For me, the best thing about beer is the variety. There are beers for every mood, and certainly every season. I just wish I could enjoy them in the same season they claim to be representing.
The first day of the spring equinox is March 20th and even though it is still a week away, spring seasonal releases have already been made available. This has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time. Beers that are supposed to express time or place should be consumed in that time period. A spicy winter warmer will drink differently in the summer time. It might seem too rich and possibly cloying even in an air conditioned room. The same way a crisp pilsner might seem watery and insubstantial during a blizzard. Needless to say, the weather always has a major impact on what I decide to drink.
This issue has come into the spotlight when Chris Lohring, owner of Notch Brewing Co., wrote a blog entitled “The death of seasonal beers” (see link below). The blog caused an up-roar in the beer community. Many breweries were offering up explanations for why their seasonal releases seem to come out before their season. Most of them explain that the situation has much to do with the ever growing number of preorders for those seasonal offerings. This means they have to start brewing sooner to meet their quotas. This is why we have fresh, malty, spice-forward pumpkin ales in the dog days of summer.
Personally, I would like to drink a beer in its proper context, especially if I’m going to give a beer a fair evaluation.
- Mike Kaminski