Hello all! Pumpkin beer started hitting shelves in my area on July 17th. This was the arrival of Southern Tier’s Pumking and Warlock, which were bottled on June 24th. Terrapin’s “Pumpkinfest” was also hitting market around that time. I’ve held off on writing a first post, because I wanted it to be at least August before I started the blog back. Now, here we are! Early August, and a lot more pumpkin beers are coming in now. There are lots of questions folks might ask about this “seasonal creep”, both from the consumer’s and the brewery’s perspective. I will leave those for my next post. For now, I will simply, as I have in years past, state the aims for this season. This is the 4th year of this blog, and I want to do things just a little differently than last year.
Last year I put more emphasis on smaller up-and-coming breweries, and wrote little pieces about the breweries and how they make their beer. I will continue on that train of thought this year, trying to feature as many new breweries as I can. I will revisit some of the old beers I’ve reviewed before, in part to see how (or if) the beers have changed from year to year. Beers that weren’t stand outs or good exemplars of their particular style won’t be revisited. As in previous years, I will be using the 5 star system. You can read more about the rating system and its motivation here.
* = poor
** = decent
*** = good
**** = great
***** = exceptional
This season I will try to put even more emphasis on smaller and up-and coming breweries. There are so many great craft breweries out there, with just great offerings. Brewers also take a lot of time and care to make serious beer, which often requires some serious time-intensive processes- especially if you have pumpkin flesh in the mash! And so, another facet to this year’s blog is that I will be featuring more of the time-intensive barrel-aged or blended pumpkin offerings that are on the market. I plan to write a bit more about barrel-aged beers in general. Finally, I plan to put a little more emphasis on the ingredients, exactly what they are, where they come from, and the typical flavor contributions they make to the beer. Many offerings have special or unique hop combinations, spices, or various other adjuncts. So it will be nice to hear more about where these things come from.
If you have any suggestiosn for beers you’d like to see, or kinds of things you’d like to see talked about this season, comment here or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy almost pumpkin beer season!