After posing a poll for you all regarding fall beers, I wasn’t shocked to see that 70% of you feel as though late August is too soon for fall/pumpkin beers and Oktoberfests. About 21% of you said that while you do agree that it is too soon, your love of those types of beers has been stronger than the weather indicating that it’s too soon. Better yet, 10% of you said you really couldn’t care less and that you just wanted a damn beer already.
Fair enough everyone. I was very surprised to see that not one single person stood up and said no, it’s not too soon. I was actually shocked! I also received a comment along the lines of ‘pumpkin beers this time of year is an indicator that they’re not using fresh pumpkin’. That’s a whole different issue, but, I decided to do a little research on why these beers are appearing so early much like Christmas decor in early November.
It seems that the brewer’s reasoning is a bit more rational than the consumer Christmas motives. I think sometimes we all forget that brewing a beer is a process, and isn’t something that just happens overnight. It takes time to create the beer, wait for it to ferment, bottle it, distribute it, and then have it appear for us consumers on the shelves. From the posts and articles I’ve read over the past few days, it looks as though the industry standard amount of time for this process is at least 2 months. If we’re even going to dive into the whining about fresh pumpkin, this is going to push back your pumpkin beers until December at the earliest while we wait for Charlie Brown to nurture his great pumpkin. Plus, with the higher demand of not just craft beer in general but pumpkin beers specifically, the brewers have been upping their production to meet this demand creating a longer seasonal period. Some brewers swear that they’ve always released their fall seasonals on September 1st, but we’ve never realized it until everyone else did. Those hipsters thinking they were the ones doing it first…
So, in my opinion, I don’t think seeing these beers on the shelves at this point is necessarily a bad thing. If what they’re saying is true and accurate, I would rather see these beers hit my favorite spots now and have them in my fridge for when I’m ready than to enjoy them than sit at the brewery warehouse prolonging their arrival into my life. Pumpkin is one of my absolute favorite flavors no matter what time of year, so the more the merrier! In my eyes, pumpkin is a sign of the soon to be changing season much like the sound of a marching band practicing and seeing school buses making their rounds.
Embrace my nostalgia and stop trying to make everyone feel guilty about their beverages. What pumpkin beers are you totally ready to enjoy?