them and then either leave them on the ground or drop them by a front door. It also stabs a guy with a shotgun and throws a motorcycle in the air. But it can’t get through wooden walls without the ramming power of a cross. Whatever.
5) Apparently Pumpkinhead is somehow connected to our villain turned hero Bishop though that’s never really explored or explained. All you need to know is that if you hurt our character, you also hurt Pumpkinhead (who also bursts into flames when defeated…). Again, whatever.

Totally NOT the Alien

Totally NOT the Alien

But there are two good things that I can about this movie. The first is that the creature effects are actually pretty solid. The creature looks fairly “believable” and moves naturally, which can be a challenge for many other monster movies. The second positive thing is that this movie ends. It may be the longest, least-scary one and half hours ever, but it does come to a conclusion. So there’s that. And now I’m moving on.

Not a fairy tale. And this scene doesn't exist.

Not a fairy tale. And this scene doesn’t exist.

So let’s talk about something good, shall we? How about something amazing? Does that suit your fancy? Well good, because paired with this awful movie was Dogfish Head’s incomparable Punkin Ale. Pumpkin ales are nothing special this time of year. It seems like every brewery has their take on the classic seasonal brew. But what sets this brown ale apart is that it deviates from the classic pumpkin flavor and instead leans heavily on a complex mix of spices and real, hearty pumpkin meat. You’ll get big notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg but none of these overwhelm the palate. Instead, with a little reinforcement from some brown sugar and pumpkin, you get a very carefully constructed beer that is never boring. Visually, the beer is quite lovely to behold. It pours a rich copper color with a dissipating head. Overall, this is one of the best pumpkin beers around and only continues to prove that Dogfish Head is one of the best.

So there you have it, folks. Another classic BAAM combo of salvaging a terrible movie with a fantastic beer. I really can’t recommend watching this movie (even for laughs) but I can say that if you see some Punkins at your local beer store, buy as much as you can afford.

And as always keep drinking, my friends.

Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale:
-Rich, complex spice combo
-Full-bodied but not heavy
-Perfect pumpkin ale

-Rural Alien
-Every character is terrible
-At least the creature looks cool…ish

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