Shipyard’s popular seasonal and other beers now served on Elite Airways

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shipyard Brewing is announcing a new partnership that gets its famed Pumpkinhead seasonal beer on an airline for the first time. Cans of Pumpkinhead -- along with cans of Shipyard’s flagship Export Ale, Island Time Session IPA and two beers (Blueberry and Sunfish) from Shipyard’s sister Sea Dog brewery -- are now offered on all Elite Airways flights throughout the U.S.

“I’m pretty sure that Pumpkinhead is the first pumpkin beer served on an airline,” says Shipyard founder Fred Forsley. “It’ll be on Elite Airways flights through December as part of our seasonal correctness effort. This partnership will also boost awareness of Shipyard beers throughout the year.”

Elite Airways has been growing in popularity in the Maine travel market with its twice-weekly nonstop jet service between Portland Jetport (PWM) and Orlando-Melbourne International Airport (MLB). Starting this month, the airline will double its weekly flights between Portland and Melbourne and double flights to New York City/Newark (EWR) and Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB). Elite is also adding twice-weekly nonstop service between Portland and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).

In recognition of the partnership, one of Elite's Bombardier CRJ-200 jet airliners now features the Shipyard logo and schooner ship on its tail.

“We’re proud of our Maine heritage,” says John Pearsall, President of Elite Airways, “and equally proud to support Shipyard Brewing Company and serve its craft beers to our customers. Shipyard has an excellent reputation and this partnership is a win-win for us and our customers. Especially within Florida, which is an important market for both of our businesses.”

“It’s very exciting to partner with another Maine company,” says Fred Forsley, Shipyard Brewing co-founder and president. “We couldn’t be happier about Elite’s success and its expanded flights to Florida. This partnership is a great way to introduce people to Maine and our beer, while giving passengers a delicious craft beer to enjoy on their flight.”

Launched in 2002 and one of American craft beer’s biggest-selling seasonals, Pumpkinhead is a UK-meets-USA wheat beer enhanced with pumpkin pie flavors. The beer is made with a dash of malted wheat, US and European hops, and an English ale yeast.  

At just 4.5% ABV, Pumpkinhead is a super-sessionable pumpkin beer with ample body, subtle pumpkin-pie spice notes and a gentle bite of hops on its refreshing finish.

With the September 1 release of the beer, Shipyard founder Fred Forsley began an effort to end the “seasonal creep” of beers that has riled consumers and retailers alike.

“Our hope,” Forsley says, “is that if we take steps to stop our out-of-season beers, other brewers will follow and we can all return to some sanity with these annual releases.”

“Pumpkinhead,” Forsley notes, “is a holiday beer that was designed to be enjoyed from early fall through Thanksgiving and into the Christmas holidays. And if you wanted it with Christmas, you stocked up in late November before it left the store shelves. That’s our focus this year.”