Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

September 19th, 2014 by in Walt Disney World Beer Reviews


I wanted to write this one before Food and Wine started, but I didn’t make it to the store until a couple of days ago. However, given the recent confirmation regarding the pour sizes and prices at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year, let’s talk about that first.

A bottle of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale contains 12 ounces. For $9.75, I was able to purchase a four pack of Punkin at the store (48 ounces total). At Food and Wine Festival, one bottle of Punkin is equivalent to two six ounce pours at $4.50 or four four ounce pours in a flight that runs $10.25; four ounces therefore costs $2.56.

IMG_0239To get the same amount of beer in one bottle of Punkin at Food and Wine Festival, it will cost you $9.00. However, beer at Food and Wine is served from a keg, not bottles. Instead of the cost of bottles and packaging, the only packaging cost is one metal keg. The cost per ounce of beer out of a keg is less than the cost per ounce from a bottle. There are other costs such as refrigeration and staff.

Recently, I paid $11 for a Sam Adams Rebel IPA at a concert. Yes, that’s a high price. However, it was on draft and it was at least 24 ounces of beer. This comes out to about 45 cents an ounce. The cost per ounce for a single six ounce pour of Punkin is about 75 cents an ounce. There are a lot of factors that go into that price difference, but I still think 75 cents an ounce is a bit high for a fairly standard beer. This price differential gets even worse against other beers at the Craft Beers booth such as Abita Purple Haze, which is available elsewhere at the resort and is an Abita flagship product.

Additionally, there’s the convenience factor. At most, the Food and Wine booths are going to give you two drinks or 12 ounces of beer per visit. Once that’s gone, you’re back in line for who knows how long. Depends on the day you’re there, right?

In a long winded sort of way my point is to think about what you want to try when you’re making your way around the Food and Wine Festival. Can you get it at home? If so, maybe you should wait on trying it and spend your money on beers that aren’t as easy to acquire.

With that out of the way, let’s get into Punkin Ale.

I could have sworn I had posted a Punkin article a long time ago, but I didn’t. Punkin is one of Dogfish Head’s most popular beers; it comes out once a year around September for the fall. The beer is named after the Punkin Chunkin contest held in Delaware (home of Dogfish Head) each year. What is Punkin Chunkin, you ask?

Punkin Ale is a clear copper color, small white head. Bready aroma with pumpkin and associated spices; nutmeg and cinnamon mainly. Tastes of light pumpkin pie or perhaps pumpkin bread. Hops are light but leave a bit of bitterness at the end.

I like this much better than Southern Tier Pumking; Pumking really overdoes the sweetness and tastes more like pumpkin syrup. This is much better balanced and still tastes like beer. My favorite is still Saint Arnold Pumpkinator, but Pumpkinator is only distributed to Texas and Louisiana.

According to Dogfish Head, Punkin Ale is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington. It’s usually gone by Thanksgiving, so now’s the time to get your hands on some if you’re interested.

  • Michelle B.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but it is rare that I can finish a 12 oz. beer. I like the fact that pours are now 6 oz as it gives me more opportunity to sample beers I wouldn’t have before due to price and size. So while I know I’m paying more per oz, overall I’m paying less and getting to try more.


    • Scott Post author

      I’m really trying to walk a fine line here. I don’t want to be overly judgemental and saying “you shouldn’t be buying beer at Food and Wine because you’re paying too much for not enough beer” but I’m also trying to point out that between the selection and the prices things could be better. But if you’re not one who drinks much and wants to try a lot of different beers, maybe the six ounce pours make sense. I think the flights are a slightly better deal than the six ounce pours in general.


  • Dean Finder

    I agree with you. Most pumpkin beers are too sweet, or heavy on the spice.
    Dogfish Head’s version is very good, but a little pricey. An equally good one (at least to me) is Post Road’s Pumpkin Ale (brewed by Brooklyn Brewery), and is considerably easier to get in kegs, at least here in the northeast.


  • Keith

    Punkin and Pumking are two great seasonals, but Heavy Seas’ Greater Pumpkin is the best IMO. Aged in bourbon or rum barrels…it is simply fantastic. Speaking of awesome barrel-aged beers, I noticed that you never added the Widmer Brothers Brrrbon (served at Artist Point)???


    • Scott Post author

      I don’t know if I can get Heavy Seas here… will have to check.

      You’re right, the Barrel Aged Brrrbon got lost in my email. I just added it. Sorry for the delay.


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