It’s that time of year again. The sun blazes overhead, beating us into lethargic submission daily, and the bugs have claimed dominance over, well, pretty much anywhere you might consider going outdoors. The sidewalks aren’t fit for frying eggs because the foodies turn their noses up at them if not brought to over-easy using a soft, gentle flame, and opening your car door after a long day at the office is like getting smacked in the face with a brazier of hot coals.
In other words, it’s August, the very doggiest of the dogs days of summer.
Obviously, then, it’s time to crack open a few malty, spiced pumpkin brews, right?
If you read much about beer, keep your fingers on the pulse of current trends, or, heck, even follow a craft beer drinker or two on the twitters, odds are good you’ve seen or heard someone complain over the past week or so about the premature release of the fall beers. Yes, the pumpkins are beginning to make their way into even your favorite bottle shop, and the Oktoberfests won’t be far behind.
Which only makes sense, really, since the Oktoberfest beers are brewed for a festival named for October that’s usually held in September.
“But, but, but,” you say, “it’s SUMMER!”
Yadda, yadda, yadda, I say. Look, we all know that for the foreseeable future, the smart money’s on temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s. Admittedly, that does make one want to stick with the lighter summer brews quickly pulling a Master Mysterio and disappearing from your market. But the truth of the matter is, this business isn’t news any more. Every year we moan and complain that the fall brews come out in summer, the winters just when fall is hitting it’s stride, the spring brews when it’s still cold enough out to freeze the marbles off Hephaestus, and then the summer ones just as the first blossoming shoots of green appear.
Enough, I say. Enough. This the Cycle in which we live. It’s been this way for years now, and will continue for years to come. So it’s time we stopped whining about it and just accepted that this is Simply The Way It Works. Fighting it will be as effective as shaking your fist at the sky when it rains, as illuminating as asking why the bird flies, or why “I” comes before “e” except after “c”.
But, why, you ask? Why must we be subjected to beers that aren’t really right for the current seasons at least a 1/3 of the year (if not more)?
I wish I knew. But as teenage boys will never truly understand teenage girls, women will never truly understand men, and no one will ever truly understand how things are supposed to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Cycle of Craft Brew Life will always be a mystery.
I mean, unless you’re a professional brewer, I guess. Maybe then you know why it’s done this way. But even then, I suspect that like any good wizard, you couldn’t explain it to us without, well, you know.
The point is, yes, we all agree it’s much too early to start quaffing pumpkin beers like they’re going out of style.
Then again, most of us live with central air and drink imperial stouts year-round.
So I’m done griping about irrational seasonality of some of my favorite beers. Time to drink the Kool-Aid…er, the fall beers.
What I’m saying is, pass me a pumpkin. I like to blend them with big chocolately stouts.