What ever happened to drinking a seasonal beer in the actual season it's meant to be enjoyed in? I mean, shit, it's July 25th - technically one month into summer (you know, it officially started June 21st), and these fall beers are already being launch. Hell, I haven't even picked up a SUMMER seasonal beer yet! Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of summer beers. I really enjoy Ipswich Ale Brewery Summer, not to mention the new Baxter Brewing Co. Celsius Ale. But I'm telling you, it's way too early to have pumpkin beers being launched.
This passed February, Chris Lohring, founder and brewer of Notch Brewing, posted a well documented, very eloquent post entitled "The Death of Seasonal Beers." He posted this from the perspective of the brewer, rather than the consumer, and it couldn't have been said better. Truthfully, he is right..it's not the retailers fault, after all, they're relying heavily on the distributor. However, a lot of this has to do with the consumer.
This is where we all come into play...what can we do as consumers?
This makes sense. As a craft beer fan, it is hard to pick up a heavy, spiced beer, in the middle of 80 degree weather and actually enjoy it. These beers are better suited for cooler afternoons, and chilly evenings. Instead, we should be reaching for true seasonal beers that are utilizing local ingredients that are currently in season (barley, hops, certain added spices or fruits).
I didn't quite write this as well as Chris did, so please do us at Brew England, and Chris from Notch Brewing a favor and head over to NotchBrewing.com to read his well articulated post.