Trump. Hillary. Pumpkin beer. My Facebook feed is filled with anything and everything regarding these three subjects and, from what I can gather, nary a member is happy about any of them. I never thought my social media escapades would leave me yearning for the days of Game of Thrones reactions and memes of that old dude dancing like a total bad ass.
I don’t talk politics much. It always seems to be a diatribe of agendas and ideas and, you know, things you say to win elections from those trying to win said elections. Yet, I constantly find myself reverting back to the movie The American President when Andrew Sheppard, played by Michael Douglas, took the gloves off against his opponent and shared with citizens of America that winning elections is entirely about character. Speaks a lot to the running of presidential campaigns in a digital, social society, huh? Our candidates’ characters are on display 24/7/365, giving us more to share and more to base our decisions on than ever before. They can’t utter a word lest they be judged as if they passed gas in church.
I will say I’m scared of our choices this year and feel my vote will be cast for the lesser of two evils. But I digress. Quickly. I’ll leave the political agendas to those in that arena and let Tomi Lahren give her all-the-way-to-the-right rants instead of me. I choose to tackle something more in my wheelhouse…
My name is Jason and here are my Final Thoughts on pumpkin beer.
It’s July. It’s been 90+ most days. And, as has become tradition with mid-summer’s arrival, pumpkin beer displays have started popping up all over the place, much to the chagrin of Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Beerdrinker. A beer once revered as a quintessential Fall seasonal staple rose to popularity so fast, it forced breweries to produce them and get them into the wild sooner and sooner in order to meet demand while not throwing off brewing schedules. These days, if Linus stayed up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive, and it did, he’d probably shoot it and sell the remains to the highest bidder in hopes its contents would give us a pumpkin beer to rule them all.
This will probably be how Budweiser enters the pumpkin market.
Pumpkin beers have been arriving on shelves in July for several years now. It’s supply and demand. I think it’s important to realize the craft segment of the beer world is still growing and pumpkin beer was once looked at as a “bridge beer” that helped people transition from macro to craft. Many people still see it as such. Therefore, if it’s serving that purpose, keep it coming…because the hope is those opening their minds to artisanal beers will still be loyal to the overall craft product when the pumpkin craze washes out or, at the very least, goes into hibernation for a few months.
Recent trends have told us pumpkin beer simply doesn’t captivate the way it once did. Case and point? You can still find versions of pumpkin beers on shelves from 2015’s release. Bars can’t hold special tappings of pumpkin beers and expect to sell out in less than an hour likes days past. It’s a different world for pumpkin beer, but not so different in that enough beer drinkers still seek it out to keep it relevant and in demand. And those fresh to the scene? Chances are, friends are helping them evolve their palate with a pumpkin beer because that was their gateway, too.
So, if you’ve been ranting about pumpkin beer and its unwelcome appearance on a display near you, session IPA and chill. Remember how much of this stuff is on its way. That means, simply, wait until October to buy it and look the other way while enjoying your favorite summer beers. Or, even better, help out your favorite distributor: get it now and stash it.
Fall seems to be the unofficially-agreed-upon “right time” to drink pumpkin beer, so do it then. And, since last year’s version may still be hanging around, grab a little of both and make your own vertical flight. See what’s changed as the beer has aged. Could be good, could be bad.
Either way, we are on the cusp of choosing our nation’s new leader and pumpkin beer is upon us. Insert something about carpe diem here.
*DISCLAIMER: This commentary was written without a single pumpkin pun. How gourd is that?!