**A great blog from Craft Brew Ben (@craftbrewben). Hope you didn’t want a summer beer this August. The distributors aren’t selling it anymore, even though we have a full month before Labor Day!
Trending. If you turn on the NBC coverage of the Olympics, you will
probably, at some point in your viewing, hear about what’s ‘trending’.
Michael Phelps, iPhone 5, Usain Bolt, Chick Fil-A.. these are just a few
of the most popular items trending on Google since August 1st. With
avenues like Facebook, foursquare, and Twitter, our culture is always
looking for what’s hot right now.
Trending though, isn’t a new concept. Trends can be observed in every
facet of our lives. From the most popular clothing, to what kinds of cars
people are buying, trends are everywhere. Over the past few years, there
has been a particular trend that I find somewhat distressing. Holidays.
More specifically, how early holidays are starting. Have you seen
Valentine’s Day treats on the shelves on January 2nd? Christmas Decor in
stores before Thanksgiving? If this rings a bell, you know what I’m
talking about. In any economy where retailers are trying to turn a profit,
the popular holiday items hit the shelves earlier and earlier each year.
And as consumers, we take the bait. It almost seems hard not to as we try
to save what we can on our mile long lists of holiday purchases.
The week of July 23rd, I realized just how much this trend is starting to
apply in the world of craft beer. Imagine my surprise when I tried to
order summer seasonal beer from two of the biggest breweries on the East
Coast, and my sales reps informed me that they were out, AND that
Octoberfest would be in the following week. This made me look outside for
a second. I was searching for the beautifully colored Autumn leaves, for
people in scarves, anything that might signify the New England fall that I
love so much.
Like retailers introducing holiday items earlier each season, brewing
companies all over the country roll out seasonal varieties earlier and
earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Octoberfest! It’s probably my favorite
time of year for beer, and I am just as guilty of drinking an Imperial
Pumpkin Stout in July as anyone else (ask me which ones are my favorite!).
It just doesn’t feel right, though. In a part of the country where (in my
opinion) we are blessed to have seasons, I wish we could celebrate those
seasons with beers that are made to reflect the essence of that time of
year. I want to drink my summer beers on a 90 degree August afternoon, my
pumpkin beers on a crisp October evening, my fresh spring beer in March
when the snow has (hopefully) thawed. Brewing companies are doing an
incredible job of putting seasons in a bottle, all I want is to pop it
open when the time is right.