It is nearly August, which can only mean one thing: PUMPKIN BEER SEASON IS UPON US! Forget that it is still sweltering outside and that you have that beach vacation coming up. If you want the primo pumpkin beers, like Pumking (Southern Tier), Good Gourd (Cigar City), or Pumpkinator (St. Arnold), now is the time to buy. But what I want you to ask yourself is “how soon is too soon” for pumpkin beer?
One anomaly with pumpkin beer is that it doesn’t actually need to have any pumpkin in it. A shake of cinnamon, a dash all spice, a sprinkle of ginger, and you’ve got the start of a pumpkin beer. These spices all remind me of crisp fall weather, colorful foliage, and college football. But in the summertime, I am not reaching for a festive ale just yet.
So when should pumpkin beer be released. We have a few options (in my opinion):
- Labor Day. The weather will be changing and it is just close enough to Halloween that the pumpkin you purchased will survive till the big day.
- Fall Equinox (Sept. 22nd). Literally the start of Fall. You can’t argue with the Earth.
- First Saturday in October. The first weekend you can wear flannel, buy a bunch of produce, and take home the pumpkin of your dreams.
I get it. Beer is a business, and most people stop drinking pumpkin beer after Halloween. But I don’t need it in July. My suggestion? New beer adjuncts focused around the holiday. Sour Patch Kids gose anyone? Caramel Apple Brown ale for the lady? The beer landscape is constantly changing, and I say it’s time we make a change to Fall beer, once and for all.