The calendar recently changed from July to August. But you wouldn't know it based on what I've seen at the local liquor stores recently. Perusing the beer aisles I have noticed several beers you don't normally see on the shelves in early August. Recently I have spotted Sam Adams Octoberfest, Shipyard Pumpkinhead, and have been hearing that my favorite fall beer, Southern Tier's Pumking, is slated for shelves very soon.
Browsing various message boards, the consensus opinion on releasing these "fall" beers is that it's way too soon. Various beer geeks say that it's still summer, so the IPA or the pale ale, lager, or pilsner should be the easy choice for those hot August days. Why in the world are beers that are supposed to conjure up memories of leaves changing and pumpkin pie being released in the middle of the summer?
My response is quite simple: "Who Cares?". "seasonal shmeasonal". The beers are good. I'll drink them whenever they come out.
For me, the season or weather really has no influence on my beer selection. You better believe I'll grab some Octoberfest beers in August if they are available because I love the style. And when I see Pumking on the shelf, I'll snatch that up quickly. The notion that you have to have a certain beer for a certain weather pattern to me is blown completely out of proportion. I mean, those poor folks in southern California or Arizona must never enjoy a thick stout because obviously people can only drink stouts in the dead of winter right?
I enjoy many styles of beer. I'm not going to let the weather or the season change how and when I choose a frothy beverage. Make no mistake, there certainly are beers that lend themselves well to the season. I mean, a Pumking on Thanksgiving sounds fantastic. Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter is incredible around Christmas time. There are few things I enjoy more than a crisp IPA or pale ale after mowing the yard in the summer. But I have zero problem mowing the yard, getting cleaned up, and then rewarding myself with an awesome stout or porter. Look, 90% of my drinking is done inside the comfort of my house or my favorite bar. Inside. Not outside. And while I wish I was able to drink more outside on various patios and such, I can't, and that still wouldn't change my selection of beers. In the summer, my house is set inside at around 70 degrees. In the winter we are around 68 degrees. So 90% of my drinking is done in the same environment. When I can drink outside, I don't choose my beer based on the weather. I base it on what sounds good.
It's been nearly a year since the last release of some of these "fall" beers. Let's not get caught up in what we should be drinking seasonally, just get caught up in drinking good beers....there are lots of them coming. Don't let the season or the weather cause you to miss out on the various craft offerings.
What are some of your favorite "Fall" beers? Do you live by the seasonal mentality like many others?